17 July 2019

IntelliMagic announces new functionality to monitor mainframe network traffic with its support of IBM’s z/OS Encryption Readiness Technology (zERT). zERT is a new IBM TCP/IP feature designed to provide full visibility into all the traffic from the mainframe TCP/IP stack, whether it leaves the mainframe or not. The zERT feature captures the encryption settings used, if any, for every session managed by the TCP/IP address space.

“We expect that zERT will be used widely within the enterprise: by the security staff to track the implementation of network encryption across the company, and by the auditors to verify that the IT department meets the regulatory and company security requirements”, says IntelliMagic founder and CEO, Dr. Gilbert Houtekamer.

The IBM zERT feature provides very detailed statistics on the use of encryption protocols for all IP and TCP traffic to and from z/OS mainframes. The collected connection level data is summarized and written to new SMF 119 subtype 12 records for analysis.

“Like with most SMF data sources, out of the box all the good data is there, but to get useful information a significant analysis effort is required. This is where IntelliMagic Vision comes in,” says Dr. Houtekamer.

IntelliMagic Vision provides visibility by enriching and transforming the SMF data to ready-to-use audit and security reports that can be used to monitor the encryption used for public and local traffic separately. Security staff can determine what traffic is not yet (properly) encrypted, down to the level of IP addresses and address spaces by using IntelliMagic Vision.

IntelliMagic Vision is used by large mainframe sites around the world to automatically analyze the huge volume of system measurement data (SMF and RMF) produced on the mainframe platform, turning raw metrics into actionable analytics. It proactively identifies availability risks and performance issues in the z/OS systems infrastructure, including components like Db2, CICS, MQ, Coupling Facility, Disk, Tape and Network.

IntelliMagic has published a white paper on this topic that you can download: How to get the most out of IBM’s zERT for tracking mainframe network traffic

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