“Don’t swap horses in the middle of the stream.” – Abraham Lincoln
The emergence of automated security and compliance solutions still leaves organizations with a problem: these point solutions are unable to provide independent third-party certification. Preparation is a key component to a successful audit, but it is only the first step. A-LIGN is transforming how organizations demonstrate compliance by combining its compliance management platform with its years of audit experience through a single-provider approach – from audit readiness through certification, across multiple security frameworks.
An audit encompasses readiness, evidence collection, fieldwork, reporting, and certification. Investing only into readiness software creates a “last mile” problem, meaning that an organization would still need to invest time and money into an additional service provider to complete its audit. There is a management adage that “a failure to plan is planning to fail,” but when a solution is only focused on preparation then an organization may experience a failure to execute.
Of course, this comparison only tells part of the story. Not only are automated security and compliance solutions limited in their capabilities, but they are also limited in their qualifications. A-LIGN has completed more than 10,000 audits for more than 2,400 clients in the past decade, making it the only trusted service provider able to combine the depth and breadth of its expertise with its end-to-end compliance management platform, A-SCEND.
Furthermore, automated security and compliance solutions are limited in their scope since they are unable to address many common security frameworks. Many organizations start with a SOC 2 audit, but soon expand to additional standards. The fact that automated security and compliance solutions are limited to SOC 2 can be a major hindrance for organizations seeking to consolidate their audit process.
According to the Gartner Market Guide for Organization Security Certification Services published on May 26, 2020 by Brent Predovich, Katell Thielemann, and Sam Olyaei, “If there is a need to obtain more than one certification or attestation, there is value in consolidating audit planning, audit data gathering, interviews and evidence collection efforts into a vendor selection exercise with multiple security certifications/attestations.”
Automated security compliance solutions fall short with their capabilities, qualifications, and scope, but perhaps the most important point to consider is that their feature set is being commodified by tech-enabled audit service providers like A-LIGN. For example, A-LIGN’s compliance management platform, A-SCEND, can centralize evidence collection, standardize compliance requests, and consolidate the audit process to streamline compliance across multiple frameworks.
On a lighter note, Alton Brown has railed against the use of unitaskers, kitchen devices created for one job and one job only, “you buy these items, you use them, and then they simply pile up until you have to tear down your house and build another one.” After today, it is hard not to see automated security and compliance solutions as yet another tool to clutter your cupboard.
A-LIGN is a strategic compliance partner, capable of addressing each step of the audit, across the scope of each major framework, qualified with its deep compliance expertise, while still delivering the strategic benefits of a technology solution. Contact A-LIGN today to learn how its compliance management platform can make it easier for you to complete your audits with a single-provider approach that also delivers your certification.