Situation today is that most of today’s business processes are supported by IT and as a result much of the internal and regulatory compliance burden falls on IT to achieve the level of compliance required in an effective, efficient, and sustainable manner. Internal organizational policies and external regulations requires IT operations groups to provide evidence of the integrity of their companies' IT environments. Recent rise of data breaches highlighting the seriousness of the challenges that corporations and their IT security teams are facing.
Situation is further complicated with growing infrastructure complexity as organizations implement multitier apps, SaaS, virtualization technologies. The cloud computing has further increased complexity, adding many more VMs, users both inside and outside the walls of the enterprise. As if this was not good enough, as more Enterprise IT development organization adapts agile like methodology for software application development, rate of configuration changes pushed out are like never seen before. Enterprise IT environment is in a state of continual flux. There is an on going barrage of software changes, such as software patches and updates, as well as a constant demand for new application software.
To achieve and sustain compliance, IT must maintain tight control of the IT infrastructure and allow developers to make changes at the rapid pace. Configuration Compliance and Automation tools will be critical to ensuring that information about the IT environment is known, stable and appropriate at all times. Configuration Compliance Automation tools helps enforce proper configurations are maintained for all devices throughout the enterprise. Organizations must centralize compliance scan and reporting for regulatory and internal auditor purposes.
Industry analyst firms like Gartner recommends Configuration Compliance and Automation tools as an effective way to ensure accurate configuration control. These tools can support Audit and Compliance to Reduce Risk and achieve a baseline, which will enable enterprises to avoid "drift" and prepare for audits.
Key benefits of Configuration Compliance Automation tools includes:
- Automate assessment processes to improve overall security and compliance posture
- Prioritize remediation efforts based on a composite view of risk
- Communicate IT risk in business-relevant terms by reporting
Why it Matters?
- Ensuring that IT systems are always properly configured not only are critical for compliance and security initiatives but also tied to overall business viability and goodwill
- Given the rate of change, only possible way to demonstrating to auditors that systems are compliant w/o time consuming manual gathering projects with significant cost implications is to proactively leverage configuration management & automation tools
- Automating configuration auditing enables a greater level of security and dramatically reduces preparation time for IT audits conducted for regulations such as PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA.
- Compliance efforts can act as a catalyst and provide a foundation for the launch of initiatives that align IT more closely with the business. These initiatives can bring significant additional business benefits, including reduced risk and increased business
Companies that are proactively able to: maintain an audit-ready posture with regard to monitoring, protect entire IT infrastructure environment from non-compliant changes, collect and report compliance-related information, able to verify configurations of targeted servers/VMs/Apps have not changed and are consistent across all IT groups will be the only ones which are able to achieve their compliance goals and minimize their exposure to downtime and security risks.