Are you an iSeries system administrator troubled with AS400 security risk?
The good news is that the AS400 platform is extremely secure, making it an excellent solution for protecting essential business operations and corporate data assets.
However, some iSeries system administrators believe it is inherently protected and does not require any additional security measures.
If you are one such administrator and believe it too, then you could be slightly wrong.
It is crucial to assess what is running in your system now and implement the necessary controls to ensure that all IBMi processes are completely secure.
The security measures are, of course, there!
All that you need to do is evaluate the common grounds of risk and implement the necessary updates to avoid infiltration and malicious behavior in the workplace.
Let’s go through the top 10 security risks concerning an iSeries system administrator and learn how to tackle them effectively.
10 Security Risks for iSeries System Administrator and Ways to Avoid Them
Here’s a listicle of ten AS400/iSeries risks and how to thwart them:
Too Many AS400 Operator/Admin Users
Almost all iSeries systems have too many users with far more authority than they require. In fact, many organizations grant access to all database files and objects on the AS400 operator system to an overwhelming number of user profiles.
This means that there is nothing to prevent employees from accessing and sharing unauthorized data or wiping the entire operating system.
Solution: Make the effort to evaluate user-profiles and their activities on a routine basis. Standardize role-based authorization, keep track of who has access, and keep an eye out for employees who gain access through unexpected means.
Allowing Default AS400/iSeries Passwords
Users frequently keep passwords that match their usernames, which is a big mistake. As you must know, hackers will always try to utilize login credentials where the username and password match or it is easier for them to guess.
This aids them in testing if they can obtain access to the system, and they frequently succeed in doing so. This puts your entire iSeries system at risk of being exploited or having all important and confidential data wiped away.
Solution: User authorization during hiring and training is mandatory to solve this. Ongoing compliance monitoring will also aid in the creation of reports to determine how many profile users have default passwords and to seek suitable password settings.
Ignoring Compliance Mandates
Some organizations might not even understand how to properly install security measures to meet their applicable mandates. In fact, they might fail to properly implement the tools or controls required to achieve the standards.
Postponing the task entails risking penalties or hoping auditors would not detect any problems. It is highly possible that an auditor will not realize IBMi lacks virus protection since they do not grasp how the platform works, offering administrators an ‘escape.’
Solution: It is imperative to conduct research on the specific requirements that your organization must meet. At that time, you can use the appropriate software or other procedures to guarantee you are doing everything possible to comply fully with these guidelines and safeguard your data.
Running on an Unsupported Version of IBMi
As with any operating system, not running the most recent version can cause issues, especially if you are running on a version that the vendor company no longer supports.
Having an outdated version of the AS400/iSeries means you might not have the most recent upgrades for your security tools and could be vulnerable due to lack of security patches. Furthermore, if your version is too old, you might not be able to get help from IBM.
Solution: The only wise option is to stay up to date and current.
Relying on Menu Security
The green screen’s menu security provides each user with unique options based on their position. However, there is nothing in the system to control because these are the only places a user can access.
Experienced users can easily go to areas beyond the menu options.
These entry points allow a user to bypass the menu options that are initially displayed.
Solution: It is critical not to rely on the security policies on the menus that users can access via the system. Similarly, you must pay attention to other PC interfaces in use and implement object-level authority.
Relying on a Single Layer of Security
It is unwise to assume that a firewall or PC virus protection will give adequate security against an attack. A multi-layered solution is required, including exit point management, virus protection, firewalls, and stringent user profiles.
Solution: Evaluate your security position from several aspects.
You do not want to neglect any of the ways in which users or those malicious actors impersonating users could obtain access to the system.
Not Using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) with Privileged Accounts
Using multiple levels of authentication to ensure you identify who is accessing the AS400/iSeries system is becoming more prevalent. It is especially important when working with users with administrative access.
Solution: Indeed, some guidelines, such as PCI DSS, necessitate multi-factor authentication for any iSeries system administrator who enters the cardholder data environment.
This extra layer of security, when combined with other access control measures, can significantly minimize the amount of harm leaked credentials can cause.
Allowing End Users to Have Command-Line Permission
Organizations frequently utilize menus to limit users’ ability to use a command line. However, even the most inexperienced user can cause errors that allow them access to the command line.
They could use it to execute over 2,000 commands on the operating system of AS400, some of which can have disastrous effects. These could include things like deleting data, deactivating subsystems, and even exposing data.
Solution: You need to control the environment in which any AS400 operator can run commands, such as green screen vs. FTP. You should also keep track of the authorizations that users have, as mentioned in earlier threats.
Operating Below Security Level 40, even 30
IBM strongly recommends that you set the security level of your operating system to at least 40. Some users, however, back-level the configuration during updates to incorporate outdated programs, intending to re-establish the security level later and then never reverting to it.
This is a major vulnerability since a user might possibly execute a task as another user without authorization.
Solution: It is critical to reach security level 40. This, however, is not a quick solution for your AS400 system. You must plan for the update and do the necessary testing to ensure that no linked processes are disrupted.
Not Having a Cyber Attack Response Plan
A cyber-attack response plan is not the same as a normal disaster recovery plan. A cyber-attack might necessitate a very different response. You would have to figure out where the security threat is coming from, how to stop access, and the best strategy to restore damages or evaluate data loss.
Managing a virus is a different case, and a malicious attacker attempting to steal data from your system is another. The customer impact of a cyber-attack might differ from that of another type of disaster. For instance, if a hacker obtains client data, the risks are not the same as if a server is damaged beyond repair.
Solution: Make sure you have two separate countermeasures in place to deal with these scenarios, as well as the necessary solutions and communications.
Now you know about the ten of the top security threats an iseries system administrator needs to watch out for and how to tackle them. Let’s lead you to an AS400 software development company that can help you with that.
Get the Best AS400/iSeries Solutions from Integrative Systems
iSeries system administrator users typically feel that the security protections built into their IBM AS400 are sufficient to keep their system safe.
However, to provide total security, IBM iSeries requires extra monitoring and maintenance.
Integrative Systems can assist you in monitoring your iSeries security levels and putting in place an appropriate security plan to ensure the best business model.
We are a reputable custom software development company situated in Chicago with clients across North America and Canada.
Following an evaluation of the client’s needs, we propose the best solution with the optimal number of iSeries developers required to complete the project.
We offer best-in-class software development speed and unrivaled performance when it comes to keeping the iSeries environment secure for our clients, thereby increasing the efficiency and productivity of their work processes.
Clients benefit from cutting-edge malware and threat prevention, as well as high-security plug-ins, owing to our top user experience.
Contact us today with your AS400/i-Series requirements and business goals so that we can get started with a reliable solution as soon as possible! You can reach us at [email protected]