How Can Continuous Monitoring Unleash the Hidden Power of Mainframes?

Written by: Jose Arias, CISSP, ITIL
Mainframe Security Specialist, Broadcom

Continuous monitoring of activities has become an integral part of our daily lives, making it easier to track and manage various aspects, from our health to environmental concerns. 

Smartwatches have taken health tracking to a new level. They can monitor heart rate, sleep patterns, steps taken, and even perform ECGs. This constant data collection allows individuals to stay informed about their health in real time, enabling early detection of potential issues and promoting a proactive approach to well-being.

Modern homes are equipped with smart devices that continuously monitor and control emissions. Carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms, and smart thermostats help maintain a safe and eco-friendly environment by alerting homeowners to any potential threats or inefficiencies.

Home security systems equipped with continuous monitoring capabilities, such as motion sensors and security cameras, help deter potential intruders and provide homeowners with peace of mind, knowing they can monitor their property from anywhere.

Much like how smart home devices constantly assess and regulate emissions, safeguarding our living environments, continuous monitoring in mainframes serves as a digital guardian, perpetually scanning for vulnerabilities and potential intruders. Just as a smoke alarm alerts us to smoke or fire, instant alerts from monitoring systems can flag unauthorized access attempts or unusual system behavior. In this parallel, the proactive approach to addressing issues, whether in our homes or within mainframes, is essential to prevent catastrophic consequences

Continuous Monitoring in Mainframe Systems

Reducing Risks:  If it were measured as a country, then cybercrime — which is predicted to inflict damages totaling $8 trillion USD globally in 2023, according to Cybersecurity Ventures — would be the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China, surpassing the wealth of entire nations. Cybersecurity Ventures expects global cybercrime costs to grow by 15 percent per year over the next three years, reaching $8 trillion USD globally this year and $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion USD in 2015.

Mainframe systems are the backbone of many critical business operations. Continuous monitoring of these systems helps identify vulnerabilities, potential failures, or security breaches in real time. This proactive approach minimizes risks and ensures the uninterrupted flow of operations.

Detecting Intruders: A large European bank: In 2012, attackers used social engineering phishing tactics to gain mainframe access at Swedish IT firm, Logica, and then the bank, stealing over $800,000. The criminals were caught not by security tools or processes but because they transferred a large sum of money, which triggered an alert.

Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, making it essential to have robust monitoring in place. Continuous monitoring tools can detect unusual activities and potential security breaches, enabling rapid response to mitigate the impact of cyberattacks.

Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: Increase in the number of privacy and cyber security regulations from a wide range of government entities (ex: EBAG, DORA, NISD2, Duty of Care)1. Meeting compliance standards is a critical concern for organizations. Continuous monitoring helps ensure that systems adhere to industry-specific and government regulations, making it easier to pass audits and avoid costly penalties.

Operational Efficiency: Monitoring mainframe systems allows organizations to optimize their performance by identifying bottlenecks, resource utilization issues, or inefficient processes. This leads to increased operational efficiency and cost savings.

The Role of Compliance Event Manager

Broadcom’s Compliance Event Manager (CEM) is an exceptional tool that can serve as the cornerstone of your continuous monitoring strategy. 

CEM is designed to provide comprehensive visibility into your mainframe systems, making it easier to manage risks and ensure compliance. Here’s how CEM stands out:

Real-time Alerts: CEM offers real-time monitoring and alerting capabilities, ensuring that any anomalies or potential security threats are identified immediately.

Centralized Dashboard: With a user-friendly centralized dashboard, CEM allows you to access all critical information in one place, simplifying decision-making and risk management.

Customization: CEM can be customized to meet the unique monitoring needs of your organization, adapting to the specific requirements of your mainframe systems.

Cost-effective security: Filter critical security events and forward them to SIEM platforms for a holistic view of your security infrastructure. Reduce costs by minimizing the number of security alerts undergoing real-time analysis.

Compliance Assurance: CEM’s compliance features help organizations adhere to regulatory requirements effortlessly, making the audit process smoother and less stressful.

Education: Continuous Monitoring Workshop

Cybersecurity Continuous Monitoring is a best practice for IT security and compliance, regardless of platform, and in fact, is a mandated requirement by many governmental and industry regulations and standards.

The complementary workshop provides a detailed execution plan to monitor and alert your staff and Security Operations Center to critical mainframe security risks using continuous real-time monitoring with Broadcom’s Compliance Event Manager.

  • Understand continuous monitoring and how to perform it on the mainframe
  • Learn how the Compliance Event Manager tool can be used for continuous monitoring
  • Implement Mainframe best practices for continuous monitoring


Continuous monitoring is a fundamental aspect of our daily lives, enhancing our health, safety, and overall quality of life. The same principles of continuous monitoring extend to the world of mainframe systems, where it plays a pivotal role in reducing risks, detecting intruders, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency.

For organizations seeking a robust and comprehensive continuous monitoring solution, Compliance Event Manager offers a reliable and versatile platform. By adopting CEM as a starting point, organizations can gain a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced digital landscape, safeguarding their mainframe systems and ensuring smooth operations.

In an era where information is power, continuous monitoring is the key to staying ahead of the curve, whether it’s about managing your health or protecting your organization’s critical systems. Embrace the power of continuous monitoring today to lead a safer, more secure, and more efficient tomorrow. 

Learn More.

Broadcom Mainframe Software Division empowers enterprises to amplify the value of their Mainframe investments in ways that drive their business forward. Our market-leading DevOps, AIOps, Security, Data Management, and Core Infrastructure solutions enable clients to adopt common tools using industry standards and integrate mainframe as part of their hybrid cloud. Our commitment to partnership extends beyond software and features Beyond Code programs that give customers the power to achieve greater business success with the platform.

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