The compliance audit is the paramount test of any IT organization. If an organization doesn’t uphold federal regulations, the cost can be exorbitant. Companies that have failed audits can be responsible for hefty fines, liable for legal action, lose years of reputation, or even be shut down. For IT admins, audits are serious business. One compliance audit that is prevalent across many industries is the SOX audit. Here are several things to consider when preparing for a SOX audit.
What is SOX?
Before we talk about preparing for a SOX audit, however, let’s talk about SOX itself. SOX stands for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was enacted by US Congress in 2002. The federal law enforces eleven sections of regulations regarding finances and communications for corporations. The bill itself was originated after several major corporate fraud scandals occurred, such as the notorious Enron scandal.
Ultimately, SOX is designed to ensure that no company is above the law. When he signed it into law, President George W. Bush called it the most important American business reform since Franklin Delano Roosevelt (American Presidency Project). At its core, SOX requires that businesses keep straightforward and accurate records regarding their financial dealings and internal communications, with underlying consequences for those that fail to do so.
How does SOX Affect IT?
For the IT admins at any publicly owned American company, keeping track of company data, as well as the people that are accessing it, is a crucial task. Keeping a clean house, of sorts, is key to being ready for an audit. While it can be done in several ways, one of the most effective ways to prepare for a SOX audit (or any audit for that matter) is event logging. By keeping a repository of event information, such as IT resources accessed, sysadmins can have a record of that access, including the originating IP address, access failure or success codes, and critical timestamp data.
Additionally, by maintaining a strong identity for their end users, IT admins can ensure that one: only authenticated users are accessing confidential information and tools, and two: those authenticated users are using those resources in an authorized fashion. To summarize, making sure the right people are accessing the right information is key. In a day and age where email, Skype, and Slack are key tools for company communications, making sure that those lines are free of bad actors, both external and internal, is an ideal way to be ready for a SOX audit.
Preparing for a SOX Audit with JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®
With an idea of what is needed going into a SOX audit, IT admins need the right tool for the job. At its core, the directory service is responsible for managing the flow of information and the users that access it. Having a proper directory service with the option of event logging is an especially strong resource for admins preparing for an audit. And, in this modern era, a directory service that is easy-to-use, cost-effective, and cloud-based is an ideal one.
Well, the good news is that such a directory service exists: JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is a reimagination of the legacy product, Microsoft® Active Directory®, but for the cloud era. By using lightweight agents that can be installed on users’ devices regardless of their platform (Windows®, Mac®, or Linux®), collecting valuable information about logins and events on each machine is made easy. JumpCloud leverages an API-based event logging solution for IT admins to be able to export this data and integrate it with their SEIM or other event logging / analysis solution. With this, admins can be prepared for a SOX audit, and able to present an accurate report of an organization’s computer activity to an auditor. Directory-as-a-Service is designed with IT admins in mind, and while it is a useful IT tool, JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service ultimately makes work happen for everyone in your organization.
If you would like to learn more about SOX audits or JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service itself, please contact our expert support team. We would be glad to assist you. To see Directory-as-a-Service for yourself, schedule a JumpCloud demo or sign up to try it on your own. Signing up is free, requires no credit card information, and includes ten users free of charge forever. Check out our pricing page to see how you can pay as you scale Directory-as-a-Service for your organization.