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Users Splash Cash on SOX

NEW YORK -- As the year 2005 draws to a close, IT pros are planning regulatory compliance efforts for the coming year. And storage and security are topping their agendas.

At the Infosecurity show here this week, one IT manager from a Florida-based manufacturing firm, who asked not to be named, explained that Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) is forcing him to buy additional storage. The problem is that you’re saving so much stuff,” he said, adding that firms must now keep masses of data that would previously have been “garbaged.”

Indexing all this information is also a problem for the exec, who admitted that SOX compliance is a technology nightmare. “It’s a mess, it’s a total mess,” he moaned. “The demands of Sarbanes-Oxley are so ill-defined.”

The SOX act, passed in response to the scandals at Enron, WorldCom, et al, requires company managers to attest that they have established and maintain internal control over their company’s financial reporting. But for some time now, IT managers have expressed concern about overhauling their systems to support SOX. (See Gartner: Sarbanes Struggle Continues and CA's Clarke: SOX Driving IM.)

Bruce Blank, corporate security director at Melville, N.Y.-based American Home Mortgage, also admitted that SOX compliance is stressing him out. “But I think it’s good stress,” he added. “Most companies will benefit by the program.”

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