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October 2009

SOX compliance burdens midmarket security teams

Mention the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), and the conversation is likely to steer toward giant multinational corporations and the need for broad and deep governance, risk and compliance (GRC) programs, and the chilling image of CEOs and CFOs doing the Enron perp walk. SOX forced many of these companies to re-examine and overhaul their financial controls and accounting systems, file all sorts of new reports, and pay tons of cash to the Big Four audit firms. But thousands of smaller public companies are the ones feeling most of the pain. The cost of SOX compliance is disproportionate for these companies, both in terms of percentage of revenue and cost per employee, in some cases running into the thousands of dollars per head, as opposed to the hundreds for large enterprises. "Larger companies have been built to have audits going on frequently. They are complex, so they have compliance programs," says Ed Moyle, a manager with CTG's information security solutions practice and partner at SecurityCurve. "That's where the bigger costs come...

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