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Clarifying Compliance

Solution providers are moving away from pushing ad hoc compliance fixes.

compliance

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JOHN LONGWELL
Can be reached via e-mail at jlongwel@cmp.com.

Our "Solutions That Work" feature in this issue looks at asset management as the critical starting point for compliance. And the story's one big premise seems to clarify the picture dramatically. Solution providers are moving away from pushing ad hoc compliance fixes, designed to meet a specific rule, in favor of a more common-sense approach. Implementing best IT practices and using automated tools such as asset management platforms often result in compliance following along as a natural consequence.

Using compliance as a sales pitch may get the attention of clients, but as I have been told, it rarely closes the deal. Well-managed companies—those that are most likely to meet compliance deadlines—are mostly going to make those investments because they see the benefits of having a more secure, better-managed and more-efficient IT system.

Our cover story is about another compliance-driven opportunity: data leak prevention. There are signs that DLP is spreading down to SMBs and beyond the highly regulated industries of health care and finance, where privacy is a major concern. That makes it timely for solution providers to begin integrating DLP into their managed services and project-based engagements.

But DLP solutions are costly and require changes in business processes. While publicity surrounding credit card data thefts and the high cost of cleaning up the messes is certainly raising awareness, businesses still need to see that being aware of where their critical data is and how it moves in and out of their systems is just good business practice. Lawsuits may provide the stick, but it's just too easy to ignore risks and paper over compliance gaps. Businesses need to see the carrot, too. Solution providers that accentuate the benefits and leave the scare stories to the newspapers will be the ones that capitalize on compliance opportunities.

Is DLP ready for prime time?
CRNtech welcomes letters. Send your comments to john longwell at jlongwel@cmp.com.

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