Achieving compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements remains a chief chore for all publicly traded companies—and a chief budget driver for IT compliance and security initiatives. Yet SOX’s computer security requirements remain vague, and auditors’ evaluations continue to be subjective.
IT managers often think of SOX as a technology mandate, but it is primarily an accounting and financial reporting mandate. Nowhere in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act will you see a reference to encryption, network security, password complexity or logging capabilities. Indeed, a SOX compliance effort should be driven by the business side, with IT playing the role of key facilitator.
So how do you approach compliance purely from an IT perspective? To pass a SOX audit, your company must implement security best practices for any system that touches anything and everything related to financial reporting and accounting systems. To achieve that goal, there are several elements you must put in place.