Perimeter

6/1/2012
09:21 AM
50%
50%

Systems Are Not Compliant; Organizations Are Compliant

IT cannot make your organization compliant

Computer systems do not operate in a vacuum. They are neither isolated from people, disconnected from other computers, nor are they sealed off from the outside world. Rather, computer systems are tools your staff uses to run your organization. Companies are operated by people using their tools to perform tasks, create products, and provide services.

Car manufacturers and auto service departments cannot make you a good driver. Buying a high-tech kitchen will not make you a great chef, and buying a smart phone does not make you smarter. The car, oven, and phone are only tools. How well, or how poorly, you use these tools is determined by your willingness and attitude. It’s the same with the technology tools you use in your business.

“Compliance” is defined by the laws, regulations, and rules an organization meets, so compliance is more about how things are done, than which tools are used. Of course, compliance requires the appropriate technology tools, but none of them alone can make your company compliant.

When we discuss security and compliance assessments with potential new clients, usually the first thing they do is introduce us to the person in charge of IT. The problem is, the head of IT is rarely in charge of the business processes within the organization or the management of non-technical staff. These aspects of the business, however, are crucial to compliant operations.

IT must provide secure, usable systems. They must fine tune these tools to help an organization maintain appropriate privacy, risk management, accountability, and protection. The tools must be accessible in every way necessary for effective business operations.

Unfortunately, too many (including some in IT leadership) believe a common myth: that making the tools secure creates sufficient security and compliance. This myth is sometimes a result of misunderstanding compliance, and other times it is merely a convenient excuse for handing off work by management. To be candid, many embrace this myth to avoid dealing with the real issues. “Make our systems secure,” is an easy order for a busy leader to make, but extremely often, it is a flawed decision.

System security alone will never bring a company into compliance with applicable requirements. Employees must also operate in compliant ways, must follow secure processes, and have the discipline to avoid unsecure and non-compliant shortcuts.

Technical system security alone does not make an organization compliant with any law, regulation, or rules. It is only one element in an organization’s successful compliance program.

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
MROBINSON000
50%
50%
MROBINSON000,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/12/2012 | 12:15:32 PM
re: Systems Are Not Compliant; Organizations Are Compliant
Indeed, many IT people believe
that making the tools secure creates sufficient security and compliance. Security
training has to extend beyond a statement of policies to a new hire and the
annual training. That means everyone has to have a role, from management to
admin staff. You can find more details on this topic here: http://blog.securityinnovation...
More Than Half of Users Reuse Passwords
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  5/24/2018
Is Threat Intelligence Garbage?
Chris McDaniels, Chief Information Security Officer of Mosaic451,  5/23/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-11505
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-26
The Werewolf Online application 0.8.8 for Android allows attackers to discover the Firebase token by reading logcat output.
CVE-2018-6409
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-26
An issue was discovered in Appnitro MachForm before 4.2.3. The module in charge of serving stored files gets the path from the database. Modifying the name of the file to serve on the corresponding ap_form table leads to a path traversal vulnerability via the download.php q parameter.
CVE-2018-6410
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-26
An issue was discovered in Appnitro MachForm before 4.2.3. There is a download.php SQL injection via the q parameter.
CVE-2018-6411
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-26
An issue was discovered in Appnitro MachForm before 4.2.3. When the form is set to filter a blacklist, it automatically adds dangerous extensions to the filters. If the filter is set to a whitelist, the dangerous extensions can be bypassed through ap_form_elements SQL Injection.
CVE-2018-11500
PUBLISHED: 2018-05-26
An issue was discovered in PublicCMS V4.0.20180210. There is a CSRF vulnerability in "admin/sysUser/save.do?callbackType=closeCurrent&navTabId=sysUser/list" that can add an admin account.