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

6/7/2012
10:57 AM
50%
50%

The Truth Is Not Believable

Too many businesses don’t want to know about their compliance problems

If you are an IT professional, then you’ve likely faced battles to get necessary technical projects approved and funded. Compliance-related projects are frequently even harder to get approved because they may often be seen by management as delayable expenses with little to no return. Times are tough, money is tight, and compliance projects can wait until another day.

If you are a nontechnical business leader, then I think you might admit that all of these tech projects seem like never-ending, expensive magic -- maybe genuinely necessary magic for the business, but magic nonetheless that involves a good deal of uncertainty: Which projects are the most urgent? Are their cost estimates reliable? Oh, and that eternal question: Surely, you can find an adequate answer for less money, right?

At first glance, compliance with rules, regulations, and laws seems cumbersome, especially to newer organizations accustomed to growing quickly in today’s Web-driven economy. Anything that adds time, cost, and distraction is undesirable.

I was in a meeting recently with Carolyn Campbell, an officer for Human Resource Management, and she made a very interesting observation. She said her firm rarely loses compliance projects to another firm, but instead to inaction. Clients simply don’t do anything to address their problems, which begin with refusing to acknowledge the possibility of problems.

In other words, these companies simply keep not doing right whatever they were already not doing right and continue doing wrong whatever they were doing wrong before. In small and midsize businesses, this typically means having the HR duties (and related compliance issues) managed by an unprepared CFO or staff member.

By not hiring Carolyn or someone else who can really help them, these companies intentionally choose to be ignorant of their HR compliance risks, sometimes finding a false confidence in not knowing where the liabilities are and what action they will require. Ignorance apparently remains blissful for some. For these business leaders, as my friend Bill Thomas often says, “The truth is not believable.”

We find exactly the same issue with companies that have technical-related compliance programs. “How we’ve always done it” often trumps proper assessments and resolution action.

There can also be the challenge of, “We know we have issues, but we’ll deal with them when we have more time and money.” Occasionally, organizations follow through on this plan. More often, even when there is more money, there is rarely ever more time. And as a staff develops operational habits, they inherently develop procedural and security issues, then sometimes become a huge obstacle in overcoming these compliance problems.

Too many professionals, both technical and nontechnical, ignore compliance issues. They choose not to believe the truth, sometimes taking care to keep the truth as far away as possible. To seek and engage any truth, including the truth of compliance and security issues, can require painful steps. It takes a kind of courage not every businessperson has.

Glenn S. Phillips, the president of Forte' Incorporated, works with business leaders who want to leverage technology and address often hidden 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

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/28/2020
The Problem with Artificial Intelligence in Security
Dr. Leila Powell, Lead Security Data Scientist, Panaseer,  5/26/2020
10 iOS Security Tips to Lock Down Your iPhone
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  5/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-13173
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
Initialization of the pcoip_credential_provider in Teradici PCoIP Standard Agent for Windows and PCoIP Graphics Agent for Windows versions 19.11.1 and earlier creates an insecure named pipe, which allows an attacker to intercept sensitive information or possibly elevate privileges via pre-installing...
CVE-2019-6342
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
An access bypass vulnerability exists when the experimental Workspaces module in Drupal 8 core is enabled. This can be mitigated by disabling the Workspaces module. It does not affect any release other than Drupal 8.7.4.
CVE-2020-11082
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
In Kaminari before 1.2.1, there is a vulnerability that would allow an attacker to inject arbitrary code into pages with pagination links. This has been fixed in 1.2.1.
CVE-2020-5357
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
Dell Dock Firmware Update Utilities for Dell Client Consumer and Commercial docking stations contain an Arbitrary File Overwrite vulnerability. The vulnerability is limited to the Dell Dock Firmware Update Utilities during the time window while being executed by an administrator. During this time wi...
CVE-2020-13660
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
CMS Made Simple through 2.2.14 allows XSS via a crafted File Picker profile name.