Getting a Handle on Change
In the new compliance regime, making sure that their IT infrastructure operates in a secure manner while adhering to known regulatory requirements, industry best practices and internal policies should be a top priority for organisations these days.
Core Competencies of Compliance
Compliance isn't difficult to achieve, so long as you have controls in place.
1. Proactive assessments. One of the most critical components of any good compliance program involves assessing one’s situation. Companies need to understand their infrastructure, their technology and processes, and whether that infrastructure can be trusted.
Organisations should look at their infrastructure and procedures based on how they stack up against external guidelines and known best practices. That can be achieved out-of-the-box with automated tools if necessary.
2. Complete accountability. The easiest way to achieve trust is to hold people accountable to certain standards.
Organisations need to be able to pinpoint who accessed what systems, who changed what process and when. Unfortunately, many lack the visibility to detect unauthorised activity.
Automatic controls, though, can do just that, enforcing authorisations and even tracking activity.
For example, reporting functions in a bank can identify the branch employee that accessed a certain financial system at a specific time.
3. Automated auditing. “Evidence on demand” is critical to compliance initiatives.
Audits measure what’s really happening against what’s supposed to be happening, tracking the “who, what, where, when and why” behind system activity. Detailed reporting helps companies prove that all the right things are happening; and that the right controls are in place and working effectively.
For instance, this might include ongoing testing of the IT environment to ensure process standards are being adhered to.
4. Configuration management. This is about creating consistency in the IT environment, so the act of making changes and configuring IT infrastructure follows set standards across the board. When people are involved, there is an inherent risk of individual variance.
5. Change control. Controlling change prevents people from creating a “wild west environment” in their IT infrastructure. It’s a means to manage exactly who can do what, verifying that the right people access the right system at the right time and then quickly detecting any exceptions.
It allows companies to get a handle on all changes and then be able to vouch for the integrity of said changes.
When you put these core competencies together, you have a very solid posture for achieving efficient and effective IT infrastructure management and compliance.
If you need advice on whether you have the right equipment to help you become compliant, call us on 01423 206640
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