18 April 2007

ECM Security: Trusted Information...

When it comes to Enterprise Content Management (ECM), security is an issue that continues to challenge most vendors. John Newton is in search of topics this week at AIIM that address the security needs of the market place:
Content Log

  • Common identity. There needs to be a common way of addressing identity between different services whether those services are in the enterprise or outside.
  • Common Models for Rights Management. The big, looming problem in content is the fact that huge numbers of users are adding, accessing or updating an even larger number of pieces of content.
  • Distributed Directory Services. Identity is not sufficient for determining roles or entitlements.
  • Mashup Frameworks for Security. Mashups, the integration of different systems at the browser level, represent the fastest-growing and easiest mechanism to weld systems together. Almost all mashups have no notion of security and only work on public systems.
  • Search and Security. As search becomes increasingly federated, such as through the OpenSearch API, managing identity and entitlements on content becomes very problematic.
Whether John will find the answers is questionable. And that is exactly the issue when it comes to hosting or managing enterprise information. Almost a year ago before Stellant (Sealed Media) was purchased by Oracle, their survey of 29 CIO's who had invested more than $1M. in ECM had these as their top priorities:
The concerns were ranked on a scale of one to eight, eight being the most important.
  1. Guarantee ISO 17799 compliance: 6.03
  2. Protection of intellectual property during offshoring or outsourcing: 5.52
  3. Protection of high- and executive-level communications: 4.79
  4. Improvement of workflow-process automation: 4.41
So what?

If you are an ECM vendor and you only have so many bucks to spend on development of the next generation of your software, what are you going to add and what are you going to fix? So why is number one and two so important to CIO's who have invested so much money in their platforms?

Some of the answers can be found in the root cause of their concerns. We found some relevant discussion in a position paper entitled:

W3C Workshop on Transparency and Usability of Web Authentication by Jeffrey Ritter & Said Tabet

Statement of Issues: The conflict between the potential of Web Services and the inadequacy of web authentication is potentially best described as “a failure to communicate”. As enterprises extend and evolve into more dynamic, real-time facilities, central operations require the ability to express their security requirements in greater detail than can be currently enabled. Corporations must define and adhere to increasingly large directories of requirements in the management of their internal security controls; requiring compliance with those controls by participants in the extended enterprise is becoming essential.

Corporate operations increasingly distribute their computing and data processing requirements across a network of third party services, some of which are engaged and employed for controlled, finite sessions. But those third parties, for so long as they are processing data and functioning as part of the operating whole of the primary corporation, are being pressured to demonstrate their adherence to the security controls of their customers. This requirement is an expression of a requirement for trustworthiness—to be engaged as a part of the extended enterprise is to be trusted to perform in compliance with the applicable controls.

The enterprise who has exposure to continuous litigation is evaluating new ways to look at 3rd Parties who manage their information and this includes law firms. When you hand over management of critical and legally binding information to a 3rd party, trust is a key component of that decision. So how do you know if your law firm(s) and database marketing companies such as Merkle, Inc. or other outsourced service providers have the trustworthiness to be part of your extended enterprise? The fact is you don't unless you require the new and existing parts of the information supply chain in your organization to operate as one seamless trusted entity.

The greatest economic risk companies face with electronic discovery is choosing the wrong law firm. Under the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the amounts at stake are not just legal fees or settlement costs; searching for and recovering electronic business records causes productivity losses and threatens revenue. Bottom line, selecting a law firm that is ill-prepared to effectively manage electronic discovery can cost enormously - internal records preservation and production costs are considered one of the largest uncontrolled expenses in corporate America.
So how do you select the right firm?

For corporations, Evaluating the Electronic Discovery Capabilities of Outside Law Firms: A Model Request for Information and Analysis provides corporate law departments, records management and IT departments an invaluable tool to ensure that the legal risks of e-discovery are competently addressed by their outside law firms.

Here is a peek at the line up so far this year by just one government regulator, the SEC.

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