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

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...
Windows 10 Migration: Getting It Right
Kevin Alexandra, Principal Solutions Engineer at BeyondTrust,  5/15/2019
Artist Uses Malware in Installation
Dark Reading Staff 5/17/2019
Baltimore Ransomware Attack Takes Strange Twist
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  5/14/2019
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
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
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12198
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-20
In GoHttp through 2017-07-25, there is a stack-based buffer over-read via a long User-Agent header.
CVE-2019-12185
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-20
eLabFTW 1.8.5 is vulnerable to arbitrary file uploads via the /app/controllers/EntityController.php component. This may result in remote command execution. An attacker can use a user account to fully compromise the system using a POST request. This will allow for PHP files to be written to the web r...
CVE-2019-12184
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-19
There is XSS in browser/components/MarkdownPreview.js in BoostIO Boostnote 0.11.15 via a label named flowchart, sequence, gallery, or chart, as demonstrated by a crafted SRC attribute of an IFRAME element, a different vulnerability than CVE-2019-12136.
CVE-2019-12173
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-18
MacDown 0.7.1 (870) allows remote code execution via a file:\\\ URI, with a .app pathname, in the HREF attribute of an A element. This is different from CVE-2019-12138.
CVE-2019-12172
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-17
Typora 0.9.9.21.1 (1913) allows arbitrary code execution via a modified file: URL syntax in the HREF attribute of an AREA element, as demonstrated by file:\\\ on macOS or Linux, or file://C| on Windows. This is different from CVE-2019-12137.