An Attestation is management’s 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.
Many CIOs become very uncomfortable in signing a corporate level attestation for their organization. How does the CIO know for sure that his direct staff is properly overseeing the IT components they manage? And how do those senior IT executives know that their directors and managers are giving proper attention and accountability to the processes they manage?
Because of this, many IT organizations are implementing an IT management wide Attestation to their compliance standards. From the lowest manager up, these attestations define the responsibility of each manager to adhere to corporate standards and compliance regulations. Each one roles up into a package for the next level manager to review and certify by signing their own attestation. Until finally, all of IT’s management has attested to the oversight of controls. And the CIO now feels like his/her back is covered.
See my IT Governance section for more information about IT Audit, and Governance, Risk Management & Compliance (GRC) and Risk, Security & Compliance Assessments (RSCA).