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Governance, Risk, and Compliance- Cogs of Security Clock

Posted October 5, 2011    Peter McCalister

Enterprise security, as I’m sure all of you are aware of, is complex. There are a lot of differentfacets and initiatives, and they all fit together in a very intricate and complicated way. The image of a clock, with all those little gears moving together, is how I picture a healthy security program in any given organization. But to think of security objectives like cogs in a clock begs the question of where is the IT parallel? What cogs are crucial to making the clock tick and which ones aren’t? I submit that the governance, security, and compliance mechanisms are the most significant. With these cogs, you set the pattern for security in your enterprise.

Governance is crucial to the plan of your IT infrastructure. We’ve talked about the role of a CSO or IT manager before- it’s these roles that keep the cogs turning in your IT clock. Governance makes sure that your policies are cohesive and that appropriate management is taking place. Without it, whatever security endeavors you have in place will fail.

Risk is another vital element in your security structure. Monitoring the dangers associated with privileged identities is a huge part of why this cog is so important. The management of identities (i.e. – who has access to what information) is key in preventing insider threat and the misuse of privilege. Risk must be kept at a minimum in order for your security system to continue to operate like clockwork (pun intended).

Compliance, the last of the three major mechanisms in your IT organization, is critical to the prosperity of your security plan. The government has mandated several regulations in the defense of data and the protection of information. Following these mandates, as well as passing required security audits, is what drives compliance within organizations.

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