Visible Ops: Building Effective Presentation Transcript
Visible Ops: Building Effective & Auditable ITIL Change Management Processes in 4 Steps: Phase One Gene Kim, CTO, Tripwire, Inc. October 27, 2004
How do I simultaneously contain costs, improve security and service levels, and address regulatory compliance?
What is my first step in building an ITIL change management process? How will I know that it’s working?
What order should I tackle the ITIL process areas?
How do I attest to auditors that I have effective change management processes?
Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404
HIPAA, GLBA, CFR11a, etc.
How do COBIT and ITIL fit together?
How do I create a good working relationship with my auditors?
What do auditors doing controls-based auditors look for?
What happens if they cannot find effective controls?
Examine the high-performing IT operations and security organizations
What they all have in common
What we can learn from them
Define the ideal working relationship between IT and audit
Why auditors talk the way they do
What auditors need to see
Building auditable and effective change management processes in four steps:
Catch & Release and Find Fragile Artifacts
Establish Repeatable Build Library
Enable Continuous Improvement
The Highest Performing IT Organizations…
High performance Ops and Security organizations have:
Highest ratio of staff deployed on pre-production processes
Lowest amount of unplanned work
Highest change success rate
Best posture of compliance and security
Common Process Areas Of High Performers
All the high-performers had self-derived the same way of working
Culture of change management
Culture of causality
Culture of compliance and desire to continually reduce variance
Common Traits Of The Highest Performers
Culture of change management
Integration of IT operations and security processes via problem management and change management processes
Processes that serve both organizational needs, as well as business objectives
Highest rate of effective change (approved changes, change success rate)
Culture of causality
Highest service levels (MTTR, MTBF)
Highest first fix rate (unneeded rework)
Culture of compliance and continual reduction of operational variance
Highest level of pre-production staffing
Effective pre-production controls
Effective pairing of preventive and detective controls
Causal Factors of IT Downtime Operator Error 60% System Outages 20% Application Failure 20% Security Related Non- Security Related 5% 15% Source: IDC, 2004
4 - Continuously Improving
<5% of time spent on unplanned work
Change success rate is very high
Service levels are world class
IT operating costs are under control
Can scale IT capacity rapidly with marginal increases in IT costs
Change review and learning processes are in place
Able to increase capacity in a cost-effective way
3 - Closed-Loop Process
15-35% of time spent on unplanned work
Some ticketing / workflow system in place
Changes documented and approved
Change success rate is high
Service levels are pretty good
Server-to-admin ratio is good, but not BoB
IT costs are improving but still too high
Security incidents down
2 - Using Honor System
35-50% of time spent on unplanned work
Some technology deployed
You have the right vision but no accountability
Server-to-admin ratio is way too low
IT costs are too high
Process subverted by talking to the “right” people
1 - Reactive
Over 50% of time spent on unplanned work
Chaotic environment; lots of fire fighting
MTTR is very long; poor service levels
Can only scale by throwing people at the problem
Reactive Using The Honor System Closed-Loop Change Mgt Effectiveness Continuously Improving Based on the IT Process Institute’s “Visible Ops” Framework Changes control the organization: Organization controls the changes:
Why Auditors Do The Things They Do
Given enough time and resources, auditors would love to count all the beans
Go into the warehouses, open up all the containers, and inspect all the contents
Rarely does this actually happen, for obvious reasons
Instead, auditors go to the “bean counting machine” to see whether the results are trustworthy
What controls ensure that it hasn’t been subverted?
What controls ensure that the results are correct?
For a variety or reasons, auditors are shifting from substantive audits to control audits
IT Controls 101
Separation of duties
Change management and authorization processes
Production controls around change management and configuration management
Restoration and backup systems
Ideal Attestation of Controls
High performing shops typically have the highest service levels and the lowest cost of controls
Best service levels (MTTR, MTBF), lowest amount of unplanned, unscheduled work, highest server/sysadmin
Best working relationship with audit.
Least amount of time dedicated to compliance activities
They can point to their change management and governance process (preventative controls)
They can show that the processes are working (detective controls)
Change management meeting minutes
Three-ring binder of change orders and verified changes
COBIT and Change Management
COBIT AI6: Managing Changes Tripwire can compare changes that occur on production systems back to a reference baseline to ensure that software distribution happens consistently across target systems, within the prescribed time. All changes are recorded for historical and audit-related reporting and analysis. 6.8 Distribution of Software Specific internal control measures should be established to ensure distribution of the correct software element to the right place, with integrity, and in a timely manner with adequate audit trails. Tripwire enables IT management to validate that formal sign-off processes are adhered to. Tripwire is also commonly used to ensure that packages are not altered during handoffs (through pre- and post- handoff comparison of released packages). 6.7 Software Release Policy IT management should ensure that the release of software is governed by formal procedures ensuring sign-off, packaging, regression testing, handover, etc. By reporting what changed on each system, when it occurred, and who made the change, Tripwire is used to ensure that all changes made are authorized, and made by authorized personnel . “Out of scope” changes, inconsistently applied changes, changes that occur outside the maintenance window, and other inappropriate changes are therefore discovered before they impact system availability. 6.6 Authorised Maintenance IT management should ensure maintenance personnel have specific assignments and that their work is properly monitored. In addition, their system access rights should be controlled to avoid risks of unauthorised access to automated systems. Tripwire is used to validate that all changes are tracked, synchronized with documentation (run books, etc.), and applied consistently across the appropriate systems. 6.5 Documentation and Procedures The change process should ensure that whenever system changes are implemented, the associated documentation and procedures are updated accordingly. Tripwire’s Role Control Objective
COBIT DS9: Managing The Configuration Tripwire is frequently used by customers to identify unauthorized or “rogue” applications within the production environment. This aids in enforcing configuration standards, as well as assisting in identification. Isolation, and recovery from “day zero” attacks from viruses or worms 9.5 Unauthorised Software Clear policies restricting the use of personal and unlicensed software should be developed and enforced. The organisation should use virus detection and remedy software. Business and IT management should periodically check the organisation’s personal computers for unauthorized software. Compliance with the requirements of software and hardware license agreements should be reviewed on a periodic basis. Tripwire integrity checks provide the means to assess the existence, consistency, and conformance of device and system configurations. These checks can be performed on an automatic, ongoing basis, as well as initiated on-demand by administrators. 9.4 Configuration Control Procedures should ensure that the existence and consistency of recording of the IT configuration is periodically checked. Configuration baselines are a core competency of Tripwire software. Tripwire maintains a history of current and previously authorized baselines to determine whether the current (as-is) device and system configuration matches the authorized (as-specified) state, according to the configurations you’ve authorized for use in your environment. Tripwire can also enable rollback to an authorized state either by performing the rollback directly or providing a manifest to drive third-party restoration / provisioning systems. 9.2 Configuration Baseline IT management should be ensured that a baseline of configuration items is kept as a checkpoint to return to after changes. Tripwire’s Role Control Objective
The Tragic Truth About Auditors
Auditors gravitate to where controls appear weakest
To attract the attention of auditors, have unexplained outages and lots of unexplained changes
“ The top leading indicators of risk when we look at an IT operation are: poor service levels and unusual velocity of changes.” Bill Philhower
Visible Ops: Four Steps To Build An Effective Change Management Process
Each of the four Visible Ops steps is:
A finite project: not a ISO 9001 initiative or a vague 5-year vision
Catalytic: returns more resources to the organization than it consumes, fueling the next steps
Sustaining: process stays in place, even when the initial force behind it disappears
Auditable: supports factual reporting and attestation to process adherence and consistency
Ordered: must be done in the specified order to achieve the above
Model based on five years studying high-performing IT Ops and Security organizations
Visible Ops has been donated to the ITPI
Visible Ops: Four Steps To Build An Effective Change Management Process Phase 1: Electrify Fence, Modify First Response Phase 2: Catch and Release, Find Fragile Artifacts Phase 3: Establish Repeatable Build Library Phase 4: Continually improve Tripwire enforces the change process. Tripwire rules out change as early as possible in the repair cycle. Tripwire protects fragile artifacts. Tripwire enforces change freeze and prevents configuration drift. Tripwire captures known good state in preproduction. Tripwire captures production changes that need to be baked into the build. Tripwire detects change, which all process areas hinge upon.
Phase 1: Stabilize Patient, Modify First Response Tripwire and IP Services Phase 1: Stabilize Patient, Modify First Response
We have a tendency to “light and fight” our own fires
80% of outages are self-inflicted
80% of MTTR is dominated by asking “what changed?”
With sufficiently low change success rate, high rate of change, and high MTTR, we are spending all our time doing unplanned, unscheduled work
Best in class: 5% of OpEx is spent on unplanned work
Average: estimated around 25-45%
Changes are made without authorization, proactive scheduling, or full documentation
"The most likely way the world will be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents." Nathaniel Borenstein
Curb the major cause of outages: 80% of outages are self-inflicted
Identify critical patients, clear everyone away from them unless they are authorized to operate
Document this new change policy: no changes unless authorized (preventative)
At this point, anyone even holding a scalpel should be viewed with suspicion
Electrify The Fence
We have now prescribed our first preventative change process and policy
Why do most change management initiatives fail?
What is the top audit finding around change controls?
Now we must “manage by fact” instead of “manage by belief” by electrifying the fences
No one is allowed to be inside the change fence except on the weekends
Why did Joe Bob touch the fence on Monday at 2:11am?
Document what should happen to Joe Bob:
Public shaming, take a day off, or more…
“ What is often overlooked is that if one person can single-handedly save the ship, that one person can probably single-handedly sink the ship, too.” -- Unknown
Create Change Team
Get all necessary stakeholders who can best make decisions about changes, encompassing business goals, operational risks, technical risks, etc.
Key stakeholders for us Security Lead, Ops Systems Engineering Lead, VP of Operations, Service Desk Manager, Director of Network Operations, and Internal Audit
Create weekly change management meetings mandatory for all CAB members.
Hold Weekly Change Management Meetings
Create a path from desired change, to requested change, authorized change, scheduled change, implemented change, verified change.
Review implemented changes and ensure that all actual changes mapped to authorized work
Enable highest change throughput for the organization, best serve business needs, with the least amount of bureaucracy possible
Weekly 15 min change management meetings are possible, with practice
Keep good records of requested changes, authorized changes, and scheduled changes
Change Management Guidelines
Don’t authorize changes that do not have rollback plans that everybody reviews
Don’t allow “rubber stamping” approval of changes
Don’t let any system changes off the hook – someone made it, so understand what caused it
Do post-implementation reviews to determine whether the change succeeded or not
Do track the change success rate
Do use the change success rate to avoid making historically risky changes
“ It’s not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent… but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin
Spectrum: Managing Change
Don’t expect to be doing “closed loop” change management right out of the chute – awareness is better than being oblivious, managed is better than unmanaged!
Oblivious to change: "Hey, did the switch just reboot?"
Aware of change: "Hey, who just rebooted the switch?"
Announcing change: "Hey, I'm rebooting the switch. Let me know if that will cause a problem."
Authorizing change: "Hey, I need to reboot the switch. Who needs to authorize this?"
Scheduling change: "When is the next maintenance window - I'd like to reboot the switch then?"
Verifying change: "Looking at the fault manager logs, I can see that the switch rebooted as scheduled."
This is what SO-404 requires! (Preventative and detective controls)
Create Trusted Authorized Work Queue and Change Calendar
Create a work ticketing system that contains all the authorized work that went through the change management process
Create a change calendar (Forward Schedule Of Change) that the change manager uses to coordinate resources, manage risks, etc.
Modify First Response (1/2)
The key to a catalytic change management process is that it must return value back to the organization
Decrease MTTR, dominated by 80% where people ask “what changed?” by integrating change management process into problem management
Whenever problem managers are mobilized, have all authorized changes and actual changes in the work ticket
The Microsoft MOF study showed that their best in class customers rebooted their servers 20x less often, and also had 5x fewer “blue screens of death.”
Modify First Response (2/2)
Eliminate change as early as possible by identifying the assets directly involved in the ticket and auditing them against their configuration baseline for the last 72 hours. All changes found are attached to the ticket.
If no changes are found the circle is widened to include changes made to infrastructure supporting the target systems.
“ Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.” – Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr (excerpt from the Serenity Prayer)
Phase 1: What You Have Built
Documented correct path from desired change to authorized change, scheduled change, implemented change, and verified change
Created documentation that the process is working
Returning value back to IT Ops by reducing MTTR, increasing change success rate and effective change throughput
What To Show The SO-404 Teams
Change governance and management processes
Meeting minutes of the change management meetings
“ Three ring binder” of stapled items:
Authorized work order
Change report on infrastructure showing correct changes made
Signature of change manager verifying correct implementation of change
What To Show The Auditors
List of all outages and unscheduled downtime
Change management metrics
Change rate (per week)
Change success rate
This would make most auditors breathe a sign of relief
Visible Ops: Four Steps To Build An Effective Change Management Process Phase 1: Electrify Fence, Modify First Response Phase 2: Catch and Release, Find Fragile Artifacts Phase 3: Establish Repeatable Build Library Phase 4: Continually improve Tripwire enforces the change process. Tripwire rules out change as early as possible in the repair cycle. Tripwire protects fragile artifacts. Tripwire enforces change freeze and prevents configuration drift. Tripwire captures known good state in preproduction. Tripwire captures production changes that need to baked into the build. Tripwire detects change, which all process areas hinge upon.
Which Metric Do You Want To Improve?
Time to provision known good build
# turns to a known good build
Shelf life of build
% of systems that match known good build
% of builds that have security sign-off
# of fast-tracked builds
Ratio of release engineers to sysadmins
# of changes authorized per week
# of actual changes made per week
Change success rate
# of emergency changes
# of service-affecting outages
# of “special” changes
# of “business as usual” changes
Change management overhead
% of time spent on unplanned work
Why Is Unplanned Work Such A Good Indicator? # of production changes failed change % or unauth changes mean time to repair % of time spent on unplanned work X X = Average: 35-45% of OpEx spent on unplanned work! Impact: late projects, rework, compliance issues, uncontrolled variance, etc… 35-45% of OpEx < 5% of OpEx unknown, hundreds > 1000 chg/wk hours, days ~30-50% (avg) Average minutes < 1% High performer
What Affects These Variables? # of production changes failed change % or unauth changes mean time to repair % of time spent on unplanned work X X = Behaviors that increase change success rate: • Effective change testing • Effective risk review when approving changes • Effective identification of change stakeholders • Effective change scheduling Behaviors that reduce unauthorized changes: • Culture of change management • Management ownership of change process • Effective monitoring of infrastructure with detective controls to enforce change process • Management use of corrective action when change processes are not followed Behaviors that decrease MTTR: • Culture of causality: desire to rule out change first in problem repair cycle • Effective change management process that can report on authorized and scheduled changes • Ability to distinguish planned and unplanned outage events • Effective communications around scheduled changes • Effective monitoring of infrastructure for production changes
What Do These Transformations Look Like?
Joe Judge at Adero
Ken Larson at Schlumberger-SEMA
Kevin Behr at IP Services
Financial returns of process transformations
Increased availability and decreased MTTR
Reduction of unplanned work from 50% to 5% of OpEx
Increased delivered capacity by 2x with 10% increase in OpEx
Increased delivery of planned projects that deliver higher value to the business
Fulfilled compliance and reduced cost of compliance
Why Do Auditors Love Continuous Improvement?
Controls are owned by the business to meet business objectives! Instead of there only to make auditors happy!
Auditors hate dragging organizations to implement controls, especially if creates grudging and literal interpretations of findings
Continuous improvement requires process and controls, to detect and reduce variance
ITIL and COBIT
ITIL defines the set of all IT operational processes
COBIT defines all the controls that can be wrapped around them
ITIL and COBIT are complementary and orthogonal:
Six Sigma defines how to build processes and their corresponding controls to continually monitor and reduce variance
ITIL defines the change management processes
COBIT defines the controls to ensure that the ITIL processes are auditable and effective
Caught in the Crossfire of Change
Rate of change is increasing with no signs of slowing
SarbOx, GLBA, CISP, etc. Distributed systems Heterogeneous environments Service levels Risk mitigation Business objectives Quality improvement Staffing & Budgets
Getting Control of Change
Control frameworks prescribe internal controls to enhance operational performance, security, and regulatory compliance
COBIT, ITIL, ISO17799, SAS70
Preventive Corrective Change Management Detective Process Controls Preventive Detective Security Corrective Process Controls
Help desk ticketing
Firewalls, AV, IDS
Automated change monitoring
Integration with other tools & controls
Change documentation & reporting
Tripwire Change Auditing Solutions
Actual changes are detected on production systems and reconciled with approved and intended changes
Change auditing results then flow back to change tickets, trouble tickets, audit and mgmt reports, plus configuration mgmt databases (CMDB)
Infrastructure Systems (Servers, Network Devices, etc.) Change Management Incident Management Release Management Enterprise Management Systems Actual Approved Intended Unexpected CMDB Verified Reconciled Audit Reports Mgmt Reports
Can You Answer These Questions?
Pick any piece of your infrastructure (router, server, firewall, etc.)
If a change is made to this device, how will you know?
How soon will you know?
How will you know if the change is good or bad?
How long will that process take?
What happens when the change is good?
What happens when the change is bad?
How do you verify that each change has been reconciled?
How do you report on all of the above?
Can you provide a historical report accounting for all changes in your environment?
This is what auditors want to know about how changes are managed in your IT infrastructure
With Tripwire, you can answer all of these questions
Improving Service Quality And Availability
Problem: Change management in place, but lacked enforcement
Saw changes occurring, but didn’t have the means to validate
Customer: IT Services operations of a Major Energy Services company
Tripwire detects change and puts “teeth” in the process
Tracking What, When, Who, How and Why a change was made
Tripwire provides “black and white documentation” to enforce process
Increased staff efficiency, uptime, and service quality
“ We used to spend 45% to 50% of our time on unplanned work. Now it’s around 5%.”
“ In spite of force reductions, customers describe our services as ‘phenomenally better’ now.”
Join ICOPL (ITPI Community Of Practice List-Serv)
There is now a Visible Ops Pocket Guide!
We are looking for volunteers to help with our research projects.
IMCA is now online at the ITPI
If you have a high performing organization, we want to study you!
Control is possible. We merely need to look at the high-performing IT organizations to confirm this.
Transformation is possible. Visible Ops is the result of years of studying high-performing IT operations and security organizations in conjunction with the ITPI
Visible Ops illustrates how interested organizations might replicate the processes of these high-performing organizations in just four, achievable steps