Use Cases

Optimize your Organization’s SOX Compliance with SPHEREboard

Explore How SPHERE’s Advanced Identity Hygiene Solution Optimizes your Organization’s Security Posture and Supports SOX Compliance

March 16, 2024
Optimize your Organization’s SOX Compliance with SPHEREboard Copyright © 2023 SPHERE Technology Solutions | 1 Explore How SPHERE’s Advanced Identity Hygiene Solution Optimizes your Organization’s Security Posture and Supports SOX Compliance

An Accounting Framework

SOX’s Framework for Robust Information Security Management

In the complex landscape of corporate governance, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) stands as a pivotal regulatory framework. SOX Compliance aims to instill transparency, accountability, and integrity in financial reporting. For organizations operating in the United States, compliance with SOX is not merely a legal obligation; it is a strategic imperative.

Elements of Sox Compliance

  • Discovery and Analysis: Verify the efficiency and effectiveness of security controls
  • Comprehensive Testing Documentation: In-depth recording of test methods and outcomes for auditors to review
  • Violation and Remediation Logging: All violations and evidence of successful remediation are thoroughly documented
  • Real-Time Reporting: Using the right security software platforms to quantify and report on security initiatives

What is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)?

It is a regulatory framework ensures that companies establish and maintain robust internal controls, providing assurance to investors and the public. SOX compliance fosters trust among stakeholders, safeguarding against financial mismanagement and fraudulent activities.

How do you comply with SOX?

  1. Establish an “accounting framework” to create verifiable paper and data trails for all financial activities
  2. CEOs and CFOs are required to personally certify all records as “complete and accurate” per section 302 of SOX, affirming they’ve reviewed the controls at least once in the past 90 days


Complex Controls, Legal Consequences and Continuous Monitoring SOX compliance poses several challenges for organizations due to its stringent requirements and the complexity of ensuring effective internal controls.

Some of the key challenges include:

  • Stringent Regulations – SOX mandates strict regulations and standards for financial reporting, which can be challenging for organizations to interpret and correctly implement.
  • Costs and Resource Allocation – Achieving and maintaining SOX compliance often requires a significant investment of financial resources and manpower. Smaller companies may find it burdensome to allocate the necessary funds and personnel.
  • Complexity of IT Controls – SOX places a strong emphasis on IT controls, requiring organizations to implement and monitor a range of measures to secure financial data. The complexity of managing IT controls, especially in the evolving landscape of technology, can be a substantial challenge.
  • Documentation and Reporting – SOX compliance requires meticulous documentation of internal controls and financial processes. Organizations must maintain comprehensive records and provide regular reports, which can be time-consuming and demanding.
  • Evolution of Business Processes – As businesses evolve, so do their processes and systems. Adapting existing controls and implementing new ones to align with changes in business operations can be an ongoing challenge.
  • Global Operations – For organizations with global operations, coordinating SOX compliance across various entities with different regulatory requirements can be complex and demanding.
  • Potential for Legal Consequences – Non-compliance with SOX can lead to severe legal consequences, including fines and penalties. Ensuring continuous compliance is critical to avoiding such repercussions.
  • Continuous Monitoring – SOX compliance is not a one-time effort but requires continuous monitoring and periodic assessments. Maintaining a proactive stance toward compliance is an ongoing challenge.

Overcoming these challenges requires a proactive and comprehensive strategy involving collaboration, a robust Identity Hygiene program, and a commitment to financial governance standards.

Given these challenges, where should an organization begin?


Identity Hygiene Powered by SPHEREboard

How SPHEREboard’s Capabilities Support SOX Compliance

As SOX regulations impact both physical and digital records, Identity Access controls play a crucial role in compliance. The mandate to establish “adequate internal controls” for “financial reporting and governance” extends to IT infrastructure, particularly in hybrid environments where various device types connect to the corporate network from diverse locations, and organizations still host applications, databases, and servers on-premises.

SPHEREboard is designed not only to align with but to elevate SOX compliance. Our focus on prioritizing Identity Hygiene, fortifying Access Controls, and least privilege sets SPHEREboard apart in enhancing your cybersecurity posture.

With these challenges in mind, we developed an Analysis Matrix to align SPHEREboard with the Access Control requirements outlined by the SOX Act, employing the following concepts:

  • Complete One or more of SPHEREboard’s capabilities addresses all components of the SOX IAM-LCM Stage Subcategory
  • Contribute One or more of SPHEREboard’s capabilities addresses all components of the SOX IAM-LCM Stage Subcategory
  • Inform SPHEREboard provides insights that can be used to decide HOW to identify and address risk in the SOX IAM-LCM Stage Subcategory


Mapping SPHEREboard Capabilities to the SOX Framework

We analyzed SPHEREboard’s intelligent discovery, intuitive reporting, and automated remediation capabilities to determine how organizations can leverage SPHEREboard to identify potential SOX violations.

SPHEREboard’s capabilities for this use case include:

  • Identifying, reporting, and remediating identities with elevated permissions
  • Ensuring the identification of all role and entitlement changes, particularly during the attestation process
  • Verifying that all identities are “active” and authorized to access organizational assets
  • Providing an initial mapping for the IAM team to construct and maintain an access control matrix (e.g., RBAC approach)
  • Enabling end-users to conduct periodic access reviews to address non-linear career paths and permissions sprawl
  • Automating reporting to offer insights into existing IAM preventive or detective controls

Maintaining compliance with regulations such as SOX is crucial for organizational security.

While implementing measures to ensure compliance in financial records and reporting is a key step towards achieving the Access Controls Maturity Model, the strategic shift from the traditional “trust but verify” approach to “never trust, always verify” necessitates intermediate steps and capabilities we refer to as Identity Hygiene.


SPHEREboard’s vital role in your SOX compliance efforts SPHEREboard focuses on a broad spectrum of categories related to and extending beyond Access Control and Identity Management. It seamlessly integrates with an extensive array of tools and processes, effectively closing critical gaps in any company’s Identity Hygiene program.

SPHEREboard’s wide range of capabilities zero in on major components in Section 404 of the SOX framework such as:

  • Intelligent discovery
  • Identity, account, and group correlation
  • Advanced analytics and reporting
  • Remediation of account, group and data control violations
  • Sustained protection of an organization’s assets

You can download the complete list of SPHEREboard’s SOX-supporting capabilities here.

The combined reporting modules offer complete and comprehensive insight into access details, providing clarity on who has access to what and why. Furthermore, SPHEREboard’s deep integration with various IT information security tools such as BigID and CyberArk PAM enhances data enrichment, offering Security Administrators a versatile set of capabilities.


SPHERE is the global leader in Identity Hygiene. We are dedicated to reshaping modern identity programs by embedding this foundational fabric, enabling organizations to quickly reduce risks. Our expertise lies in leveraging automation to deliver immediate time-to-value, providing an identity lens that protects an organization’s accounts, data, and infrastructure.

Driven by our core values of passion, empathy, and transparency, our vision drives us to continually innovate, helping our clients to sleep better knowing their attack surface is drastically reduced, thwarting the plans of bad actors every single day.

We’re ready to help you address your identity hygiene and security challenges.

To find out more about SPHERE and our solutions, please visit

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