Running an adequate IT security and privacy program requires teams to keep track of many details. Where and when does the software need to be updated and patched? What data is the organization collecting from its customers, and how is this information being protected? Which employees have completed cybersecurity training, and when must curricula be updated? The list goes on.
Thanks to increasingly complex threat environments and company IT footprints, this checklist is getting more extensive and challenging to keep up with daily. Moreover, investors and regulators want proof of a company’s cybersecurity and privacy credentials, often in great detail.
Failure to comply amplifies the costs when things go wrong. According to IBM’s 2021 Cost of a Data Breach report, lack of IT compliance increased the average price of a data breach by 51.1% to $5.56 million. Companies also lose money when they lack the security certifications for a contract or bid.
In short, cybersecurity and compliance have converged, and they’re more critical to the bottom line than ever. Discover the drivers behind this trend and learn how a robust IT compliance program can help your company wrangle the details.
GDPR was just the beginning
In 2016, the EU introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which became mandatory in 2018. This led to companies’ significant investment of time, money, and resources to ensure compliance. Brace yourself for more such changes, like the anticipated cybersecurity regulations from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These upcoming regulations will require organizations to establish a detailed cybersecurity program, promptly report significant cyber incidents, and disclose management’s security efforts and oversight role through public filings and reporting.
Lax certifications leave money on the table.
In response to the growing threats and consequences posed by cyberattacks, security certifications have risen in importance as a crucial aspect of modern business. These certifications offer external validation of robust data protection and privacy practices to customers, partners, and investors. Some widely recognized acronyms in this realm, each representing intricate and comprehensive frameworks, include ISO 27001 for managing information security risks like cyber threats, Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), SOC 2 for data storage, HIPAA and HITRUST for healthcare, and PCI-DSS for financial services.
Furthermore, stakeholders and potential clients are now scrutinizing the qualifications of individual staff members. This has placed a new onus on companies to assist their employees in attaining certifications such as Certified Cloud Security Professionals or Integrators (ISC2) CISSP credentials and designations from organizations like the Cloud Security Alliance, CompTIA, and the Cloud Credential Counsel. Requests for Proposals (RFPs), government procurement processes, and contract renewals may necessitate certifications linked to specific cloud providers like AWS or Microsoft Azure. Navigating this intricate landscape can be demanding and time-intensive. Nonetheless, failing to provide the certifications customers demand and industries require might lead to missed opportunities for substantial revenue.
Robust IT compliance puts you in control.
Where does your company stand in each of these areas? If you’re using disconnected manual processes, you won’t be able to answer this question promptly. And without a plan in place for achieving visibility, even as the landscape changes, you’ll waste time and resources trying to keep up.
Organizations need to take control to bring order to the chaos, and here’s where a robust IT compliance program comes in. What does such an initiative look like? Think of an IT compliance program like a four-legged stool, enabling your company to:
See what’s going on: Better decision-making starts with visibility of relevant regulations, company operations and how the two match up. Ideally, this view is grounded in data and delivered in real-time to leadership in a streamlined fashion, making their job of strategy and oversight easier.
Do more faster: Improved efficiency is another cornerstone of IT compliance. In an area with myriad manual and repetitive tasks, automated workflows can save invaluable buckets of time, freeing up labour and resources for more strategic initiatives. So can a standard controls framework (CCF). As the name implies, a CCF helps organizations “kill several compliance birds with one stone” by identifying what various policies have in common and bringing the overlap into a streamlined framework. This empowers organizations to build a process, application form or report once, then reuse it as similar requirements emerge.
Stay accountable: Externally, auditors want to see accurate records that align with regulatory requirements. Internally, leadership and finance want a view into IT resources against risk and ROI. A robust IT compliance program can help you deliver accurate and timely data.
Seize the opportunity: As more customers seek companies with individual and firm-wide security and privacy certifications; a robust IT compliance program can help you sharpen your competitive edge in this area, wrangling the details regarding the latest in-demand standards and how your operations are measuring up.
The right technology can help.
Technology solutions can help turn these words into actions for your enterprise. Such applications can ease cumbersome IT compliance processes and build confidence that your company is checking the right boxes at the correct times, even as these checklists grow and change.
- A centralized platform that scales with your needs
- Automated workflows and processes
- The ability to apply a standard controls framework for security certifications and reuse controls multiple times after they’ve been built
- Dashboards that offer executive leadership deep visibility into systems, certifications and gaps