What is Mainframe Security?

Mainframe Security is a macro term that refers to a broad collection of tools and practices aimed at mitigating risks that affect mainframe systems (e.g. legacy systems, Z-series, etc.) Mainframe Security is about assuring the efficacy of a system’s security from aggressive attacks by unplanned access and unknown players.

Along with the alarming levels of viruses and malware, access to data and where that data ends up is at risk, exposing all of an organization’s human and non-human resources to these security breach attacks. IT Central Station InfoSec experts rely on secure protection of their IT environments on Mainframe hardware and installed software.

Mainframe Security planning should be thought of in terms of what particular data needs to be accessed and which users have permissions to access programs, databases, transactions, files, etc. and how strong or how many levels of permissions should the access allow? The key to today’s security issues is a proactive defense rather than having to explain and play “catch up.” It is recommended that Enterprises have experts who are responsible for systems security and must detect breaches as soon as possible with logs relevant to document the breach.

Mainframe Security is a multi-billion dollar industry supporting industries across the board and they themselves are tasked with constant updates and communications with those who use their services. Mainframe platforms are vulnerable - as we have seen global governments, and industries such as healthcare, banks and credit cards, entertainment, Internet providers and the military have unfortunately fallen victim to bad actor attacks. Systems are with criminal intent - the goal of exploiting stolen data.

For example, Mainframe Security professionals use Security and Incident and Event Management (SIEM) systems to track multiple device logs across a legacy environment. This might include collecting SIEM data on z/OS mainframes, DB2 database servers, firewalls and so forth. Usually, the tools provide dashboard views in a standard web browser designed for event messages.