Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: Liz McMillan, ChandraShekar Dattatreya, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Trevor Parsons

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
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect...
What do a firewall and a fortress have in common? They are no longer strong enough to protect the valuables housed inside. Like the walls of an old fortress, the cracks in the firewall are allowing the bad guys to slip in - unannounced and unnoticed. By the time these thieves get in, the damage is already done and the network is already compromised. Intellectual property is easily slipped out the back door leaving no trace of forced entry. If we want to reign in on these cybercriminals, it's hig...
"ElasticBox is an enterprise company that makes it very easy for developers and IT ops to collaborate to develop, build and deploy applications on any cloud - private, public or hybrid," stated Monish Sharma, VP of Customer Success at ElasticBox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from ha...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...
Fundamentally, SDN is still mostly about network plumbing. While plumbing may be useful to tinker with, what you can do with your plumbing is far more intriguing. A rigid interpretation of SDN confines it to Layers 2 and 3, and that's reasonable. But SDN opens opportunities for novel constructions in Layers 4 to 7 that solve real operational problems in data centers. "Data center," in fact, might become anachronistic - data is everywhere, constantly on the move, seemingly always overflowing. Net...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...