Data Compliance — Do You Really Have What It Takes?

Compliance Automation Is Essential – and Helps Keep You Sane

It’s summertime, and the barbecues are firing up. And if you’ve ever been brought before an auditor, you can relate to feeling the heat as you’re grilled. You need to be prepared to answer questions about roles and responsibilities in your organization, such as: Do you have documentation about who needs to do what? Do you have well-defined roles, responsibilities and processes for data security operations, auditing and managing compliance and policy mandates? Do you have evidence that you are following these processes and procedures?

If you don’t have any tools in place to support compliance activities, you may be asking, “How can I cost-effectively manage security and compliance for my organization when I’m faced with ever-growing costs for skilled resources?”

Likewise, if you are using a first-generation database monitoring tool to support your compliance requirements, you might be wondering “How can I get this solution to scale and support the level of reporting that I really need to be successful?”

The answer to both questions is simple.

Read the white paper: Three guiding principles to improve data security and compliance

Automated Compliance Streamlines Processes

Automated compliance reporting is essential to ensure reviews get done on time by the right people and are readily available for auditing. Successful data compliance requires three things:

  • Regular reporting reviews and signoffs to monitor who has completed their reviews;
  • Reporting reviews and signoffs to track that remediation has been completed;
  • A centralized repository to store those signoffs for when the auditors come knocking.

Workflow automation is essential to successfully support compliance. Security operations should have a well-defined workflow process for managing security, compliance and audit results. Let’s take the following as an example:

The process of data compliance.
Figure 1: Compliance workflow crosses role boundaries.

The auditing process requires proper signoff from the database administrators (DBAs) after remediating vulnerabilities, from the information security professionals after reviewing and from auditors or managers after reviewing. The compliance workflow automation minimizes any delays in reviews or remediation, which reduces security operations cost and, most importantly, helps secure your data environment.

Securing Data With Compliant Behavior

First-generation database monitoring tools push compliance reporting to a preset list of people, who then must execute the workflow themselves. In this scenario, it’s difficult to deliver relevant reports to appropriate parties, and there’s no audit trail to provide proof that policies are being followed. With modern data protection tools, however, you can set up a complete, automated compliance workflow that encompasses everything from understanding vulnerabilities, remediation, approval and signoff to full audit readiness and more.

By relying on an audit-friendly workflow automation that is a closed-loop system, you have complete control, while meeting compliance regiments and getting the right reports to the right people at the right time It’s a common pitfall to think you can successfully support compliance requirements either manually or by using tools with limited capabilities, but you don’t have to put up with the time or expense of this struggle.

To learn more about securing your most valuable assets and sensitive data, view the on-demand webinar “It’s 2AM: Do You Know Who’s Accessing Your Sensitive Data?

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Vikalp Paliwal

Product Manager, IBM Security – Guardium

Vikalp Paliwal is Product Manager for Guardium. In prior roles, Vikalp held a variety of positions in Software Product Management & Business Strategy supporting data management, information governance, and big data solutions at IBM.