Perimeter
5/8/2012
09:13 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Screw Compliance, We're Trying to Survive

In tough times, compliance efforts may seem optional

I have a healthcare-related client for which we develop custom software and database programs. It is a relatively small company, but it has a growing national presence. Nice people.

The CEO is what I consider an accidental entrepreneur. She has a great work ethic, knows her industry, and has innovative services of great value to her clients. But she never prepared to run and grow a business. As with many leaders of small and midsize businesses, knowing how to do something can be very different from knowing how to run a business that does that thing.

As my team worked on software projects, we noticed a number of clear HIPAA compliance issues unrelated to our work. I suggested to the CEO that we could provide a HIPAA assessment and action plan to address issues in a cost-effective manner. She admitted the company had issues it needed to address, but she sighed and said she had to focus all of her resources on revenue generation. She wanted to address these issues, but said they would simply have to wait.

As an entrepreneur and investor in start-up companies, I get it: starting and growing a business can be a bit sloppy at times. I even consider this to be normal. Young companies often have too few staff doing too many different jobs. Too little is documented, and deferring expenses can be critical just to survive.

So what is such a struggling or growing company to do? I believe it starts with leadership. A business culture of proper, measured risk management leads to the foundation successful businesses can build on. Compliance cannot be treated as an add-on to work. It must be a normal fact of life, addressed in each new process and with each new employee. And it must be continually supported and reinforced.

This approach does not have to be expensive. In fact, when thoughtful leaders build their companies with a focus on the future, they ingrain their work processes and work culture with the tools that inherently reduce risk and naturally build compliant systems. In the long run, this is less expensive, too.

Even businesses (or departments) without such a foundation can implement a plan that methodically builds a new foundation. But it takes discipline, focus, and leadership. That leadership ideally comes from the CEO or COO, but it can also come from thoughtful leaders within departments who add business value through culture and execution.

Times are tough for many business organizations. But I contend that by using compliance requirements as a guide, even gradually, many businesses can become stronger and more valuable without breaking the bank (or themselves).

Glenn S. Phillips, the president of Forte' Incorporated, works with business leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. He 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
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DWEBER460
50%
50%
DWEBER460,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/14/2012 | 7:21:37 PM
re: Screw Compliance, We're Trying to Survive
Your comments are spot on. Compliance definitely-ábegins with good leadership who encourage top of mind awareness. Also, when instituted properly, compliance should be-áa small part of the day to day efforts of the organization and not a major undertaking when the epiphany occurs.-á Unfortunately the latter is most often the case however. Xeneros proivides license and credential tracking services for the insurance and healthcare industries and our most successful service (not part of the original business)-áis our compliance audit becuase so many companies have not taken the time to implement good license management practices.-á
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
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-2014-0993
Published: 2014-09-15
Buffer overflow in the Vcl.Graphics.TPicture.Bitmap implementation in the Visual Component Library (VCL) in Embarcadero Delphi XE6 20.0.15596.9843 and C++ Builder XE6 20.0.15596.9843 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted BMP file.

CVE-2014-2375
Published: 2014-09-15
Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files, and obtain sensitive information or cause a denial of service (disk consumption), via the CSV export feature.

CVE-2014-2376
Published: 2014-09-15
SQL injection vulnerability in Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-2377
Published: 2014-09-15
Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to discover full pathnames via an application tag.

CVE-2014-3077
Published: 2014-09-15
IBM SONAS and System Storage Storwize V7000 Unified (aka V7000U) 1.3.x and 1.4.x before 1.4.3.4 store the chkauth password in the audit log, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading this log file.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
CISO Insider: An Interview with James Christiansen, Vice President, Information Risk Management, Office of the CISO, Accuvant