Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

5/8/2012
09:13 AM
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-begins with good leadership who encourage top of mind awareness. Also, when instituted properly, compliance should be-a small part of the day to day efforts of the organization and not a major undertaking when the epiphany occurs.- 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)-is our compliance audit becuase so many companies have not taken the time to implement good license management practices.-
Florida Town Pays $600K to Ransomware Operators
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/20/2019
Pledges to Not Pay Ransomware Hit Reality
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  6/21/2019
AWS CISO Talks Risk Reduction, Development, Recruitment
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/25/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12888
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-26
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: CVE-2019-12887. Reason: This candidate is a reservation duplicate of CVE-2019-12887. Notes: All CVE users should reference CVE-2019-12887 instead of this candidate. All references and descriptions in this candidate have been removed to preve...
CVE-2019-12280
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
PC-Doctor Toolbox before 7.3 has an Uncontrolled Search Path Element.
CVE-2019-3961
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
Nessus versions 8.4.0 and earlier were found to contain a reflected XSS vulnerability due to improper validation of user-supplied input. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could potentially exploit this vulnerability via a specially crafted request to execute arbitrary script code in a users browse...
CVE-2019-9836
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) on Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Platform Security Processor (PSP; aka AMD Secure Processor or AMD-SP) 0.17 build 11 and earlier has an insecure cryptographic implementation.
CVE-2019-6328
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
HP Support Assistant 8.7.50 and earlier allows a user to gain system privilege and allows unauthorized modification of directories or files. Note: A different vulnerability than CVE-2019-6329.