Thu, Jul
0 New Articles

Partner TechTip: Guarding Against the Multifaceted Threat to Power Systems

Security - Other
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Protect IBM i, AIX, Linux, and Domino in one fell swoop.


For some time now, IBM has been making the AS/400 family more powerful and versatile. With the introduction of Power Systems in 2008, the promise of one box that meets the demands of modern computing environments across multiple operating systems truly came of age.


But with this versatility comes increased exposure to threats from malicious code. When an iSeries was running only OS/400, the steps we needed to take were clear and the risk was easier to mitigate. Now that IBM i, AIX, and Linux may be running side by side--and connecting to a network of Windows PCs--guarding the fortress against malicious code threats requires a thorough plan and an impermeable line of defense.


I say impermeable, but let's be clear. No line of defense can keep 100 percent of threats out of your system. The key lies in quickly identifying and eradicating these threats. To do this, we must adopt a holistic view of protection and take steps on each platform.


The reality that malicious code represents a real danger to IT security is now widely accepted. But there's still a lingering belief within the AS/400 community that the danger doesn't reach inside our borders. "There are no System i viruses." True. "There are few Linux and UNIX viruses." True. "The risk is so minimal that it's not worth pursuing." Dead false.


Malicious code doesn't need to target a specific operating system in order to wreak havoc. AIX, Linux, and the IBM i IFS with its UNIX-based privileges model can easily host viruses written for Windows. And because these operating systems can silently host this code and spread it to the larger network, the danger is analogous to the person who has cancer but doesn't know until it has spread throughout the body and become terminal.


Once malicious code has passed from the Power System to a Windows PC, it can execute and then backtrack to the Power System to delete files, steal data, send commands, and more. The fact that a given virus can't execute under IBM i, AIX, or Linux is moot. It doesn't need to.


So how do you stop this  ubiquitous malicious code? Let's break it down into a three-step process:

Step 1: Develop an Implementation Plan

Prepare a plan that places anti-virus software on every system, including the Windows PCs in the network and every server and partition, regardless of the operating system. If you're using Domino, you should protect that point of entry as well. The good news is that there's now a native solution available for virtually every OS that you may be running. Putting guards at each checkpoint is a requirement of most regulatory legislation and guidelines, including SOX, PCI, COBIT, and NIST.

Step 2: Select a Consistent Solution

Consistency across systems can help ensure that the malicious code can be caught at each checkpoint. Fortunately, McAfee provides native engines and uniform definition files that span all operating systems that run on Power Systems, as well as Domino environments running on IBM i. McAfee technology has placed first in testing by the University of Hamburg Virus Test Center.

Step 3: Establish an Easy-to-Manage System

When it comes to a Power System running IBM i, AIX, and/or Linux in partitions, StandGuard Anti-Virus easily meets this need by allowing you to scan and clean all partitions from a single point of control under IBM i. There are native versions of StandGuard Anti-Virus for IBM i, AIX, Linux, and Domino, and these use the same virus definition files as McAfee's Windows solutions. By implementing a single family of solutions across the environment, you can ensure stable, reliable, predictable protection. And by eliminating the need to manage each operating system separately, you save time that can be put to better use.

Protect the Network

By taking a holistic view of the malicious code threat and accepting a platform-agnostic position, we can ensure that our networks and organizations are fully protected. StandGuard Anti-Virus is the most powerful tool available for those working with IBM Power Systems, and this solution with the McAfee engine and backing of McAfee AVERT Labs can protect IBM i, AIX, Linux, and Domino in one fell swoop.


To learn more about StandGuard Anti-Virus, access informational materials, and even get a free trial to scan your system, visit www.sgav.info. You might be surprised by what you turn up.




Christopher Jones

Christopher Jones is principal and creative director of Stellar Debris and works with leading IBM Power Systems developers, including Bytware and PowerTech. He writes on a variety of topics related to the Internet, security threats, and the use of technology. Christopher lives in and works from Tokyo.



Support MC Press Online


Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: