No SOX please, we’re non-compliant

Companies will fail SOX audits in 2006, according to their IT departments.

A July 2006 SOX deadline for message retention will not be met by nearly half of all companies a new survey has revealed.

The survey, commissioned by instant messaging security company Akonix, found that 45 percent of U.S. IT executives anticipate they will fail to meet Sarbanes-Oxley compliance requirements for archiving messages.

"It's alarming that almost half of the companies in our survey anticipate they will fail to meet the message retention requirements set forth in the next year's SOX deadline, even with ten months still remaining to get their systems in place," said Francis Costello, chief technology officer at Akonix. "Many popular software applications aren't equipped with features for enforcing compliance, which leads some organizations to neglect or ignore their own policies."

According to SOX section 404, public companies are required to undergo annual evaluation of procedures. Many companies were required to archive, log and make available on request all email and IM messages by July this year.

In June, SC reported the U.S. government's first attempted prosecution under Sarbanes-Oxley ended in failure. Richard Scrushy, 52, former CEO of healthcare company Healthsouth, walked free from a federal courthouse after being acquitted of 38 charges of fraud.

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