IBM Customer Outreach (Free local education)[From Cheryl] I was very pleased to be invited by Lih Wang of IBM to present at their Chicago z Systems Customer Council event on May 9th. I had a great time and got to meet over a hundred local z customers and IBMers. I learned a lot, and so did the other attendees. The topics included Top Mainframe Trends (by Glenn Anderson, who rocked it, as usual!), Making Blockchain Real for Business (by Robert Brinkman), Upgrading Legacy CICS Transaction Router to CPSM Routing (by Mory Binder), Security Intelligence (by David Rossi), and my Mainframe Software Costs – Taming the Beast. You can find all the presentations here.
This was the first time I had attended one of these free customer zCouncil events, and wanted to let our blog subscribers know about them. I think it’s one of the neatest things I’ve seen lately, especially if your company is restricting travel. See https://ibm-zcouncil.com/ for a list of their upcoming events in your area. As you can see in the map below, there are events planned for all over the country.
Some of the topics that will be covered in upcoming sessions include: Rocket Data Virtualization, IBM Academic Initiative, Machine Learning, Pervasive Encryption, IBM Common Data Provider for z Systems, and many more. These are excellent, and free, sessions and a great way to find out what is happening in the mainframe world and to network with your local peers.
IBM z/OS Security Health Check[From Cheryl] I found David Rossi’s presentation on IBM z/OS security to be extremely helpful in understanding the many different components and products that are offered by IBM to protect your z/OS system. I think most people would find it useful in putting the terms, products, and risks in perspective. But the main thing I took away from his presentation is that IBM will provide a “no-charge” 2-to-3-day z/OS Security Health-Check for customers. Here’s how David described it:
What is the z/OS Security Health-Check?
- A 2-3 day no-charge security assessment of your System z environment
- Conducted onsite by an IBM System z Security Specialist
- Examines the security and integrity controls in the operating system (z/OS and USS), your external security manager (IBM RACF or CA ACF2), DB2, CICS and WMQ
- Identifies vulnerabilities and configuration conflicts within your environment
- Examines privileged users and their ability to bypass controls or cause system outages
- Analyzes conditions that may present a significant security risk or potential compliance failures
Requirements to run the Health-Check
- Focus is on one production system, which must be running either IBM RACF or CA-ACF2
- If you don’t already have them, you must install IBM Security zSecure Admin and zSecure Audit for the duration of the health check
- Standard IBM Evaluation license (no charge) required (organized by IBM)
- Software is used on the target system as part of the Health-Check
- Customer security representative touches keyboard during Health-Check
Of course, this is a sales opportunity for IBM, but it’s also the best way to find out what IBM can offer, in addition to identifying if you have any major security vulnerabilities. I would certainly bring them into my site. For more information, contact Marilyn Thornton at firstname.lastname@example.org.