Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

5/8/2012
09:13 AM
50%
50%

Screw Compliance, We're Trying to Survive

In tough times, compliance efforts may seem optional

I have a healthcare-related client for which we develop custom software and database programs. It is a relatively small company, but it has a growing national presence. Nice people.

The CEO is what I consider an accidental entrepreneur. She has a great work ethic, knows her industry, and has innovative services of great value to her clients. But she never prepared to run and grow a business. As with many leaders of small and midsize businesses, knowing how to do something can be very different from knowing how to run a business that does that thing.

As my team worked on software projects, we noticed a number of clear HIPAA compliance issues unrelated to our work. I suggested to the CEO that we could provide a HIPAA assessment and action plan to address issues in a cost-effective manner. She admitted the company had issues it needed to address, but she sighed and said she had to focus all of her resources on revenue generation. She wanted to address these issues, but said they would simply have to wait.

As an entrepreneur and investor in start-up companies, I get it: starting and growing a business can be a bit sloppy at times. I even consider this to be normal. Young companies often have too few staff doing too many different jobs. Too little is documented, and deferring expenses can be critical just to survive.

So what is such a struggling or growing company to do? I believe it starts with leadership. A business culture of proper, measured risk management leads to the foundation successful businesses can build on. Compliance cannot be treated as an add-on to work. It must be a normal fact of life, addressed in each new process and with each new employee. And it must be continually supported and reinforced.

This approach does not have to be expensive. In fact, when thoughtful leaders build their companies with a focus on the future, they ingrain their work processes and work culture with the tools that inherently reduce risk and naturally build compliant systems. In the long run, this is less expensive, too.

Even businesses (or departments) without such a foundation can implement a plan that methodically builds a new foundation. But it takes discipline, focus, and leadership. That leadership ideally comes from the CEO or COO, but it can also come from thoughtful leaders within departments who add business value through culture and execution.

Times are tough for many business organizations. But I contend that by using compliance requirements as a guide, even gradually, many businesses can become stronger and more valuable without breaking the bank (or themselves).

Glenn S. Phillips, the president of Forte' Incorporated, works with business leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. He is the author of the book Nerd-to-English and you can find him on twitter at @NerdToEnglish.

Glenn works with business leaders who want to leverage technology and understand the often hidden risks awaiting them. The Founder and Sr. Consultant of Forte' Incorporated, Glenn and his team work with business leaders to support growth, increase profits, and address ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DWEBER460
50%
50%
DWEBER460,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/14/2012 | 7:21:37 PM
re: Screw Compliance, We're Trying to Survive
Your comments are spot on. Compliance definitely-begins with good leadership who encourage top of mind awareness. Also, when instituted properly, compliance should be-a small part of the day to day efforts of the organization and not a major undertaking when the epiphany occurs.- Unfortunately the latter is most often the case however. Xeneros proivides license and credential tracking services for the insurance and healthcare industries and our most successful service (not part of the original business)-is our compliance audit becuase so many companies have not taken the time to implement good license management practices.-
Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
Unreasonable Security Best Practices vs. Good Risk Management
Jack Freund, Director, Risk Science at RiskLens,  11/13/2019
6 Small-Business Password Managers
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  11/8/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-11931
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
A stack-based buffer overflow could be triggered in WhatsApp by sending a specially crafted MP4 file to a WhatsApp user. The issue was present in parsing the elementary stream metadata of an MP4 file and could result in a DoS or RCE. This affects Android versions prior to 2.19.274, iOS versions prio...
CVE-2019-18980
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
On Signify Philips Taolight Smart Wi-Fi Wiz Connected LED Bulb 9290022656 devices, an unprotected API lets remote users control the bulb's operation. Anyone can turn the bulb on or off, or change its color or brightness remotely. There is no authentication or encryption to use the control API. The o...
CVE-2019-17391
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
An issue was discovered in the Espressif ESP32 mask ROM code 2016-06-08 0 through 2. Lack of anti-glitch mitigations in the first stage bootloader of the ESP32 chip allows an attacker (with physical access to the device) to read the contents of read-protected eFuses, such as flash encryption and sec...
CVE-2019-18651
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
A cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in 3xLogic Infinias Access Control through 6.6.9586.0 allows remote attackers to execute malicious and unauthorized actions (e.g., delete application users) by sending a crafted HTML document to a user that the website trusts. The user needs to have ...
CVE-2019-18978
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
An issue was discovered in the rack-cors (aka Rack CORS Middleware) gem before 1.0.4 for Ruby. It allows ../ directory traversal to access private resources because resource matching does not ensure that pathnames are in a canonical format.