The elemental principles of security compliance management

Thursday, 2 February 2006, 1:18 PM EST

Compliance is a word that is in everyone's thoughts these days. Over the past couple of years, it has most often been used in the same sentence as ‘regulatory.' And for good reason—regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are forcing companies to put their houses in order, or face stiff penalties if any wrongdoing is uncovered. At many enterprises, compliance also has a broader meaning related to the policies and procedures used to protect the company's IT equipment, data, and other assets. These policies, which include security and other business policies, generally prescribe minimum standards for use of IT equipment, definitions of misuse, and rules for enforcing the standards that have been set.

Security policy standards are, however, notoriously difficult to enforce. Over the past decade or so, corporate networks have grown exponentially, encompassing thousands of systems running on heterogeneous computing platforms. And those networks are constantly undergoing change, with new hardware devices added or removed, applications deployed or upgraded, and a constant stream of identity profiles being created, modified or deprovisioned.

By: Fran Howarth and Marcia Kaufman at IT Analysis

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