Compliance vs. Security: Which Should Lead Corporate Governance?

by Mark McClain for E-Commerce Times, August 31st, 2010.

Too often companies are so focused on following the letter of the law to pass the internal and external audits mandated by federal regulations that they lose sight of the original intents of the mandates themselves. Identity governance is an emerging category within identity management that addresses the business and IT dimensions of risk management by taking a governance-based approach to identity management.

As companies battered by the recession have begun emerging from their cautionary stances, many are re-evaluating their IT security budgets and looking to solve the age-old question: “What should drive our strategy, security or compliance?” Now is the perfect time for companies to consider the right approach to an important component of their IT security strategy — identity management — with the goal of meeting both security and compliance objectives, while streamlining and automating processes to save time, money and resources.

Across industries worldwide, government regulations have evolved rapidly to address transparency, privacy and consumer data protection. Based on this expanding level of oversight, it is apparent that most regulatory bodies believe the typical large enterprise, left to its own devices, will not invest adequately to protect privacy, prevent fraud or effectively manage risk. This was certainly the case with many well-known regulatory efforts, including Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, PCI, NERC CIP and Basel II. The foundational belief was that government, or in some cases industry, must mandate action in order to motivate the right behavior from companies. (continue reading… )

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