Five ways technology can help IT compliance

Published | Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Effective IT systems form the backbone of every organization and as organizational demands and challenges increase, so do the pressures on the IT team.

The importance of IT security is growing and the enormous task of supporting it falls to IT teams who must constantly find ways to measure, monitor, and ensure the effectiveness of the organization’s security health.

In the world of IT compliance, the IT team is tasked with identifying which of the hundreds of regulations and standards need to be followed, as well as meeting thousands of detailed requirements—all while watching out for security concerns that could derail the company’s strategic objectives or daily operations. Doesn’t sound easy, does it? Actually, when you have the right tools, it is.

An accurate diagnosis starts with the right instrument. Below are five different ways that data-driven technology like ACL can provide assurance to your IT compliance activities.

1. Information security oversight

Whether assessing the risk of adopting new cloud technology or understanding the vulnerability of an organization’s infrastructure, security questionnaires are a commonly used tool for gauging a company’s ability to protect information integrity. Using surveys built into a workflow engine and storyboards/dashboards, you can:

  • distribute detailed security questionnaires
  • curate and capture an overall assessment of the company
  • report on a score to benchmark against other similar vendors
  • apply a threshold and be notified to engage in a follow-up review.

2. IT industry framework

There are hundreds of frameworks with thousands of requirements, and it can often be a major challenge to manage the categorized control families, understand the applicability in the organization’s control environment, and align control activities to provide assurance of appropriate coverage.

A content-rich technology platform allows compliance professionals and IT leaders to seamlessly manage numerous control frameworks or standards (e.g., ISO, NIST, COBIT, PCI). Then detailed requirements can be rationalized to manage scope and map internal controls to each respective compliance requirement.

3. SOC security compliance procedures

Do you provide a service where you store and manage customer data? Ever wonder what it takes to receive your SSAE-16 Report of SOC Certification? Just like how globally recognized solutions are SOC 2 Type II compliant, your organization is required to go through a thorough audit and demonstrate appropriate security controls and corporate procedures are in place to safeguard and protect your customer’s data. Leveraging a best-in-class solution enables your team to:

  • identify detailed control objectives
  • capture review steps and evidence of compliance
  • distribute appropriate actions to stakeholders across the organization.

Both Amazon AWS and ACL have examples of a thoroughly constructed security environment.

4. Security awareness oversight

How do you know the organization reads important updates to your security policy, password requirements, or sensitive information handling procedures? Using tools like ACL, you can distribute surveys to departments within the organization, provide access to respective policy documents, and have employees attest to understanding policies.

You can also track and monitor the progress of the review for reporting purposes. Share the progress and adoption of overall compliance of the corporate security program with senior management and security officers.

5. User access reviews

Joe can access sales records. Sally shouldn’t be able to approve POs. And Mike is responsible for approving orders above $15,000. With all these rules and hundreds of different application systems, sampling user profiles to verify appropriate access is not sufficient. Leveraging a continuous monitoring solution to perform hundreds of unique tests on a daily basis will provide the CIO comfort, knowing that effective procedures are in place to reduce the risk of a security incident. Read all about this type of deployment in a Case Study from Dean Foods.

IT teams are frequently involved in application and system deployments, but more often it is for the business. The next time you’re evaluating a solution for compliance, risk, audit, operations, or finance, consider how you can leverage the same integrated solution for your IT compliance needs.

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