Dec 23 2011

IT Security Standards Should Migrate to Compliance Contexts — Quick Take

Many security standards remain unclear to some and are applied inconsistently.

Here’s the funny thing about standards: They’re made to centralize people, but people often end up more decentralized after trying to adhere to them.

Adam Montville, a security and compliance manager for TripWire, observed that even though IT security standards such as CobiT 4.1, PCI DSS 2.0, ISO 27001, and NIST 800-53 are the norm, many people interpret parts of them in different ways.

This is true even at the most fundamental level of vocabulary used in the aforementioned IT security standards. Montville shares his experiences with colleagues:

I set forth some examples to my colleagues and one of them made an astute observation, having just studied for the CRISC certification: “I noticed that what we call a ‘Framework’ doesn’t always line up with their [ISACA] definitions. For example, ISACA calls CobiT, ValIT, and RiskIT ‘Frameworks;’ (sic) while PCI DSS is a ‘Standard’.” This is astute because it belies the fact that our industry hasn’t stabilized our vocabulary in the industry around these efforts and because some compliance sources straddle the boundaries we might like to impose.

Read more about IT security compliance standards in Montville’s post on the TripWire blog.

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