Compliance can be a ticking time bomb for many IT organizations. If leaders are not losing sleep—or maybe their job—over the possibility of failing an audit, they are exposing the business to severe risks. I’m not just talking about the substantial time and money typically required to remediate non-compliant assets. If non-compliant technology leads to data leaks, it could also mean millions of dollars in fines, lost revenue, and irreparable damage to the brand.
Of course, this is why IT leaders do, in fact, lose sleep over compliance. For many of them, complying with the full range of regulatory, commercial and organizational standards or policies is a monumental task. More likely than not, your organization’s compliance efforts rely on:
Complex and labour-intensive remediation processes
Time-consuming and error-prone data gathering from each IT silo
It’s largely manual, and it’s not pretty. The problem only gets bigger once your IT operations are expanding into the cloud.
Managing compliance across the entire IT infrastructure
Not every organization is like this, however. Some have invested in compliance management solutions that automate policies, prevent non-compliant changes from being made and get real-time reporting across servers, applications, network, storage and client devices. Here are two quick examples of some results:
One global technology manufacturer automated compliance on 800 servers and reduced the time required for compliance from 32 weeks to 2 days
A worldwide Internet portal provider that at one time was continually failing audits with just 3 percent compliance on network devices. By automating compliance audits and remediation, the company was able to enforce compliance across all devices and increase compliance to 100 percent.
The key to each of these success stories is that automating IT compliance management was a comprehensive system across the entire IT infrastructure. Relying on individual system management tools creates a patchwork of technology and the potential for gaps and blind spots.
4 steps to automating compliance and remediation
At HP, we have developed a four-step approach to automating compliance and remediation:
1. Define policies and audit—globally share compliance, security and best -practice policies for all infrastructure elements, and then track actions via digitally signed audit log
2. Get live policy updates—automate the download of rules, regulations, security vulnerability policies and industry-standard compliance policies as they change, such as SOX, HIPPA, PCI, CIS
3. Report accurately, currently and globally—arm auditors with the information they need to verify your compliance by providing them with federated compliance data that has been shared with your configuration management database (CMDB) and use out-of-the-box and ad hoc compliance reports tailored to appropriate regulations
4. Remediate with automated change management—coordinated workflows and handoffs across teams, departments and domains
IT compliance requirements aren’t going to evaporate any time soon. The surest way to stop losing sleep over the costs and risks of an audit is to get strategic with solutions that provide enforceable ongoing compliance, automated remediation across infrastructure and immediate and accurate reports.