Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Pat Romanski, Scott Hirsch

Related Topics: Security

Security: Article

The Rise of the Managed Compliance Provider

Today, security is more complex than simply deploying firewalls and virus protection

You may think IT compliance is nothing more than big government sticking its nose into everyone’s business. Compliance equals Big Brother. OK, so there is some truth in that government compliance regulations are a little over the top, and perhaps there are just too many of them that functionally do the same thing. It’s not just about government regulations — it’s also about non-government standards, such as PCI, that need to be addressed.

Look at SOX, FISMA, FERPA, HIPAA and the brothers FERC and NERC. Aren’t they basically the same rules? Can’t we have just one large compliance regulation with small amendments for each specific industry? That would be easier, but since various politicians have stakes in their own versions, I don’t think we will see unification in the short term. That is one reason why regulators have to levy heavy fines and other punitive measures to force organizations to follow their rules.
However, if we look at compliance in a slightly different light, perhaps complying with these regulations will be just a little less painful.
 
Today, security is more complex than simply deploying firewalls and virus protection. For a company to be secure, it also has to look at security from an overall company risk perspective. This includes cybercrime and physical security as well as regulatory risks and profit risks around the costs versus the gains of implementing security measures.
In order to achieve complete security, your strategy needs to include multiple layers across three functional areas:
 
1) The protection of assets and data. This is the traditional implementation of firewalls, IDS systems, vulnerability protection, virus protection, penetration testing and many other standard security practices. Of course this is a very expensive proposition, so organizations must make technology strategy decisions based on budget and their type of business.
 
2) Process and procedures to adequately maintain security technology. You need to have methods and rules on how and when you update security components such as firewall policies, IOS, virus protection, log-in polices, and active directory policies. All of these need to be reviewed and updated frequently.
 
3) Defining and enforcing policies. It is one thing to have a policy on updating your virus definitions, but if these policies are not followed, then the first two areas cited above are worthless.
 
Many companies spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on firewalls, biometric devices, IDS/IPS, and anomaly detection but fail to deploy basic compliance-management systems. This places businesses at risk because it is very easy for someone to go into a device on the computer network, make changes that do not follow corporate security guidelines, and then open a hole in your defenses. An effective, automated compliance system continually validates that the rules of all devices follow correct security procedures.
 
Another aspect to consider is that compliance is often mandated by regulatory decrees, such as SOX, HIPAA, FISMA, GLBA and many others—or by industry requirements such as PCI and ISO. Non-compliance can result in significant fines and, in some cases, criminal prosecution. But even if compliance is not mandated, it is common sense to create policies and procedures and to verify they are being followed.
 
While risk management and mitigation serve as key drivers, incorporating business objectives and policies is an important part of the desired objective and is ultimately the end game. This is where compliance comes into the picture. Compliance proves the organization has the correct policies in place, and that the policies are being followed.
Security, compliance and risk assessment are the processes, but in the past, they have been 100 percent manual processes, time consuming, and prone to error. As a result, there is now an emerging trend to outsource the mechanics of monitoring the validation process to a local service provider, also called a Managed Compliance Provider or MCP.
 
MCPs perform the grunt work in tracking compliance processes through a managed service. Effective MCP solutions provide clients with near real-time dashboards and reports on their compliance status while also eliminating or significantly reducing error-prone, manual processes. Some MCPs even have the ability to certify if clients are within compliance.  
 
Security does not imply compliance, and compliance does not beget security. There must be a unification of both programs, which is what compliance is all about. Compliance also should not be viewed as some government oversight, but instead a common-sense approach to protecting the assets and value of your business.

More Stories By Jim Hare

Jim Hare is channel chief and VP of worldwide sales for eGestalt Technologies, a cloud-computing provider of IT-GRC applications for enterprises, including small to mid-size enterprises. Based in Santa Clara, CA, eGestalt has created “The Managed Compliance Provider Cookbook,” which is available to all Managed Compliance Provider (MCP) partners. The cookbook is a guide for service providers and MSPs looking to enter the lucrative field of compliance services.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
Can we look to the paradigm of cloud computing from a completely different perspective? In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Gundars Kulups, Sales Director at DEAC, will discuss what we can learn from our dining habits when choosing a cloud solution. Gundars Kulups is Sales Director at DEAC, full service data center operator. An IT expert, he specializes in European countries and has worked in the IT industry since 1992. He graduated from Riga Technical University (RTU) in Latvia and com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accel...
As cloud gives an opportunity to businesses to buy services externally - how is cloud impacting your customers? In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Fabio Gori, Director of Worldwide Cloud Marketing at Cisco, will provide answers to big questions: Do you see hybrid cloud as where the world is going? What benefits does it bring? And how does Cisco connect all of these clouds? He will also tell us everything about Intercloud and Cisco investment on it.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMCnet has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) is the world's leading business to business and integrated marketing media company, servicing niche markets within the communications and technology industries.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue bu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Parasoft will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 27 years, Parasoft has researched and developed software solutions that help organizations deliver defect-free software efficiently. By integrating Development Testing, API/cloud/SOA/composite app testing, and service virtualization, we reduce the time, effort, and cost of delivering secur...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customiz...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, will describe an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-devic...
Until recently, many organizations required specialized departments to perform mapping and geospatial analysis, and they used Esri on-premise solutions for that work. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dave Peters, author of the Esri Press book Building a GIS, System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, will discuss how Esri has successfully included the cloud as a fully integrated SaaS expansion of the ArcGIS mapping platform. Organizations that have incorporated Esri cloud-based appl...
Dyn solutions are at the core of Internet Performance. Through traffic management, message management and performance assurance, Dyn is connecting people through the Internet and ensuring information gets where it needs to go, faster and more reliably than ever before. Founded in 2001 at WPI, Dyn’s global presence services more than four million enterprise, small business and personal customers.
Once the decision has been made to move part or all of a workload to the cloud, a methodology for selecting that workload needs to be established. How do you move to the cloud? What does the discovery, assessment and planning look like? What workloads make sense? Which cloud model makes sense for each workload? What are the considerations for how to select the right cloud model? And how does that fit in with the overall IT tranformation? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, John Hatem, head of V...
IBM and Tencent Cloud signed a business cooperation memorandum to collaborate on providing public cloud with Software-as-a-Service solutions for industries. Both parties agreed to focus on emerging small and medium enterprises in the smarter cities and smarter healthcare industries as well as other fields. This will enable these industries to utilize mobile, cloud computing and big data tools to transform internal processes and operations, thus achieving cloud transformation in the era of mobili...
SimpleECM is the only platform to offer a powerful combination of enterprise content management (ECM) services, capture solutions, and third-party business services providing simplified integrations and workflow development for solution providers. SimpleECM is opening the market to businesses of all sizes by reinventing the delivery of ECM services. Our APIs make the development of ECM services simple with the use of familiar technologies for a frictionless integration directly into web applicat...
European data center operator DEAC is the largest in the Baltics. The activities are orientated to provide data center services and IT outsourcing on Eurasia and America scale in order to create the primary or backup or additional data center for customer in the EU, to protect its business and, most importantly, reduce costs up to 40% within 3-5 years. DEAC is an IT outsourcing services and solutions company whose highly experienced and qualified employees offer various groups of services and...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: ...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: S...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Ashar Baig, Research ...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...