A vital component of any risk and compliance program is implementing maintenance strategies. If you’ve already completed your compliance journey, a compliance maintenance program is the next step in ensuring your organization avoids gaps in both your compliance and infosec programs.
Regularly reviewing and maintaining policies and procedures enables firms to keep up to date with the latest regulations, changes in technology, and best practices across the industry. addressing these standards empowers your employees to be more diligent about security within daily business operations, and lead with a security-first mindset when it comes to the construction of your cloud software.
What does compliance maintenance look like?
According to a recent study about compliance trends (Drata), it was found that IT and security professionals spend an average of 4,300 hours annually achieving or maintaining compliance. The survey of 300 US professionals found that 87% had faced consequences as a result of not having a continuous compliance maintenance program within their organization.
- Develop comprehensive security policies: Create security policies that outline the procedures and guidelines required to maintain compliance. These policies should be clear, concise, and accessible to all employees.
- Regularly update software and security systems: Regularly update your software and security systems to protect against vulnerabilities. This includes keeping your operating systems, applications, and antivirus software up to date.
- Conduct regular risk assessments: Conduct regular risk assessments to identify any potential vulnerabilities or threats to your organization. This will help you stay ahead of potential security issues and mitigate them before they become a problem.
- Train employees on security awareness: Educate and train employees on security awareness to ensure they understand their role in maintaining security and compliance. This includes training on how to identify and report security incidents, how to create secure passwords, and how to avoid phishing attacks.
- Monitor and log all activity: Monitor and log all activity on your network to identify potential security threats and incidents. This includes monitoring access to sensitive data, user activity, and network traffic.
- Perform regular security audits: Perform regular security audits to ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations. This will help you identify any areas where you may be falling short and address them before they become a problem.
- Have an incident response plan in place: Have an incident response plan in place for security incidents, including a clear escalation path. This will help you respond quickly and effectively to any potential security incidents.
By following these tips, you can maintain security compliance and protect your organization from potential security threats and breaches.
What are the benefits of maintaining compliance?
55% of organizations say their compliance strategy is based around a “Can we?” rather than “Should we?” attitude, indicating a focus on building a more proactive and positive compliance strategy. However, stagnant budgets and a shifting workforce have left many compliance teams feeling stretched, with 87% of organizations reporting they have no additional capacity due to being understaffed or only adequately staffed (Deloitte State of Compliance 2020 Report). That being said, compliance offers an abundance of benefits to organizations including:
- Avoiding hefty fines and penalties for non-compliance
- Protecting your business reputation by building a security-aware organization
- Enhancing your data management capabilities which can increase operational efficiency
- Attracting partnerships with other organizations that prioritize compliance and security
- Strengthening company culture by working towards a mutually exclusive benefit of an internal and external identity to stakeholders
- Supporting access controls and accountability to prevent breaches or data loss
- Speeding up the sales cycle when needing to provide proof of compliance
How can an organization simplify the compliance maintenance process?
Whether you already have a CISO/security expert in your organization or are a young startup with limited resources to achieve compliance. The bottom line is that compliance is critical and there are a number of intricacies to achieving and maintaining these standards. The good news, you have options to fit the needs of your organization! For instance, 34% of organizations outsource some or all of their compliance functionality. (Thomson Reuter’s Cost of Compliance Report 2021)
Cutting-edge automation tools can help security teams build a foundation for their information security programs, and have a reliable source of truth with their efforts. These tools not only help you continuously monitor your information security programs, but they provide a resource for evidence collection and reporting when it comes to the stress of working with an auditor to evaluate your policies and procedures to determine whether they are in alignment with framework standards.
For organizations that need additional support in their compliance journey or have little to no experience with the process—you can work with cybersecurity consultants or managed service providers like a Virtual CISO. Here at Rhymetec, we pride ourselves on being disruptors in the consulting space by acting on our own advice. Not only will we provide you with direction on how to achieve and maintain your security and compliance goals, but we provide the services to help you get there too.
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