IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance


November 5, 2009  7:43 PM

Second-Tier Governance Deployment – Part I

Robert Davis Robert Davis Profile: Robert Davis

Governing an entity mandates management accurately conceptualize organizational development, information criticality, and communication paths. For-profit entities are formulated to generate tangible and intangible wealth for stakeholders, while not-for-profit entities are constructed to satisfy perceived societal needs. Governance is required in both organizational classifications to ensure management pursues achieving the entity’s mission ethically and legally. Theoretically, regarding information criticality and communication paths, governance is normally conveyed utilizing architectural linkages.

November 2, 2009  5:34 PM

First-Tier Governance Development – Part IV

Robert Davis Robert Davis Profile: Robert Davis

Organizational units exist for various reasons. Threading from the first-tier Governance Tree level, linked leaves are inextricably affected by external forces. An organizational formation’s continuity depends on relevant, accurate and timely external environment information assessments to drive appropriate governance. Management, especially information security management, can not establish an adequate safeguarding posture unless root expectations are understood and potential threats, weaknesses as well as opportunities are appropriately redressed. Applying the described Governance Tree framework allows methodological, value driven consideration, development and deployment of aligned programs that positively impact control environment awareness and subsequent resource allocation decisions.

View Part I of the First-Tier Governance Development series here


October 29, 2009  8:13 PM

First-Tier Governance Development – Part III

Robert Davis Robert Davis Profile: Robert Davis

Depending on an entity’s technological advancement, information may be conveyed and received through visual, auditory, as well as sensation receptors that enable current or future processing of presented information for decisional application. The list of communicated expectations extends to acceptable organizational structures, financing sources, and business behaviors. Nonetheless, governance influence may be limited to a particular nodal type.

Governance Tree structural behavior should be studied as an open system that continually interacts with the external and internal environment through functionally adaptive mechanisms permitting perceived mission corrections. Organizational interactions exist in various forms, including strategic, operational, and compliance mandates. An active Governance Tree node must accurately forecast standard events impacting organizational plans or face the possibility of elimination or consolidation. Furthermore, stagnant items within a dynamic Governance Tree node will typically cease to significantly sway decisions over time.

View Part I of the First-Tier Governance Development series here


October 26, 2009  7:44 PM

First-Tier Governance Development – Part II

Robert Davis Robert Davis Profile: Robert Davis

Information and decision theories have point convergences when conjoined with the binodal Governance Tree depicting entity relationships. Information theory practice domains include data processing systems design, organization analysis, and advertising effectiveness; whereas decision theory practice areas encompass organization, learning, cybernetics, and sub-optimization disciplines. At the application-level, information theory techniques can be utilized for classification determination, impact assessments, and technological valuations while decision theory techniques can be employed for objectives determination, interaction assessments, performance estimates, and organizational analysis.

Commonly, entities are developed to satisfy a perceived need for a particular product or service based on available information. Some individuals and groups may consider it an “inconvenient truth” that organizational activities are indirectly, if not directly, impacted by extrapolated external conditions presented in root information. Collectively, first-tier Governance Tree entities represent external parties capable of directing and/or controlling second-tier nodal information and communication activity. Specifically, first-tier external parties provide expectation information impacting linked nodes within the Governance Tree model.

View Part I of the First-Tier Governance Development series here


October 22, 2009  5:55 PM

First-Tier Governance Development – Part I

Robert Davis Robert Davis Profile: Robert Davis

Organizationally, governance is the system by which entities are directed and controlled. “Potential stakeholders usually rely upon governance elements prior to investing their time, talent, and/or money.” Leadership, stewardship, ethics, security, vision, direction, influence, and values are prominent components within entity-level governance enabling the flow of stakeholder expectations to construct an effective ISG framework. Descriptively; ISG development echoes how an entity’s information security management team intends to accomplish the organizational safeguarding mission. Properly framed, ISG supports stakeholder expectations related to management’s explicit or implicit fiduciary responsibilities.

When framing governance, domains can be formed and connected through parent-child information relationships. Idiomatically, a technological hierarchical structure is often called a tree. It is composed of a set of elements known as nodes that are abstractively linked. However, dissimilar to biological trees, technological trees have an inverted germination base, where lower-level accessibility is only achieved through top-down paths to associated elements. Regarding architectural design, the ‘Governance Tree‘ paradigm currently has a ‘height’ of six (number of levels), a ‘moment’ of one-hundred-thirty-five (number of nodes), a ‘weight’ of one-hundred-twenty-eight (number of leaves), and a ‘radix’ of one (number of roots). Interpretively, present Governance Tree ‘dimensions’ enable describing managerial information and communication aspects permitting alignment of nodal families.


October 19, 2009  7:12 PM

Service Restoration Planning – Part IV

Robert Davis Robert Davis Profile: Robert Davis

Considering information systems are generally critical to enhancing productivity, it is imperative deployed IT provide availability with service responsiveness meeting user utilization demands, even during crisis situations. Entity susceptibility as well as IT operational resiliency impact speedy and systematic redress for fulfilling efficiency, effectiveness, availability, and compliance requirements. Furthermore, neither business nor IT resides within static environments. Thus, environmental dynamics can generate changes altering system activities that require timely response and restoration to ensure continuous service delivery.

Whenever a natural or unnatural disaster strikes, recovering data usually is the top managerial priority for entities. Given the common, advance state of transactional processing dependence on technology, most entities’ will immediately suffer a diminished capacity for achieving operational efficiency goals, if IT is not restored in a timely manner. How expeditiously an entity resumes business processing after a tragedy normally depends on well documented and tested alternative plans for emergencies, and the velocity with which a disaster recovery site can receive back-up media and restore user services.

View Part I of the Service Restoration Planning series here


October 15, 2009  6:32 PM

Service Restoration Planning – Part III

Robert Davis Robert Davis Profile: Robert Davis

Cost effective strategies should be designed to prevent, detect and/or mitigate the impact of potential crises. Reducing system vulnerabilities is typically accomplished by delineating then remediating single as well as combined configuration failure points. Various resources that can contribute to the remediation process should be identified as continuity enablement factors. These resources — including essential personnel (and their roles and responsibilities), information, applications, and infrastructure — should be documented in a plan demonstrating commitment to continuity.

Disaster recovery systems and resources should be perpetually monitored as part of the entity’s operational plans. Beneficially, monitoring designated disaster recovery systems permits accountability for configuration items crucial to reinstating business processes. Resources that will support systems mitigating emergencies should also be monitored to ensure availability and expected performance during incident or event activation.

View Part I of the Service Restoration Planning series here


October 12, 2009  6:44 PM

Service Restoration Planning – Part II

Robert Davis Robert Davis Profile: Robert Davis

Business continuity has been generally defined as a comprehensive managed effort to prioritize key business processes identifying significant threats to normal operations that permit planning strategies for ensuring effective and efficient organizational responses to challenges arising during and after a crisis. Consequently, business continuity planning encompasses processes for developing advance responses to service interruptions in such a manner that critical business functions continue at expected levels. Sub-categorically, disaster recovery planning is normally ranked as a key business continuity component referring to technological aspects of advance planning and organizing necessary to minimize potential losses and ensure critical business functionality if catastrophic circumstances materialize.

View Part I of the Service Restoration Planning series here


October 8, 2009  7:50 PM

Service Restoration Planning – Part I

Robert Davis Robert Davis Profile: Robert Davis

Threats to an entity’s existence manifest in diverse forms, including disruptions, emergencies, crises or disasters. Any one of these incidents or events can jeopardize data processing services sustaining mission critical operations. When business integrated information systems are unavailable, efficiency is diminished, effectiveness is eroded, compliance is hindered, and employees are idled. As a result, entities should regularly examine their business continuity, disaster recovery, as well as back-up plans to ensure adequate operational requirements forecasting for service restoration.


October 5, 2009  7:45 PM

Hardware Protection… Dust, Temperature, and Humidity – Oh My! – Part V

Robert Davis Robert Davis Profile: Robert Davis

Decreasing computer hardware replacement cost has not eliminated the need for adequate environmental protection. To avoid humidity corruption, information security managers should verify humidity and temperature levels are maintained within the operating range specified in supplier documentation for deployed IT. Periodically, an information security professional should inspect for obvious external influences such as close placement to air conditioners, elevator shafts, industrial equipment or other sources of potential atmospheric variations. If a high level of reliability is required, then optimal conditions should be maintained. Maintaining equipment at the optimum climate range aids in protecting hardware from corrosion problems associated with high humidity levels and failures caused by static discharge when humidity is too low.

View Part I of the Hardware Protection… Dust, Temperature, and Humidity – Oh My! series here


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