Policy Compliance means conforming to a rules course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organization or individual. Regulatory compliance describes the goal that organizations aspire to achieve in their efforts to ensure that they are aware of and take steps to comply with relevant laws, policies, and regulations. Due to the increasing number of regulations and need for operational transparency, organizations are increasingly adopting the use of consolidated and harmonized sets of compliance controls. This approach is used to ensure that all necessary governance requirements can be met without the unnecessary duplication of effort and activity from resources.
In IT, the risk policy is a top-level document which specifies what standards the organization will observe in order to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity and availability of its IT systems and data. The Risk Policy will often include additional sections addressing security and any obligations to industry and regulatory mandates like Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and similar.
Policies are operationalized by implementing controls which support policy standards. There are two primary types of controls: technical and procedural. Procedural controls are “managerial” or “operational” in nature. They define how people are to perform a task or job function. For example an IT manager will retain a full system backup for seven years. On the other hand, technical control are directly implemented on IT systems using supported configuration options. For example, a server shall be configured to require a logon password. Once technical controls are in place, the challenge becomes to keep them in place. This leads us to the topic of compliance.
Policy compliance seeks to verify that all controls, as defined by policy, are:
2) remain operational as implemented.
As such, policy compliance can be thought of as a “continuous process” – one of implementation, monitoring and verification. While it’s common to think that compliance is something an auditor does, in reality IT operations is responsible. An auditor only provides independent verification that policy objectives are being met.
As mentioned earlier, technical controls are implemented as configuration options. And more specifically, network controls are implemented as configuration options in network routers, switches and similar devices. So the big reveal here is that perhaps the best risk and policy management tool in your toolbox is your Network Configuration and Change Management (NCCM) software. By definition, NCCM software manages configuration changes and protects configurations and devices from unwanted changes.
Since the network forms the core foundation for IT services, and the quality of network service is defined by the configuration of its constituent routers, switches, controllers, access control devices and more, then it makes sense to carefully manage and monitor these configurations. This is why NCCM plays such a critical role in IT operations and risk management.
Feel free to contact E-SPIN for the solution for your system and operation to reduce risk of your businesses and organization. We can secure and protect your businesses with our various software security technology.