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Audit your SAN's security risks

This tip describes checklists for auditing the security of your storage area networks (SANs).

Securing a SAN requires more than just installing it according to the manufacturers' instructions. To ensure SAN security, you have to conduct a security audit to check that all the known vulnerabilities have been dealt with and that you have the appropriate policies and procedures in place.

Usually a SAN security audit is conducted with the aid of a checklist. While almost every SAN is unique, you can begin the auditing process with a sample checklist that can be modified to fit your circumstances.

There are a number of such checklists available. The Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) has identified several that provide a basis for a SAN security audit, including the SNIA's own SSIF checklist and a SNIA booklet on identifying security threats.

SNIA also has a white paper titled, "How To Do A Storage Security Audit" which includes a checklist at Others include OCTAVE, which is a general security assessment documented by CERT, and the STRIDE assessment model which is described in a sample chapter online from Microsoft Press.

Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.

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