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

6/7/2012
10:57 AM
50%
50%

The Truth Is Not Believable

Too many businesses don’t want to know about their compliance problems

If you are an IT professional, then you’ve likely faced battles to get necessary technical projects approved and funded. Compliance-related projects are frequently even harder to get approved because they may often be seen by management as delayable expenses with little to no return. Times are tough, money is tight, and compliance projects can wait until another day.

If you are a nontechnical business leader, then I think you might admit that all of these tech projects seem like never-ending, expensive magic -- maybe genuinely necessary magic for the business, but magic nonetheless that involves a good deal of uncertainty: Which projects are the most urgent? Are their cost estimates reliable? Oh, and that eternal question: Surely, you can find an adequate answer for less money, right?

At first glance, compliance with rules, regulations, and laws seems cumbersome, especially to newer organizations accustomed to growing quickly in today’s Web-driven economy. Anything that adds time, cost, and distraction is undesirable.

I was in a meeting recently with Carolyn Campbell, an officer for Human Resource Management, and she made a very interesting observation. She said her firm rarely loses compliance projects to another firm, but instead to inaction. Clients simply don’t do anything to address their problems, which begin with refusing to acknowledge the possibility of problems.

In other words, these companies simply keep not doing right whatever they were already not doing right and continue doing wrong whatever they were doing wrong before. In small and midsize businesses, this typically means having the HR duties (and related compliance issues) managed by an unprepared CFO or staff member.

By not hiring Carolyn or someone else who can really help them, these companies intentionally choose to be ignorant of their HR compliance risks, sometimes finding a false confidence in not knowing where the liabilities are and what action they will require. Ignorance apparently remains blissful for some. For these business leaders, as my friend Bill Thomas often says, “The truth is not believable.”

We find exactly the same issue with companies that have technical-related compliance programs. “How we’ve always done it” often trumps proper assessments and resolution action.

There can also be the challenge of, “We know we have issues, but we’ll deal with them when we have more time and money.” Occasionally, organizations follow through on this plan. More often, even when there is more money, there is rarely ever more time. And as a staff develops operational habits, they inherently develop procedural and security issues, then sometimes become a huge obstacle in overcoming these compliance problems.

Too many professionals, both technical and nontechnical, ignore compliance issues. They choose not to believe the truth, sometimes taking care to keep the truth as far away as possible. To seek and engage any truth, including the truth of compliance and security issues, can require painful steps. It takes a kind of courage not every businessperson has.

Glenn S. Phillips, the president of Forte' Incorporated, works with business leaders who want to leverage technology and address often hidden 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

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-9079
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
FusionSphere OpenStack 8.0.0 have a protection mechanism failure vulnerability. The product incorrectly uses a protection mechanism. An attacker has to find a way to exploit the vulnerability to conduct directed attacks against the affected product.
CVE-2020-16275
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Credential Manager component in SAINT Security Suite 8.0 through 9.8.20 could allow arbitrary script to run in the context of a logged-in user when the user clicks on a specially crafted link.
CVE-2020-16276
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
An SQL injection vulnerability in the Assets component of SAINT Security Suite 8.0 through 9.8.20 allows a remote, authenticated attacker to gain unauthorized access to the database.
CVE-2020-16277
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
An SQL injection vulnerability in the Analytics component of SAINT Security Suite 8.0 through 9.8.20 allows a remote, authenticated attacker to gain unauthorized access to the database.
CVE-2020-16278
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Permissions component in SAINT Security Suite 8.0 through 9.8.20 could allow arbitrary script to run in the context of a logged-in user when the user clicks on a specially crafted link.