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Security In Context

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Walk On The Wild Side … Of a Failed Audit

Post by Peter McCalister March 7, 2011

I couldn’t resist one last homage to classic rock.  This time Lou Reed sings “everybody had to pay and pay; a hustle here and a hustle there…hey babe, take a walk on the wild side” while we chat about the right, wrong and wild side of the dreaded audit.

  • The Right Side: “You should have seem him go go go” - If you start by leveraging the resources available at SANS and ISACA then you will be able to identity specific regulations pertinent to your audit requirements and what is necessary to ensure passing.
  • The Wrong Side: “Everybody had to pay and pay” - Ignorance is not an effective defense of against a failed audit.  Failed audits are becoming much more common place as technology facilitates better review of identity and access entitlements as well as user and administrator activities.
  • The Wild Side: “A hustle here and a hustle there”  – Now we enter the danger zone.  Implementing partial solutions or still relying on “trusted users/administrators” can deliver mixed results when the auditors do their thing.  Decisions like using open source versus licensed software or if logging consititutes protection can have dramatic difference from one auditor to the next.

Well, it is Friday, so I will take a little early license and jump into my convertible for the final commute of the week…”hey babe, [DON'T] take a walk on the wild side.”

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