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December 2005

On the Mend

Auditors are armed with a menacing regulatory stick. When they shake it and demand that a security manager demonstrate a comprehensive risk and vulnerability management program, there's little tolerance for excuses. This was the nagging concern of Andreas Wuchner, Novartis AG's head of global IT security. "You have to prove that you have done risk management on an ongoing basis--to show that you do your patch management, that you actively manage the security situation," Wuchner says. "[Two years ago,] we could not necessarily show that." Uncertainty over Novartis' security posture was a function of isolation; security had limited visibility into remote locations operating in more than 140 countries. Some were keen on security, while others with fewer resources focused their priorities elsewhere. Baseline security policies were nearly impossible to enforce. Meanwhile, mandates outlined in Basel II, HIPAA and SOX were clearly not going away. If they were going to survive an audit, the fiefdoms in the giant pharmaceutical's kingdom...

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