Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: Scott Hirsch, David H Deans, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Aria Blog

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
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: ...
Compute virtualization has been transformational, yet security policy implementation and enforcement has lagged behind in agility and automation. There are a number of key considerations when implementing policy in private and hybrid clouds. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Holland Barry, VP of Technology at Catbird, will discuss the impact of this new paradigm and what organizations can do today to safely move to software-defined network and compute architectures, including: How normal ope...
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...
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 hap...
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...
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...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ElasticBox is holding a Hackathon at DevOps Summit, November 6 from 12 pm -4 pm at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. You can enter as an individual or team of up to 10 developers. A New Star Is Born Every Month! All completed ElasticBoxes will then be sent to a judging panel - 12 winners will be featured on the ElasticBox website in 2015. All entrants will receive five full enterprise licenses for one year + ElasticBox headphones + Elasti...
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...
Cloud services are the newest tool in the arsenal of IT products in the market today. These cloud services integrate process and tools. In order to use these products effectively, organizations must have a good understanding of themselves and their business requirements. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brian Lewis, Principal Architect at Verizon Cloud, will outline key areas of organizational focus, and how to formalize an actionable plan when migrating applications and internal services to...
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, will discuss 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 ...
Ixia develops amazing products so its customers can connect the world. Ixia helps its customers provide an always-on user experience through fast, secure delivery of dynamic connected technologies and services. Through actionable insights that accelerate and secure application and service delivery, Ixia's customers benefit from faster time to market, optimized application performance and higher-quality deployments.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calm.io has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of DevOps Summit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calm.io is a cloud orchestration platform for AWS, vCenter, OpenStack, or bare metal, that runs your CL tools puppet, Chef, shell, git, Jenkins, nagios, and will soon support New Relic and Docker. It can run hosted, or on premise and provides VM automation / expiry, self-service portals,...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, will focus on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud pla...
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...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
As Platform as a Service (PaaS) matures as a category, developers should have the ability to use the programming language of their choice to build applications and have access to a wide array of services. Bluemix is IBM's open cloud development platform that enables users to easily build cloud-based, creative mobile and web applications without having to spend large amounts of time and resources on configuring infrastructure and multiple software licenses. In this track, you will learn about the...
Blue Box has closed a $10 million Series B financing. The round was led by a strategic investor and included participation from prior investors including Voyager Capital and Founders Collective, as well as the Blue Box executive team. This round follows a $4.3 million Series A closed in December of 2012 and led by Voyager Capital. In May of this year, the company announced general availability of its private cloud as a service offering, Blue Box Cloud. Since that release, the company has dem...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named "Gold 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. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic network...
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...