Perimeter
1/18/2013
02:35 PM
50%
50%

Acing An Audit In 30 Minutes

Compliance audits don't have to be chaotic events

I asked a client in the insurance business about its recent audit. The president of the company told me that, once again, the audit went fine. Actually, it went better than fine. As usual, it aced the audit. Zero deficiencies, zero issues, zero problems. The auditors said it was the most organized office and easiest file review they had ever seen.

That was impressive, but the best part was yet to come. "How long did it take to prepare for the audit?" I asked. She said her staff spent about 30 minutes preparing for the auditors. Then she added that 15 minutes of that time was making sure the conference room and restrooms were tidy.

Yes, you read that right. Their audit prep time was half an hour.

Want to know how they do this every time? There's no real secret. This company's staff is focused on processes that properly support all necessary business tasks every day.

Security, compliance, documentation, and financial accountability are all built into its processes, not added on later. When there is a new problem that is not addressed with its processes, it doesn't simply address the problem; it learns from it and adjust its processes accordingly.

If a member of the staff encounters a new problem without a process to address it, then the employee brings it to management so a method can be developed to detect and/or address the problem next time.

The company's president told me new employees are either able to adapt to its problem-solving process and high-quality mind set, or they don't make it. In her words, "It's not personal; the process really works out who makes it here."

The president also realized early in the life of the business that a key to supporting processes was the appropriate technology. Instead of using off-the-shelf software, she invested in building custom software that matched her vision of compliant and efficient processes.

Was custom software expensive? Not over time. In fact, the company can now offer significantly more services than its competitors with half of the number of employees. Because the company's software was built with the end in mind, the technology makes audits a breeze, with all necessary data immediately available.

Unlike many organizations, this company never has to really do anything to get ready for an audit. The planning on appropriate and necessary processes, plus the professional discipline to follow the processes, makes them ready for an audit every day.

For this company, audits are not the test of completion and accuracy. It holds itself to that standard every day, through processes and culture. It is a system any organization can build and maintain. All it takes is forethought, adaptability, and discipline.

Glenn S. Phillips loves the company president he just wrote about. He is the president of Forte' Incorporated where he works with business leaders who want to leverage technology and understand the often hidden risks within. Glenn is the author of the book Nerd-to-English and you can find him on twitter at @NerdToEnglish. Glenn works with business leaders who want to leverage technology and understand the often hidden risks awaiting them. The Founder and Sr. Consultant of Forte' Incorporated, Glenn and his team work with business leaders to support growth, increase profits, and address ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Considering how prevalent third-party attacks are, we need to ask hard questions about how partners and suppliers are safeguarding systems and data.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-5427
Published: 2015-03-29
Johnson Controls Metasys 4.1 through 6.5, as used in Application and Data Server (ADS), Extended Application and Data Server (aka ADX), LonWorks Control Server 85 LCS8520, Network Automation Engine (NAE) 55xx-x, Network Integration Engine (NIE) 5xxx-x, and NxE8500, allows remote attackers to read pa...

CVE-2014-5428
Published: 2015-03-29
Unrestricted file upload vulnerability in unspecified web services in Johnson Controls Metasys 4.1 through 6.5, as used in Application and Data Server (ADS), Extended Application and Data Server (aka ADX), LonWorks Control Server 85 LCS8520, Network Automation Engine (NAE) 55xx-x, Network Integratio...

CVE-2014-9205
Published: 2015-03-29
Stack-based buffer overflow in the PmBase64Decode function in an unspecified demonstration application in MICROSYS PROMOTIC stable before 8.2.19 and PROMOTIC development before 8.3.2 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by providing a large amount of data.

CVE-2015-0528
Published: 2015-03-29
The RPC daemon in EMC Isilon OneFS 6.5.x and 7.0.x before 7.0.2.13, 7.1.0 before 7.1.0.6, 7.1.1 before 7.1.1.2, and 7.2.0 before 7.2.0.1 allows local users to gain privileges by leveraging an ability to modify system files.

CVE-2015-0996
Published: 2015-03-29
Schneider Electric InduSoft Web Studio before 7.1.3.4 SP3 Patch 4 and InTouch Machine Edition 2014 before 7.1.3.4 SP3 Patch 4 rely on a hardcoded cleartext password to control read access to Project files and Project Configuration files, which makes it easier for local users to obtain sensitive info...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Good hackers--aka security researchers--are worried about the possible legal and professional ramifications of President Obama's new proposed crackdown on cyber criminals.