Let’s Change the Narrative Around Compliance
Thrive, don’t just survive, your next SOC 2 or SOX Compliance audits.
The words ‘compliance’ and ‘audit’ don’t need to be the stuff of nightmares. Focusing on the ‘why’ of becoming SOC 2 certified or SOX compliant goes a long way when tackling these reporting and data behemoths. While SOC 2 is voluntary, it goes a long way in instilling confidence with customers as it demonstrates a higher level of security practices. SOX Compliance, on the other hand, is both a legal obligation and a smart business practice for publicly traded companies to help ensure financial reporting practices are just and sound.
Read more below on SOX Compliance or grab our guide “From Start to Certificate” to discover our hands-on roadmap of how we handled our SOC 2 audit.
IT teams spend way too much time tracking help desk tickets for routine access requests. And employees spend way too much time waiting to get access to the apps they need to do their jobs.
Lumos Is on a Mission To Change That
Lumos takes access management and the ITIL experience to the next level by combining the workflow automation power of an identity governance and administration tool with the visibility and cost management controls of a SaaS management solution.
The result: a single solution that helps IT teams achieve compliance, drive productivity, and manage costs with workflow automation that handles employee access requests, access reviews, and SaaS app license removals.
Onboarding + Off-Boarding Automation
Streamline onboarding and rely on one-click off-boarding to manage app access and permissions.
Employee Self-Service Access Requests
Employees can see and request access to the apps they need to do their jobs.
Speed through your SOX, SOC2, HIPAA, and ISO27001 audit prep with audit-friendly reporting.
What is SOX Compliance?
All public companies in the United States must be compliant with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). This act was originally passed after multiple cases of corporate fraud to protect shareholders from errors and fraud in an enterprise’s accounting. It also helps improve how accurate corporate disclosures are. Not only does SOX compliance impact the financial side of a business, it also impacts the IT side by regulating which documents businesses are storing, how access to them is being regulated, and for how long they are being stored.
What is the Meaning of SOX Compliance?
Being SOX compliant means that your business follows the requirements set by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; including annual audits that prove the company is reporting accurate financial records in a secure way. Not being in compliance with SOX could lead to large fines or even prison time. Even if your company is private or a non-profit, it is good business practice to meet SOX compliance requirements.
What are the SOX Compliance Requirements?
To be SOX compliant, your company must complete a variety of actions related to security. Here is a checklist of some of the requirements for SOX compliance:
Publishing annual financial reports at the end of each yearAll financial reports must include an Internal Controls Report to prove that the document is accurate and secureStrict logging and monitoring of all account and user activity as well as information accessAll access to and interactions with sensitive data must have clear audit trailsExternal auditors must conduct SOX audits that include the review of controls, policies, staff, and procedures
- Publishing annual financial reports at the end of each year
- All financial reports must include an Internal Controls Report to prove that the document is accurate and secure
- Strict logging and monitoring of all account and user activity as well as information access
- All access to and interactions with sensitive data must have clear audit trails
- External auditors must conduct SOX audits that include the review of controls, policies, staff, and procedures
What are the Three Management of Electronic Records Rules?
In order to be SOX compliant, IT departments are required to create and maintain a corporate records archive. There are three rules to follow concerning electronic records.The first rule is related to the penalties of destructing, altering, and falsifying records. The second rule defines how long specific records must be stored. The third rule describes the type of records that must be stored. This includes business records and electronic communications.
What is a SOX Compliance Audit?
In order to be in SOX compliance your company must go through an annual financial and security audit. The most time-consuming and complex part of a company’s audit is the deep dive into their internal security controls. This part of the SOX compliance audit includes a look into four key areas of focus:
- Access control: Making sure the company restricts access and implements measures to control access to sensitive information. This could include physical measures such as surveillance and locks as well as digital measures such as access and credential management.
- IT Security: Making sure the company has an identification and monitoring system to protect its sensitive data against cyberattacks. This can include security tools and staff management.
- Data Backup: Making sure the company is backing up data in a way that is safe and secure. This includes understanding what would happen if there were to be a disruption or loss of data after a disaster.
- Change Management: Making sure the company has a way of managing IT changes. These changes might include new or updated software and new employees.
SOX Compliance Checklist
Unfortunately, there is not an actual checklist associated with the SOX Act that you can use to be sure your company is SOX compliant. Generally speaking, here are few things to keep an eye on:
- Keep all logging and monitoring systems up to date
- Immediately investigate and fix things that come up in your annual SOX compliance audits
- Know when financial data is created
- Monitor user behaviors in order to spot activities that might lead to security breaches
- Regularly review and monitor permissions and access to sensitive information and company hardware and software
- Keep detailed documentation and tracking logs to be sure your auditors are able to do their jobs
- Train your staff on the best ways to handle financial data
Is There a SOX Compliance Certification?
A company who is in SOX compliance does not receive a certification, however there are a variety of certifications individual employees can receive in order to best help their company become SOX compliant. These programs help individuals understand the SOX requirements and best practices.
What are the Benefits of Being SOX Compliant?
Being SOX compliant is not only the law, it is also helpful for your company. When a company follows the requirements to be SOX compliant they are operating in a more ethical and secure fashion. Being SOX compliant also helps protect companies from security threats and attacks through increased documentation and minimization of human errors. On the public side of things, being SOX compliant helps people to trust your company, making it easier to raise capital and gain support. Internally, SOX compliance can help you improve your company culture.
SOX Compliance Software
It is almost impossible to be in SOX compliance and prove this compliance without a SOX compliance software that makes sure the correct security measures are in place. Softwares, such as Lumos, help your company track and manage user access to accounts and sensitive information. These software programs make it much easier to prove SOX compliance during your company’s next audit.