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RACF database cleanup for z/OS

SF-SecuClean, your ultimate RACF cleanup and initial role model creator. Clean up your RACF database without any risk, and set up an initial role model efficiently!

Clean up the RACF database and obtain an initial role model.

An elementary fact regarding security becomes very apparent whenever you react to the results of a z/OS penetration test or audit, as well as during the initial setup of a role model: it is particularly difficult to eliminate excessive or redundant authorizations in RACF, i.e. to streamline access lists, lower the universal access authority (UACC) or even delete profiles. Cleaning up the RACF database and the subsequent “tightening” of your existing security configuration is simply one of the most “feared” consequences of any audit report or role-modeling project.

What are the practical problems involved when cleaning up the RACF database? To retroactively improve a system’s security, i.e. to question existing authorizations by removing, reorganizing or reducing these, always involves the real risk of negatively influencing productive processes and provoking subtle failures. Actually, a golden rule in IT is to “never change a running system!” Nobody knows which users access which resources and would eventually sign a corresponding statement as definitive. Management is therefore constantly challenged to provide their security team with the necessary motivation for such a cleanup project while taking into account its primarily abstract values of security and compliance. At first glance, it seems as if everyone involved “has nothing to gain.” But this is no longer true – there is good news!

The right technology and support make it easy to clean up RACF – and also worthwhile from a practical point of view. Deleted profiles, streamlined access lists, compact groups – all these avoid overhead in RACF’s processing and thus save CPU time concerning each resource access check – several millions of which occur daily.

Setting up an initial role model creates challenges quite similar to those of an RACF cleanup. The first step is to define the current status quo of the required authorizations for all users. You must determine which resources each user must access regarding his or her “role(s)” in the company’s business. A complete and comprehensive assessment in this field is a prerequisite for the second step, which includes the development of a role model based on effectively required, i.e. non-excessive authorizations.

Both challenges – cleaning up RACF and setting up an initial role model – provoke a common technological desire to perform a long-term observation of all resource access requests. SF-SecuClean provides you with this efficient long-term monitoring for RACF environments. Its high performance and cost-effective technology allows you to easily 1) clean up and streamline the security configurations defined by the RACF database (e.g. streamlining access lists, lowering UACCs, removing global access authorizations, deleting profiles, etc.), and 2) perform the necessary assessment of the currently required access authorities to set up an initial role model.

SF-SecuClean’s technology extends the standard RACF environment with the required resource access monitoring without influencing RACF’s actual decisions. All resource access requests are registered in a database (DB2) that is available for online evaluation and reporting at any time. A precise knowledge base is created over time regarding which users (must) access which resources on which access levels for their daily work. The longer the observation period, the greater the informative value of this monitoring becomes. In the end, i.e. after a sufficient length of time, clarity arises regarding each user’s actually required authorizations, which then allows you to reconfigure and optimize the RACF database with minimum risk. Of course, SF-SecuClean’s unique monitoring capabilities also support daily work in your RACF administration, security monitoring, system programming and IT audit departments. Information regarding (real) occurring access requests can be obtained online at any time by following a simple procedure.

SF-SecuClean is, therefore, the ideal solution for all mainframe users across all business sectors or company sizes. It is also the “perfect match” for all pragmatic z/OS users who dismiss any “monitoring and compliance overkill” and just desire a state-of-the-art cleanup and high-performance configuration of their RACF security without investing a lot in CPU time and other costs. Check it out!

Automate your IT Security and Compliance to the max today!


Over the past several years, compliance has become more and more an important issue, but also a tedious task. Our SF solutions assist you in automating the resulting workload to the max by also covering the entire mainframe platform - thanks to a 360-degree approach.


With SF-Sherlock, you can also protect your mainframe platform against attacks and combat high-level risks. Thanks to our max approach this also includes malicious code and exploits. Yes, both of these are real risks on the mainframe platform!

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