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Since the late 1990s, governments have been enacting legislation that requires companies to apply strict controls on the way they do business. The purpose of these controls is to ensure accurate disclosure of risk to investors, and to safeguard end customers from misuse of their personal information. In a global economy that increasingly holds management directly responsible for the consequences of their business operations, companies must be able to demonstrate that they have effective processes in place, or face serious consequences and may even risk being held criminally accountable. Because information technology plays such a critical role in business activities, IT processes and best practices are now a major component of compliance audits.
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