June 13, 2014 – Ethics and compliance experts addressed a broad range of challenges facing Fortune 500 companies and other businesses from navigating regulatory frameworks and third party risk management to data security at the Third Annual Ethics and Compliance Symposium held today at the University of Houston Law Center.
Recent news of internet security breaches at Target and eBay and other well-known companies prompted questions and a lively discussion during a technology and compliance panel and other presentations throughout the day.
“We have a whole team dedicated to thinking about what could go wrong, said Daniel Trujillo, Sr. Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer for Walmart International. “It is a lot about being able to learn from the mistakes of others and ensuring that you have the right controls in place.”
“Boards have to start thinking about this as an issue that can affect the entire company,” said Andy Hinton, Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer of Google.
Hinton noted that having a dedicated board member with a technology background might be valuable in addressing the ramifications of cyber security breaches.
Ben Morof, Chief Compliance Officer and Associate General Counsel of Teza Technologies said that there are experts and specialists that companies can hire to help them learn how ‘at risk’ systems are, but that this raises other concerns.
“Testing security is a tricky exercise. The more you know about your vulnerability, the more you know about your wounds until you fix them.”
UH Law Center Interim Dean Richard Alderman gave opening remarks and Adjunct Professor Ryan McConnell led a compliance bootcamp.
Keynote speaker for the day was James R. Doty, Chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. He told participants that it is banner time for compliance officers as they are in high demand with a broad range of responsibilities.
“Your help is also needed in supporting external audits,” said Doty.
The University of Houston Law Center also shared data from its empirical Code of Conduct database throughout the day that showed how Fortune 500 companies are addressing topics such as facilitation payments, data privacy, social media, and political contributions.
Michael Hershman, co-founder of Transparency International, led a late afternoon discussion on managing risk.
Additional sponsors for the event were EY, Bracewell & Giuliani, Ethisphere Institute, and Jenobi, Inc.