As a leader in a developing company, you are well aware that creating a compliance program is something you will have to deal with at some time as you grow. Because industry standards frequently have overlapping criteria, an organization may establish a single policy or a set of rules that meets various needs. It’s vital to remember that every audit follows a specific industry standard, so you will need to familiarize yourself with the program’s needs and budget for each audit.
Keep in mind that your company can meet certain industry standards and regulatory requirements (such as HIPAA) without implementing a formal program. However, you will need to know how to implement a compliance program at some point since your clients, partners, and/or investors will want to see more formal or “official” evidence of compliance before working with you.
Creating a compliance program
A compliance program is a set of internal policies and processes developed by an organization to ensure that it complies with laws, rules, and regulations while also protecting its reputation. First and foremost, the organization should create a compliance program checklist. After this, the focus should be on implementing a compliance program within an organization that addresses employee behavior to abide by internal policies (e.g. spending corporate funds or maintaining confidentiality) and, more importantly, to maintain the firm’s reputation among customers, suppliers, employees, and even the community where the business is located, where regulatory requirements do not apply.
There are industry standards for how long different types of audits should take.
SOC 2 is a popular information security compliance standard that tech companies must meet before selling to enterprise customers or certain customers that request the report before doing business. A SOC 2 Type I audit can take up to four months to complete. A SOC 2 Type II audit takes 6 to 12 months to complete after passing a SOC 2 Type I audit.
The distinction between a SOC 2 Type I and SOC 2 Type II report is straightforward. A Type I audit examines the design of specific security controls at a single moment in time, whereas a Type II audit evaluates the design and operating effectiveness over a period of time.
Implementing a compliance program
An effective corporate compliance program has a significant impact on an organization’s capacity to operate with integrity, consistency, and quality while also maintaining confidence and credibility with stakeholders such as customers, partners, vendors, employees, and investors. It’s also a crucial part of a successful risk management strategy.
A successful compliance program should be integrated into a larger risk management strategy. Risk assessments should be done at least once a year, and more often in high-risk locations. The ultimate goal of an effective risk management plan is to keep the risk environment within the organization’s acceptable risk tolerance threshold. To do so, a business must first assess its risks, then determine risk tolerances (acceptable risk levels), and finally, build controls that successfully handle the risks.
A successful compliance program requires strong governance and control. Senior risk leaders want accurate data to successfully assess the compliance program’s efficiency and make necessary adjustments. Implementing new controls to meet growing risks, restructuring weak control mechanisms to make them stronger, or establishing new training to raise security awareness among staff are all examples of possible changes.
At a strategic level, a compliance supervisor needs another set of data to assess how ready they are for up-and-coming reviews or evaluations, assess which controls they have to act on, and guarantee that controls are performing accurately and on time. They ought to moreover have perceivability into the issues that require quick consideration or heightening.
The challenges of a compliance program
Getting adequate perceivability into the adequacy of a compliance program can be a troublesome challenge for numerous organizations. This is usually an issue for organizations that oversee their compliance endeavors in an assortment of distinctive instruments such as expanded spreadsheets, email inboxes, and record capacity frameworks like Box, Dropbox, or OneDrive.
Making compliance exercises more proficient is key to diminishing the burdens of compliance. This is extremely important nowadays the need for information security compliance, which continuously appears to be going up due to variables such as the rise of information security controls, the developing mindfulness of third-party dangers, and a rise in vendor-to-vendor reviews, and the deficiency of cybersecurity ability.