Nearly every industry doing business in the world has some organization providing best practice processes, procedures and standards. Information Technology is no different from those.
The most popular frameworks in use today, are COBIT, ISO and ITIL. While each of these was initially established for certain regions of the globe, each one has become an international standard world wide. Many corporations who conduct business around the world, utilize all three methods in some fashion.
It’s worth getting to know them all and what they provide or offer to your business and your IT services division.
Everyone has had an experience where an animal has crossed our path in the physical world and we wondered if it means something. How many times have you asked, or been asked, wonder what that wolf, deer, squirrel is trying to tell me?
Nearly all Shamanistic societies believe animals in the physical and spiritual worlds come to us for our own good to deliver messages.
When animals cross our path in the physical world they maybe bringing a warning or a message as guidance. They’re a “here in the now” kind of message that impacts our physical world.
But depending on the animal, they can cross their influence of meaning between the physical and spiritual worlds. Perhaps we’re not being as perceptive as we should be or we maybe we need to pay attention to a message from spirit that affects our physical choices. Listening to our gut feelings is an important part of living in balance and nature is all about balance. Continue reading →
As I mentioned in the RSCA Methodology overview, there are many tools on the market to help you perform tracking and reporting for regulatory compliance. I strongly suggest you invest in one of these tools and share it with your Internal Audit, SOx Audit and IT Compliance organizations. Having a single source for your tracking and reporting needs saves a great deal of time, and will cut down on the miscommunications between these organizations.
Most audit software companies have tools that will track all these data types and more. They also provide multi-user authenticated signon where project leaders and managers who own actions plans can update their the status of their assigned remediation items directly.
If however, your organization simply cannot afford these tools, you can perform the tracking and reporting through a manual process using MS Excel spreadsheets. If that’s the method you chose, there are specific data types to keep track of. Continue reading →
The Risk, Security & Compliance Assessment (RSCA) approach is used to evaluate the current state of security and compliance activities for SOx remediation initiatives. RSCA is a three-step methodology that covers Planning and Data Collection, Risk and Security Assessment, and Tracking and Reporting.
Each organization has their own Audit process to define the scope of an audit, the methodology for implementing that audit and how findings are reported. When findings fall into the realm of GRC, they should be handed off to a RSCA team for tracking and oversight for remediation.
Internal Audit, SOx Oversight, IT Organizations, Process Owners and external Assessment Agency
RSCA Tracking and Reporting
When a finding has been identified as a risk to the company, it needs to be tracked to resolution. But that’s not all, it should also be packaged in a final report back to Audit for review and closure. Continue reading →
The RSCA approach is used to evaluate the current state of Security and Compliance activities for SOx remediation within a business. RSCA is a three-step methodology designed to manage and provide oversight for business risk and compliance. But keep in mind that neither SOx nor RSCA are designed to eliminate all risk. They are designed to ensure risks are known and either corrected or accepted.
To that end, RSCA addresses your companies governance through:
Planning and Data Collection
Risk and Security Assessment
Tracking and Reporting
These steps have been implemented at many large corporations facing large remediation initiatives. But it’s a method that can be easily scaled to any size business. These steps help to ensure both your business and IT processes are being adhered to, identifies gaps or risks that need to be resolved, tracks those resolution efforts and provides a method of reporting through each chain of command necessary for Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) Assessments. Continue reading →
Segregation of Duties (SOD) is one of the biggest issues to hit IT organizations. Especially for those that have been in business for 40 years or more. Companies typically start out with open environments that relied on developers to implement new code straight into production. Many organizations have no change management or change control tools to help strengthen and secure their development, testing, implementation into production and subsequent maintenance changes and emergency fix processes.
Compliance initiatives have done away with the same ole procedures and now require organizations to maintain stronger and more restrictive control over their IT environments. Those that don’t make efforts for control, end up with significant deficiencies called out by their auditors. Continue reading →
A process narrative is a story or a guide to define what processes your group performs and how they perform them. It’s not a high level document written from 10,000 feet up. But it’s also not a detailed installation guide. It’s a story of what you do.
A well written narrative reduces the misunderstandings that verbal communications can create when talking to auditors, coordinating backup/recovery tasks with other departments and even reference documents for your staff during emergencies when stress levels are high.
Written processes also help your team document little details that seem normal and common place to you, because you do the job. But when you’re talking about them and explaining them to someone else, you might leave those details out. It’s just part of what you do, you don’t think about it, you simply do it. But others may need to know those little things to fill in the gaps to their processes. Continue reading →
An Attestation is managements internal assessment and compliance with regulatory compliance certifications. These letters are also known as Compliance Certifications, GRC Agreements and the list goes on.
Typically only the CEO and CFO are required by law to sign an attestation. But more and more corporations are including the CIO in that requirement. Primarily because IT now plays such a critical role in ensuring the corporations data is secured and properly managed to retain reliable accounting systems. Continue reading →
All IT organizations need to implement some type of Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) in their environment. No matter how big or small your organization might be, if your company has 1 password for something, you need oversight.
Oversight of risk has long been a best practice for any company that wants to remain competitive. A controlled environment provides an organization with stream lined processes, reusable procedures, better functioning systems, and typically under budget of expected costs.
This isn’t just some thing to do in order to meet federal, state or industry regulations. It’s about doing being a reliable business partner, a reputable company and an organization that can be trusted with integrity. All the things any size business needs to get an advantage in their local market. Continue reading →
Governance, Risk Management & Compliance (GRC) is an overall label for companies to implement best practices in their business and IT process to protect consumers and financial markets.
The concept began in the mid-to-late 1990s when several large publicly traded companies were found to have implemented shady practices to defraud customers, falsely report earnings and evade Federal Regulations.
As a result U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and U.S. Representative Michael G. Oxley (R-OH) sponsored a bill known as the ‘Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act’ (in the Senate) and the ‘Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act’ (in the House). The bill has become affectionately known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or simply SOx and was signed into law in 2002. Continue reading →