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ITSM Principles Can Have Major Impact on Regulatory Compliance

09/19/2013 by: The SunView Team

Regulatory compliance is becoming a priority in a wide range of industries, with many companies beginning to focus on data breach prevention in an effort to avoid regulatory problems.

To understand this dynamic, look no further than the insurance sector, where 39% of industry professionals polled by SAI Global Compliance said they have established "prevention of data breaches" as a top regulatory priority this year. This figure represents a significant rise over the findings of the organization's 2012 study, which revealed that just 20 percent of participants were prioritizing data breach prevention.

Plenty of companies are focusing on avoiding a data breach. However, there is so much to consider that it can be difficult to pin down a specific best practice. Developing an IT service management system can prove a vital step toward regulatory success.

Regulatory Compliance and the Service Desk
If you can establish an ITSM setup you could put yourself on a solid footing to comply with regulatory standards. Many organizations running a basic IT help desk configuration run into major roadblocks when they need to move from handling incidents to solving problems.

The issue is that resolving consistent technology problems requires change. Configuration adjustments are onerous, complex and risky matters unless a company has the kind of oversight necessary to understand the full implications of a change.

This is where an ITSM setup can provide a major edge over a homegrown help desk. If you have an ITSM solution in place, the system is constantly tracking incidents and problems and compiling that data to identify and prioritize problems. With that knowledge, you can more accurately pin down what Change Requests are required. This alone, however, won't ensure you comply with complex regulations.

What happens if a low-level IT worker thinks they can make a quick change without trouble, only to accidentally adjust configuration parameters in a way that makes data vulnerable? This kind of problem isn't an isolated issue. Plenty of data breaches happen because a database configuration change leads to private data being published publicly.

An ITSM setup includes change and configuration management capabilities that are informed by a configuration management database setup.

Taking Advantage of a CMDB
A CMDB provides relational insight into the IT configuration. It also features built-in authorization features that make sure only the right people can make adjustments. On top of all of this, a CMDB features automated tracking processes that give companies the electronic paper trail (audit trail) they need to comply with regulatory standards.

All of this is made possible when companies advance their service management capabilities through an ITSM setup, giving them the tools they need to comply with regulatory standards.