Even though some IT pros would rather have a root canal procedure over a compliance audit, these regular checks are necessary for midsize businesses to ensure each important standard is upheld. And it isn't a short list to cover, with the most common suspects including PCI-DSS, HIPAA, FISMA, GLBA, SOX, and ISO 27001, among others.
One of the easiest ways to streamline the compliance audit process is to implement a managed file transfer system that includes specific visibility and control features.
Skeptical? Here are three ways managed file transfer makes getting audited a little easier:
1. Dude, Where's My File?
The biggest benefit of file transfer visibility is support's freedom to search for a specific file and see exactly where it originated, where it ended up and how it got there. Whether you're looking for a single document shared between a handful of employees or an app that was deployed to dozens of workers across the office, increased visibility can help identify all data movement across a network no matter how large or small. This is massive for your department since auditors look to track down potentially troublesome files or test the robustness of certain security parameters.
2. Make Sure You Review Activity Logs
Simply knowing where files are isn't enough to make a tangible difference during the compliance auditing process. Auditors who are looking to investigate specific usage metrics can benefit greatly from looking at activity logs that include detailed information about time of transfer, recipient information and changes in status. Logs that are this extensive — especially for HIPAA compliance, according to SecurityMetrics — will help keep the IT department from tracking down data points manually, presenting auditors with an easy way to analyze current trends in the IT department (and of course make more precise suggestions for improvement).
3. Reporting in for Duty
If there's one word that truly instills fear and dread in all of us, it's "report." Although there are plenty of applications that can help you find and analyze large amounts of information, the manual information-gathering process for file transfer data can be cumbersome and put serious constraints on an already time- and bandwidth-strapped department. Fortunately, managed file transfer programs with enhanced visibility allow you to compile data transfer reports with custom parameters in just minutes, saving them up to several hours of painstaking searches and extensive data analysis.
These benefits will help the auditing process, but they also have the added benefit of assisting the your team on a day-to-day basis. Being able to track files across a network, get status updates in real time and receive notifications about unusual activity will help your IT team stay on top of even recurring file transfers and keep operations running as smoothly as possible. One of the easiest ways to streamline the compliance audit procedure is to implement a managed file transfer, and eliminate — or at the very least, lessen — the dread within the department that often accompanies the process.