Cyber security is essentially a system that ensures the safety of software or hardware-based infrastructures. Compliance on the other hand is detailed security guidelines, directions, specifications, and rules that are regulated under the local and global compliance laws. Although compliance and security are two different concepts, they complete one another. Before explaining why you need to align compliance with modern security solutions, let’s see in detail what is compliance.
What is compliance?
Compliance refers to rules, guidelines, and specifications that are set by compliance regulations. Today, the compliance landscape varies across different industries and nations. Compliance regulators want to control how data is governed and safeguarded by the way it is done with security procedures, and policies. For this reason, compliance regulations often provide explicit directions which are basically security guidelines and requirements to establish compliance standards. The main purpose of compliance standards is to help businesses implement the only necessary security measures to protect confidential data of all kinds.
These necessary measures usually are adaptable to a business’s technology environment. But, a compliance-oriented cyber security approach won’t enable the overall safety of confidential data. Unfortunately, meeting compliance requirements isn’t enough to enable maximum security across the enterprise because compliance doesn’t mean companies are well safeguarded against cyber-attacks and data breaches.
In most cases where a data breach occurs, regulators will apply severe fines for each violation, and the severity of the incident usually affects the amount of the fine. For instance, in each violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), regulators can apply fines up to 1.5 million dollars annually. That’s why not complying with regulations isn’t an option for all sizes of businesses. To establish compliance and maintain overall security, companies should work on a security compliance plan so that they can have an enhanced cybersecurity posture that is aligned with regulations, and standards.
What is security compliance?
Security compliance is a risk management procedure that requires constant monitoring, auditing, and testing of the existing cyber security systems of a company. Security compliance is essentially implementing a resilient and reliable cyber security approach in accordance with regulations and standards. Simply put, security compliance allows companies to align various security-related requirements with enhanced security measures.
Security compliance consists of conducting risk assessments and creating incident response plans for affected parties because most compliance laws oblige businesses to inform regulators and affected parties in case of a data breach. Additionally, conducting regular risk assessments helps businesses define the degree of risks of each information system, and prioritize security needs accordingly.
The main purpose of establishing security compliance standards is to align resilient cybersecurity approaches with compliance requirements. Security compliance allows businesses to minimize non-compliant areas, fix vulnerabilities, and implement modern security solutions that can adequately safeguard confidential data.
Additionally, security compliance helps businesses implement more effective data management procedures, and policies. Security compliant companies ensure the integrity, confidentiality, and safety of confidential data they hold. Having an enhanced cybersecurity posture helps businesses meet compliance requirements at all times.
Additionally, establishing security compliance isn’t as difficult as most people think, especially when you apply a step-by-step approach and create a security compliance plan. Constructing a plan will help you cover all compliance requirements while enabling improved security procedures, policies, and measures to safeguard sensitive data. Let’s explain how to construct a security compliance plan further.
How to construct a security compliance plan?
1. Assessment of Information Technologies
Your security compliance team should start by assessing the existing security infrastructure. Assessment will help you identify what security measures and procedures are in place to protect confidential data. Secondly, your team should evaluate what type of confidential data your company collects and stores. Evaluating information assets, information systems, and security measures are really important and give you a clear view of what you have in your cyber security architecture.
2. Understand regulation landscape
Secondly, your team should analyze which regulations apply to your businesses. For instance, if your business only operates in the United States, then you don’t need to comply with General Data Protection Regulation requirements. Then you can compare compliance requirements with your existing security systems to find what is missing, and what is in place. Then your team can work on implementing adequate security measures.
3. Risk analysis
Conduct a risk analysis to classify the degree of risks of each information system you have and clarify high risks involving areas where confidential data is collected, stored, and transmitted. In the end, risk analysis will help you prioritize your security needs.
4. Run regular audits and mitigate non-compliant areas
Your security compliance team should conduct regular audits to see vulnerable, and non-compliant areas in your security systems. After pinpointing these vulnerabilities, your team should work on mitigating non-compliant areas.
5. Monitor and test security systems
To see if your company establishes security compliance, your team should monitor and test existing security systems. After testing, your team can see if your security tools have healthy functions or not. If everything is functioning adequately, your team can finish the plan by documenting every security policy and procedure that they put in place to protect sensitive data.
Today, all sizes of businesses are obligated to meet compliance regulations and standards, otherwise, regulators can apply severe penalties and fines. To avoid these undesired incidents, adherence to compliance requirements is critical, but implementing these requirements isn’t enough for maintaining overall security. That’s why businesses should work on establishing security compliance.