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A Modern View of Risk and Compliance: Eliminate the Fear of Rapid Change


A Modern View of Risk and Compliance: Eliminate the Fear of Rapid Change


This content is brought to you by Evolven. Evolven Change Analytics is a unique AIOps solution that tracks and analyzes all actual changes carried out in the enterprise cloud environment. Evolven helps leading enterprises cut the number of incidents, slash troubleshoot time, and eliminate unauthorized changes. Learn more

They say the only constant is change, but for IT the pace of change is not just constant: it’s constantly accelerating. This puts a ton of pressure on IT dev, sec, and ops teams because change is the primary cause of failure.

Business goals frequently conflict with security and risk mitigation controls, and it’s hard to maintain the balance between rapidly improving an app’s user experience and keeping systems compliant, available, and safe. The result is often security and compliance gaps, despite the best of intentions.

Compliance systems struggle to keep pace as more and more business and government services go online, and as more and more sensitive data is put at risk. 

The need for security policy and procedures earlier in the development process – known as shift left – is no longer a desire but a must as enterprises balance agility with quality delivery and the ultimate user experience.

In the end, constant change and increasing complexity drive the need for updated security, risk, and compliance processes that can keep up, and not impede the inevitable march toward digital progress. Evolven’s framework meets this need.

The challenge of usability

Unlike internally focused IT systems for employees, it’s impossible to predict in advance how an external customer will respond to a user interface.

Best-in-class digital apps, such as you find in retail, push changes to production multiple times a day and rely on continuously collecting and analyzing user interactions and feedback to fix and improve the apps.  

However, gathering feedback based on personal data for usability improvements can cross the line into privacy violations and can trigger a compliance review or legal action.

This use of personal data results in increased regulation, risk mitigation, and compliance with a range of legal and social requirements to protect such personal data and individual privacy, while keeping systems running 24x7.

The Evolven solution provides organizations with essential visibility into the ever-changing configuration state of its IT environment, showcasing risks, enabling necessary safeguards, and eliminating the fear of rapid change by providing the needed safety rails.

Modern compliance requirements are also changing rapidly 

An increase in the number and scope of certification standards and regulations governing security controls and system configurations has been a natural result of the increasing digital presence in our lives.

Continuously emerging regulations and compliance frameworks such as CIS, PCI, NIST, OCC, and others, specifically identify change and configuration management requirements that IT teams must decide how to implement.  

IT risk and compliance managers must therefore continuously monitor the impact of configuration change due to various external regulatory compliance mandates.

A good example is the recently-issued SEC mandate called “T+1” which requires financial institutions to settle trades within one day instead of the current two days – all by May 2024. This will greatly impact IT systems, including configuration, in order to achieve compliance.  

Evolven provides a “single pane of glass” interface for IT, risk, and compliance management staff to assess the impact of such change and support the work of auditors.

Preventing outages and incidents 

Governance is necessary, especially when delivering code changes more and more frequently. Ungoverned change is a frequent cause of incidents, breaches, and outages.

Organizations face the challenge of resolving the internal tension between an organization’s dev and ops teams. Dev wants rapid release; however, ops wants to avoid risk.

Anticipating the impact of a configuration or code change at any time means capturing pertinent data continuously, using AI to predict risk, and doing this as close to real-time as possible. Consolidating the data into a holistic view across in-scope infrastructure and applications is the only way to present a meaningful view.

The holistic view requires collecting data from monitoring systems, configuration databases, code management systems, automated testing systems, and so on. Major stakeholders – IT Ops, production support, security, and dev management can all have their own views into the impact of change analysis.

This allows you to analyze and prioritize the impact of changes to configuration, data, and capacity across the organization, and not simply look at the impact of code changes. Application code does not run in isolation.

Modern AI analytics engines take the firehose of data relevant to configuration and change control and do this for you.  Evolven can predict the impact or risk of a proposed change before you roll to production.

AI analysis such as this raises warning flags and provides guidance based on past history.

By utilizing its CI/CD Risk Gateway, Evolven’s solution automates traditional CAB functionality and prevents incidents and outages before they happen.

After the fact analysis

While it’s best to prevent incidents and security breaches before they occur, it's equally important to rapidly respond to them after the fact. It’s critical to rapidly correct the problem, but also to establish the root cause and put measures in place to prevent a recurrence.

The same system that collected all the data to predict (and prevent) the risk of a change can help identify the root cause of an incident or breach and recommend changes to repair the issue.

Auditors and regulators want access to all the relevant data about all the components of the system, as well as the log of the decisions made based on the risk analysis, whenever there’s a significant breach or incident.

The Evolven Configuration Risk Intelligence Solution not only detects configuration changes to predict incidents and outages before they occur, it also analyzes them after the fact to identify the root cause quickly and help prevent future occurrences.

The Intellyx Take

The rapid pace of digitization globally across businesses and government, and the associated risk of outages and breaches have caused an increased focus and need for compliance and regulation.

Rather than slowing down the pace of progress, however, risk and compliance systems need to keep pace. Advanced AI offers compelling capabilities for predictive analysis that can catch problems before they occur. The same systems can help remediate and prevent incidents from occurring again.

Please contact us to learn more about Evolven and how it can help your enterprise.

About the Author
Eric Newcomer
Eric Newcomer is CTO and Principal Analyst at Intellyx, a technology analysis firm focused on enterprise digital transformation. Eric is a well-known technology writer and industry thought leader, and previously held CTO roles at WSO2 and IONA Technologies.