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News

Microsoft Access database monitoring and compliance tool

ClusterSeven : 26 March, 2008  (New Product)
ClusterSeven expands portfolio of compliance products by adding MS Access data access monitoring to its existing Excel compliance management tool.
ClusterSeven has announced the availability of its ADM software product, designed to help organisations reduce operational risk by closely monitoring the activity and changes to data in their Microsoft Office Access databases. Laws and regulatory bodies such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) in the United States and the Financial Services Authority in the UK require organisations to demonstrate an overview on business records and communications. ClusterSeven ADM enables customers such as European Credit Management to comply with the most stringent interpretations of these requirements and with their own internal governance, risk and regulatory compliance (GRC) policies.

Microsoft Office Access, formerly Microsoft Access, is a relational database management system and part of the 2007 Microsoft Office system. ClusterSeven ADM provides organisations with a detailed overview of records created and managed in Access, and monitors these activities with no impact to the end user. ClusterSeven ADM saves time by removing many manual checks, creates a centralised and auditable history and clearly separates the roles of the business users and operational risk managers, all key requirements of most compliance legislation including those established by SOX and the FSA. ClusterSeven ADM draws on the proven architecture of ClusterSeven's Enterprise Spreadsheet Manager Software product, which provides the same overview capabilities over an organisation's spreadsheets created using popular programs such as Excel and Google Docs.

'Use of Microsoft Office Access is typically not as widespread throughout an organisation as spreadsheets, but that does not reduce the operational risk to the entire organisation,' said Steve Semenzato, founder and CEO, ClusterSeven. 'Just one instance of poor overview can trigger an investigation. Auditors and regulators require a precise understanding of who touched what information, when and why. ClusterSeven's technologies monitor these activities and alerts appropriate personnel of anything suspicious, without disrupting daily business operations.'


London-based investment management firm European Credit Management (ECM) has built a global operation specialising in European fixed income. Founded in 1999, ECM implemented the ClusterSeven Enterprise Spreadsheet Manager Software product in 2004, to comply with the FSA's corporate governance requirements. In 2007, Evergreen Investments, the asset management division of Wachovia acquired a majority interest in ECM.

'We were an early adopter of ClusterSeven's spreadsheet management product, so we naturally turned to ClusterSeven again in order to address our requirements for improving our control of other user-developed applications,' said Michael Cunningham, Head of Technology, European Credit Management. 'We worked together to define the requirements and ClusterSeven has delivered exactly what we needed.'

'The very flexibility that makes end user solutions such as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and Microsoft Office Access such valuable business tools can also pose risk,' said Kathleen Wilhide, Research Director for Governance, Risk & Compliance at IDC. 'End users are comfortable building sophisticated applications with these tools at the desktop, but the complexity can result in errors or inconsistent updates that impact the integrity of information, putting companies at risk of heavy fines and potential damage to its reputation. An ever increasing regulatory environment requires companies to take notice of such activities and the operational risks they present.'

ClusterSeven ADM and ClusterSeven Enterprise Spreadsheet Manager are available now and can be purchased directly or through ClusterSeven's network of value-added resellers, distributors and system integrators.

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