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What is the single most challenging Sarbanes-Oxley issue today?

Joe Sander
Consul Risk Management

The single most challenging Sarbanes-Oxley issue today is moving beyond the simple culture of compliance and realizing the opportunity to also maximize business performance. Many organizations are unable to separate and understand the information technology (IT) security challenges, such as those associated with managing firewalls and passwords, and the information security (IS) challenges  namely securing intellectual property, business intelligence and privacy. In order to properly manage the challenges presented by Sarbanes-Oxley requirements an organization should establish a governance and control architecture and evaluate their processes based on the strategic objectives of the business.

Organizations are often fooled into thinking Sarbanes-Oxley is simply a technology challenge and installing one piece of software is the panacea. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is about ensuring legitimate financial practices, providing information to investors and assigning accountability. If a CFO tells an auditor "sorry my software failed", the software company isn't going to be fined and punished. It's the CFO whose neck is on the line. Sarbanes-Oxley should be treated as a business challenge, one that requires careful planning and continuous review. Failing to properly address information security will result in hefty fines and customer loss. The consequences can be devastating to an organization and reaffirm the importance of establishing a coherent governance and control architecture.

Regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley present an opportunity to optimize an organizations overall business practices. It can help to revitalize corporate culture and educate employees on why and how to protect the organization's information assets, as well as the risks of failure. Addressing Sarbanes-Oxley is not just about reports and having the right technology it is an opportunity to ingrain information risk management into the basic philosophies of corporate culture.

Joe Sander joined Consul risk management, Inc. in December 2002. He has more than 20 years of domestic and international sales, business development, finance and operations experience in the technology industry; eight of which focused on the IT security market. Since joining Consul as COO in December 2002, Sander successfully established and grew the Company�s worldwide presence in the compliance and audit marketplace, playing an instrumental role in increasing revenue by 25 percent.

After establishing Consul�s dual-worldwide headquarters, in the Washington, D.C. area and in The Netherlands, Sander realigned Consul�s worldwide operations to better meet the needs of its growing customer base. Sander brought in new customers from brand name organizations and dramatically increased upgrades and product expansion within the current customer base. Additionally, he led efforts to build up Consul�s strategic business alliances with industry leaders such as BMC Software and accelerated market expansion into Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Consul risk management, Inc., a worldwide leader in security event audit and compliance solutions, delivers to the market The InSight Required� for sound compliance, security event management, and identity and access management initiatives. With its roots as the premier provider of mainframe administration and audit products, Consul�s enterprise solutions monitor, report and investigate both malicious and accidental violations of information use against external regulations and internal policies.

Consul has more than 300 customers in nearly two-dozen countries, including the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Fidelity Financial Services, Kroger, Wachovia, The New York Times, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Office Depot, Ford and many government agencies. Recently awarded the Windows IT Pro �Editors Choice� in Security, Consul has dual headquarters in the United States and The Netherlands and is represented by 25 partners worldwide, including BMC Software. For additional information about Consul and its products, services and partners, please contact Consul at 1 800.258.5077 or +31 (0) 15.251.3333 (Worldwide).

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