Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Steven Lamb, Dan Potter

Related Topics: Cloud Security

Cloud Security: Article

The Rise of the Managed Compliance Provider

Today, security is more complex than simply deploying firewalls and virus protection

You may think IT compliance is nothing more than big government sticking its nose into everyone’s business. Compliance equals Big Brother. OK, so there is some truth in that government compliance regulations are a little over the top, and perhaps there are just too many of them that functionally do the same thing. It’s not just about government regulations — it’s also about non-government standards, such as PCI, that need to be addressed.

Look at SOX, FISMA, FERPA, HIPAA and the brothers FERC and NERC. Aren’t they basically the same rules? Can’t we have just one large compliance regulation with small amendments for each specific industry? That would be easier, but since various politicians have stakes in their own versions, I don’t think we will see unification in the short term. That is one reason why regulators have to levy heavy fines and other punitive measures to force organizations to follow their rules.
However, if we look at compliance in a slightly different light, perhaps complying with these regulations will be just a little less painful.
 
Today, security is more complex than simply deploying firewalls and virus protection. For a company to be secure, it also has to look at security from an overall company risk perspective. This includes cybercrime and physical security as well as regulatory risks and profit risks around the costs versus the gains of implementing security measures.
In order to achieve complete security, your strategy needs to include multiple layers across three functional areas:
 
1) The protection of assets and data. This is the traditional implementation of firewalls, IDS systems, vulnerability protection, virus protection, penetration testing and many other standard security practices. Of course this is a very expensive proposition, so organizations must make technology strategy decisions based on budget and their type of business.
 
2) Process and procedures to adequately maintain security technology. You need to have methods and rules on how and when you update security components such as firewall policies, IOS, virus protection, log-in polices, and active directory policies. All of these need to be reviewed and updated frequently.
 
3) Defining and enforcing policies. It is one thing to have a policy on updating your virus definitions, but if these policies are not followed, then the first two areas cited above are worthless.
 
Many companies spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on firewalls, biometric devices, IDS/IPS, and anomaly detection but fail to deploy basic compliance-management systems. This places businesses at risk because it is very easy for someone to go into a device on the computer network, make changes that do not follow corporate security guidelines, and then open a hole in your defenses. An effective, automated compliance system continually validates that the rules of all devices follow correct security procedures.
 
Another aspect to consider is that compliance is often mandated by regulatory decrees, such as SOX, HIPAA, FISMA, GLBA and many others—or by industry requirements such as PCI and ISO. Non-compliance can result in significant fines and, in some cases, criminal prosecution. But even if compliance is not mandated, it is common sense to create policies and procedures and to verify they are being followed.
 
While risk management and mitigation serve as key drivers, incorporating business objectives and policies is an important part of the desired objective and is ultimately the end game. This is where compliance comes into the picture. Compliance proves the organization has the correct policies in place, and that the policies are being followed.
Security, compliance and risk assessment are the processes, but in the past, they have been 100 percent manual processes, time consuming, and prone to error. As a result, there is now an emerging trend to outsource the mechanics of monitoring the validation process to a local service provider, also called a Managed Compliance Provider or MCP.
 
MCPs perform the grunt work in tracking compliance processes through a managed service. Effective MCP solutions provide clients with near real-time dashboards and reports on their compliance status while also eliminating or significantly reducing error-prone, manual processes. Some MCPs even have the ability to certify if clients are within compliance.  
 
Security does not imply compliance, and compliance does not beget security. There must be a unification of both programs, which is what compliance is all about. Compliance also should not be viewed as some government oversight, but instead a common-sense approach to protecting the assets and value of your business.

More Stories By Jim Hare

Jim Hare is channel chief and VP of worldwide sales for eGestalt Technologies, a cloud-computing provider of IT-GRC applications for enterprises, including small to mid-size enterprises. Based in Santa Clara, CA, eGestalt has created “The Managed Compliance Provider Cookbook,” which is available to all Managed Compliance Provider (MCP) partners. The cookbook is a guide for service providers and MSPs looking to enter the lucrative field of compliance services.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, discussed how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved efficienc...
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud. Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extre...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., and Logan Best, Infrastructure & Network Engineer at Webair, focused on real world deployments of DDoS mitigation strategies in every layer of the network. He gave an overview of methods to prevent these attacks and best practices on how to provide protection in complex cloud platforms. He also outlined what we have found in our experience managing and running thousands of Linux and Unix ...
Cloud analytics is dramatically altering business intelligence. Some businesses will capitalize on these promising new technologies and gain key insights that’ll help them gain competitive advantage. And others won’t. Whether you’re a business leader, an IT manager, or an analyst, we want to help you and the people you need to influence with a free copy of “Cloud Analytics for Dummies,” the essential guide to this explosive new space for business intelligence.
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Choosing the right cloud for your workloads is a balancing act that can cost your organization time, money and aggravation - unless you get it right the first time. Economics, speed, performance, accessibility, administrative needs and security all play a vital role in dictating your approach to the cloud. Without knowing the right questions to ask, you could wind up paying for capacity you'll never need or underestimating the resources required to run your applications.
Enterprise networks are complex. Moreover, they were designed and deployed to meet a specific set of business requirements at a specific point in time. But, the adoption of cloud services, new business applications and intensifying security policies, among other factors, require IT organizations to continuously deploy configuration changes. Therefore, enterprises are looking for better ways to automate the management of their networks while still leveraging existing capabilities, optimizing perf...
"Software-defined storage is a big problem in this industry because so many people have different definitions as they see fit to use it," stated Peter McCallum, VP of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...