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Compliance 2009 trends: virtualization, unified mapping and automation

(Todd Erickson, News and Features Writer) During 2007 and 2008, Congress and state legislatures were busy passing, refining and enacting hundreds of laws that require new IT strategies for storing, protecting and accessing organization and customer data. As compliance and e-discovery practitioners gather at LegalTech New York 2009 this week, one question IT administrators are asking is: "What will happen this year?". With new technologies, a new presidential administration and the global financial crisis, which IT strategies and products will emerge in 2009?

Dorian Cougias, founder and CEO at Oakland, Calif.-based Network Frontiers LLC and the primary architect of the Unified Compliance Framework (UCF), says this will be the year auditors get serious about enforcing those legal requirements. "People right now are just getting a handle on what the rules say", notes Cougias. "We have enough rules. Let's link the 'thou shalt' in the rules to something that can be configured to ensure that the 'thou shalt' is followed."

According to technology and government policy experts, dealing with virtualization and streamlining configuration management will be hot compliance topics in 2009. Examiners will require IT shops that have moved to virtualized environments to prove that those virtual systems are as safe and secure as their physical counterparts. And auditors will begin to require documentation and proof that the regulatory guidelines enacted in the past two years are being followed - making streamlined configuration management essential, especially in a down economy.

Virtualization's role in compliance
Virtualization is changing the way a lot of things are handled in IT and storage networks, including maintaining regulatory compliance goals. Configuring, maintaining and proving that virtual systems are just as secure as physical systems will become a big issue for companies seeking virtualization's cost and resource savings.

 
 
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