For many companies, meeting security and compliance requirements at the same time can be a daunting task. For one thing, many companies do not have their own compliance capabilities. Rather, the security team does the compliance work. They are responsible for time-consuming audit requests, documenting and making changes to internal controls, etc. The preparation is a burden to the company, as more audit requests increase, so does the risk of errors. The security team also has their day-to-day tasks of protecting the company and its assets from hackers and malware.
The tools that companies use to manage their compliance workloads (typically a combination of spreadsheets, cloud file storage systems, and email threads) are inadequate for their ever-expanding compliance needs. Without intentional action, these challenges become more and more difficult over time. On one hand, customers and prospects want to make sure that security risks are managed so that their data is protected and they can trust the organization they have chosen to do business with. Therefore, the demand for evaluation and documentation will continue to grow.
Introduction to compliance automation
Today, leading organizations are looking for automated IT security policy compliance systems to enable them to meet their security and regulatory compliance needs at the same time. Automated regulatory compliance tools that can remediate and automate repetitive tasks have proven to save a significant amount of time and money for security teams and help organizations become more attractive to their business partners.
Compliance automation is the use of technology to automate compliance processes that employees previously manually performed. It is based on state-of-the-art technology to simplify compliance procedures and perform compliance activities as soon as compliance requirements or issues arise. These tools enable organizations to streamline compliance-related workflows such as risk assessment, management assessment, testing, and corrective action planning.
How does compliance automation tools work?
One way to automate the process is to automate the compliance workflow. This allows the software to be programmed to follow rule-based instructions and complete the entire task without human intervention. Automation streamlines business processes. For example, instead of manually updating a task, the software can automatically update and track pending items and notify you only based on preset rules.
Automated compliance solutions are specifically designed to replace spreadsheets and can be the single source of truth for compliance groups and organizations. This means that these tools can be a repository of all compliance data, so you don't have to worry about making decisions based on incomplete, outdated, or incorrect information. In addition, automation gives you peace of mind by tracking all compliance activities in one place, including regulations, policies, standards, contracts, and terms that may have been previously bookmarked from your web browser or Word document. Automated compliance is especially beneficial for organizations that process sensitive data and has multiple benefits that impact information security, time-savings, cost savings, and reporting.
Benefits of utilizing compliance automation solutions
Compliance Risk Reduction:
Compliance automation reduces the likelihood that a company will be fined for non-compliance. Automated response to potential problems eliminates both human error and wasted time. Automating compliance reduces risk by allowing you to continuously monitor system vulnerabilities and identify far more problems than if you did it manually. This can save companies a considerable amount of money.
Manual processes are prone to human error and can result in wasted hours and fines of thousands of dollars. Even skilled and experienced employees can miss spreadsheet items, lines of code, compliance procedures or policy details. When utilizing compliance automation, the only role humans need to play is to respond to accurate alerts and update the system when regulations are adjusted.
Compliance process automation consolidates all compliance statuses and workflows into one dashboard. Instead of tracking multiple applications and spreadsheets, you can do all these processes within the tool. Data is displayed in real-time, so you can also benefit from stronger risk management. If you start to become non-compliant in one area or another, real-time alerts allow you to attend to the problem immediately, rather than waiting days, weeks, or months, or getting surprised during the audit.