Mandates Increase Awareness

by Kathryn Hughes
Product Marketing Director
Axway

In today’s market—in today’s business environment—I see more and more compliance mandates coming at us. They come from all different directions. Some are vertically specific, others are horizontal in their approach and require encryption mandates that apply across the board.

The beauty of this situation is that it brings to top of mind, and heightens the awareness of, the true problem, which is the need to address the security of the data you’re exchanging. At the core, it’s protecting the information you’re communicating between partners and customers, both internally and externally, across your ecosystem. The key thing with that is complete MFT data security—being able to know that, within my organization, from end to end, from point to point, from application to application, from employee to employee, from customer to customer, and whether in transit or at rest, the data is secured at all times. There’s a huge benefit to that. Organizations that have a complete Managed File Transfer (MFT) infrastructure and strategy already in place are meeting that data security need, which then in turn helps them any time a security officer walks in and says, “I’m doing an audit.”

One of the biggest unjust actions around compliance is that compliance mandates come out and people are told you have to be compliant, you have to meet this certain criteria, but how you do it is rarely specifically described. It’s left up to the interpretation of the organization; they must pray that they’re actually doing what’s required to the level and extent needed to secure that data and those transmissions.

That lack of specificity directly puts the challenge back on the organization and leaves them struggling. They ask, “Is what I’m doing good enough?” and “Is what we have good enough?” As they pull back that layer, in their heart they know that it’s not good enough, that they could step up and do more. That leads back to a holistic, complete MFT solution. If you have infrastructure in place that will cover your transmissions, your community ramping, your auditing (which is going to come back on a compliance mandate), you’re going to have that all the way through.

Every time you open the newspaper, somebody else has a breach. While it’s constantly ongoing, it’s important to recognize that there are people who take proactive measures. They don’t want to be that “somebody else,” so they’re going to step up first, they’re going to be the company that, before the mandate even comes to them, says, “I’m going to have the best solution in place.”

I can think of a couple examples of that.

First, the State of California. Their executive mandates from Schwarzenegger ensured the shoring up of their IT infrastructure. Not directly to be compliant, mind you, but to ensure that they were secure, which directly impacts the compliance piece that they’re hit with. They get touched with that compliance piece across many of their different agencies, and they recognized that to not take action would be unthinkably negligent.

Second, a while back, a leading consumer and business credit reporting agency’s main competitor had a security breach, and while it didn’t involve compliance, it did involve a loss of confidential information. This credit reporting agency looked at this development and said, “We’re not going to be like them.” They took proactive measures to go back into their infrastructure to implement consolidation, then turned it into a marketing tool and touted that they were the safest solution out there.

Compliance is the tail wagging the dog. It’s a buzzword, but in truth when you look at compliance, compliance is met by having a holistic complete MFT solution that has a solid core in protecting the data and complete data security.

You have to lock the trunk, but shouldn’t you close the garage door, too?

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