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Blowing off the SAS70 auditors Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010 6:33 AM
Mr or Mrs. 500

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I sat in a SAS70 audit meeting yesterday on database administration. The auditor was very young. One of the first answers I gave him was that nobody in our company has the title "Database Administrator" ( yet ). I let our IT manager answer the questions about backups, but as that progressed I could see he was essentially brow-beating the young auditor and acting as if "we know what we're doing and don't have to prove it to you, whippersnapper."

Obviously I'm beginning to think this manager is more liability than asset. The auditor's questions ended shortly thereafter about 10 minutes into the meeting. I'd be really surprised if he didn't give a negative report to his superiors. Something tells me you can't just blow these people off




Post #964200
Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010 6:38 AM


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If he's anything like the SOX auditors I used to work with, he'll be asking for proof of everything you said - backup histories, security permissions, sign-offs, etc.


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Post #964205
Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010 7:34 AM
Mr or Mrs. 500

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Yes, I'm sure we haven't heard the end of this.


Post #964254
Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010 7:49 AM
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There is no law that says that you have to answer their questions, but it can cause problems.

SAS 70 is an auditing standard designed to enable an independent auditor to evaluate and issue an opinion on a service organization's controls, and is meant for customers, investors, etc. to assure them that your organization can process and safeguard their data. If the auditors report that there is no assurance that proper care is being taken to safeguard data, a customer may decide to take their business elsewhere.

When I deal with auditors, I insist that all questions coming to me have to be cleared by our data security team and sent to me by them. This gives me a buffer against direct confrontations of the type you described, gives me time to prepare responses, and shows the auditors that I am protective of all aspects of data security. If there are questions that I have objections to, I discuss them with our data security team before providing an answer.


Youi may want to look at this:
http://sas70.com/


Post #964271
Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010 8:11 AM
Mr or Mrs. 500

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In our case the auditor was asking basic questions about restoring backups from tape occasionally to verify their integrity and the manager was giving him the evil eye as if he had no right to ask such a question. If the auditors don't push back big-time I will lose all respect for their organization.


Post #964297
Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010 9:41 AM
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Indianrock (8/5/2010)
In our case the auditor was asking basic questions about restoring backups from tape occasionally to verify their integrity and the manager was giving him the evil eye as if he had no right to ask such a question. If the auditors don't push back big-time I will lose all respect for their organization.


It would probably be better to just say you do, since that would be hard to verify.


Post #964408
Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010 9:55 AM
Mr or Mrs. 500

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This is more about " do the auditors have the right to ask us questions," than "how do we verify that what we're saying to them is factual.



Post #964424
Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010 10:02 AM
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Indianrock (8/5/2010)
This is more about " do the auditors have the right to ask us questions," than "how do we verify that what we're saying to them is factual.


Of course they have the right to ask questions.

I think the real question is what they can do about it if they don't get answers. The short answer is they can't really do anything about it, except complain to the company management and/or write it up in the audit report. What happens after that is a decision for the company management.




Post #964433
Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010 11:00 AM
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we do SOX once a year

we get a document and have to provide screen shots and other proof. the auditors have a checklist they go by. then they ask for more proof and "clarification". it's kind of like getting a mortgage


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