Monday, December 06, 2004
Sarbanes-Oxley sparks forensics apps interest
Most companies working on Sarbanes-Oxley projects are laser-focused on documenting their internal financial controls to meet the compliance deadlines that take effect late this year. But the law's requirements are also beginning to generate interest in computer forensics tools that could be used to help identify potential cases of financial fraud.
For example, Avery Dennison Corp. is piloting software announced this week by Oversight Technologies Inc. that can be used to monitor finance systems for irregular transactions. Mark Van Holsbeck, director of enterprise security at Avery Dennison, said the software should cut the time workers at the Pasadena, Calif.-based maker of adhesive products spend poring over printouts of financial data to determine whether any information has been altered or corrupted.
Avery Dennison's use of the Oversight tool, which is being tested on a combination of Wintel and HP-UX platforms, wasn't driven by the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Van Holsbeck said. But the technology should help the company satisfy components of the financial reporting law.
Other users are expected to come to the same conclusion about computer forensics technology, which can track how data is used and modified.
Meta Group Inc. analyst John Van Decker said he expects to see an uptick in forensics technology investments related to Sarbanes-Oxley starting this summer. And Michael Rasmussen, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., estimated that about a third of the clients he works with have put an investigative response plan in place, including the use of business intelligence tools and other technologies to help monitor ERP and e-mail systems for evidence of potential wrongdoing.
posted by Brian Moran @ 10:01 AM