The first way SOX helps to demonstrate the importance of information security is that the regulation emphasizes the importance of your business critical systems. Executives typically think about sales, marketing and other revenue-centric business units when looking for ways to improve their business. However, they often overlook the critical systems that enable these units to effectively generate demand. SOX specifically points to these systems and raises the awareness of their criticality by making executives attest to the accuracy of their company's reported financial information. This attestation forces executives to ask questions regarding the activity on these systems and whether or not this activity could have altered the information they are receiving.
This leads to the second way SOX can help information security teams: creating an immediate need for security monitoring and reporting. All organizations need to implement technologies that monitor the activity on critical systems and be able to use this information to generate reports that illustrate this activity. Monitoring should be performed both at the network level using Intrusion Detection and/or Prevention Systems, as well as at the host level using log aggregation technologies that can gather security events from the appropriate log files. This information must then be consolidated to provide your team with a database of the security activity on critical network segments and information assets. With this information in hand, security teams can now easily generate reports showing the incidents targeting critical business systems and the actions taken to protect those hosts. Reports such as these can help security teams secure the funding they need to do their job by illustrating the threats facing the critical information assets and the effectiveness of the security program in thwarting these attacks. These reports can facilitate trust building between the executives and their security teams.
By subscribing to our early morning news update, you will receive a daily digest of the latest security news published on Help Net Security.
With over 500 issues so far, reading our newsletter every Monday morning will keep you up-to-date with security risks out there.