Good information security never goes out of fashion. The economy is digital, interconnected, and driven by data. Virtually every business needs effective systems and technologies to protect sensitive data, ensure reliable operations, and reassure customers.
For many businesses, information security compliance should be a top priority. SaaS companies, and anyone who manages sensitive information, need a comprehensive strategy to manage risks and comply with the latest regulations.
But risks are constantly evolving. To ensure ongoing compliance, businesses need to keep up with the latest data security developments.
So with no further ado, here are our top ten tips for information security compliance you need to know about in 2022!
1. Trust no one!
Zero trust is a hot topic in InfoSec circles in 2022. The zero trust model requires validation at every point in a user’s engagement with a network. Zero trust offers tighter data security generally. It also ensures that even internal employees need to verify their identities to access sensitive data.
If your employees work remotely, the model can create more robust defenses when users log in from their work devices. In addition, if employees fall prey to phishing scams, or are compromised in other ways, the zero trust model can help limit the damage malicious actors can do within the organization.
However, zero trust may not be suitable for all organizations. It requires ongoing monitoring, which depends on advanced automated technology to constantly verify users. That said, when implemented effectively, the zero trust model can actually simplify your overall compliance.
SOC 2 and ISO 27001 both provide an excellent framework for the zero trust model.
2. Stay alert to personalized phishing
Phishing scams are hardly a new phenomenon. They’re one of the most common and basic cybersecurity issues any organization faces. But scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Scam emails include highly personalized information and can appear legitimate to even the most security-aware users. Companies, therefore, need more than routine awareness training. You need a system to anticipate and manage the risk of phishing emails – and to limit the damage if scammers manage to penetrate your first line of defense.
3. Understand compliance as a culture shift
As we discussed in the previous point, even savvy users can get distracted or fall for sophisticated scams. It’s why awareness training simply is no longer adequate to ensure an organization’s data security.
Effective and rigorous security protocols need to be followed daily, as a matter of routine. Ideally, they should be baked into a company’s processes.
One of the best ways to fundamentally shift your company’s culture of compliance is to implement a comprehensive security framework. Implementing a standard like ISO 27001 or SOC 2 may be intensive, but it’s the only sure way to build a culture of compliance from the ground up.
4. Automation is everything
If you’re not automating your information security compliance in 2022, you are basically in the stone ages of data security.
There are obvious reasons to automate: it’s more efficient and frees up more time, so your core team can focus on more productive work. Implemented effectively, it can also make compliance much more affordable, especially for startups and growing SaaS companies.
But there is another, arguably more important, reason to automate compliance. It’s simply much more secure and effective. With automation, you eliminate human error. Round-the-clock monitoring becomes simple to achieve. And you can identify risks simply and efficiently. The best compliance technology even facilitates ongoing security awareness training.
5. GDPR is your business
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been in effect for several years now. It’s considered the most diligent and resilient security law in the world, and although drafted and passed by the EU, still applies to any organization that collects data that is related to people in the EU. When it comes to GDPR, ignorance is not bliss, as fines for violating the GDPR are extremely high. And yet many companies still lack effective processes to fully comply.
If you are planning to enter the European market, you need to ensure you can adapt as lawmakers start taking data privacy even more seriously. In fact, the global trend is towards enhanced data regulations. From the California Consumer Privacy Act to the UK’s Data Protection Act, it’s clear regulators are prioritizing data protection requirements.
However, complying with these regulations can be complex, especially for cloud-based services. You need a far-reaching data privacy strategy that adapts to changing rules and technologies.
6. Create an incident response plan
When it comes to information security, your workforce can either be your biggest vulnerability or your greatest asset. Your team may be trained on how to identify and mitigate certain threats, but how often is that knowledge put into practice?
An effective incident response plan should outline what to do in the event of an attack, possible breach , some form of non-compliance or security issue. Simulated exercises and training will also allow your team to test themselves, their skills and whether or not their response is aligned with the security protocols and policies.
7. Data protection is brand protection
The cost of cyberattacks or data breaches are steadily increasing. That’s one unfortunate trend that should keep every CTO on their toes.
But even relatively modest data breaches can have serious long-term consequences. Unless you can clearly demonstrate your ability to effectively respond to threats and security risks, your customers and partners can quickly lose confidence in your business.
And if that happens, your brand’s reputation can take years to rebuild. Startups may never recover. It’s why you need to be both proactive in managing risks and have a plan in place in the event of a data breach or non-compliance.
In today’s economic environment, lax data security is simply an unacceptable business risk.
8. Mobile targets?
PCs and laptops are traditionally seen as user-end weak points. But advanced malware can affect mobile phones and other devices. That’s a risk every organization should be aware of. However, if you manage highly sensitive data, then you need to take additional steps to anticipate and manage the risk of sophisticated attacks.
9. Don’t assume you’re not on the radar
One of the most common mistakes made by small to medium enterprises is assuming that their organization isn’t big enough to warrant information security compliance. Surely, there are bigger targets out there? Are you willing to take the risk? As long as you have vital data on an online network, you’re a target and being underprepared or oblivious to the real threat you’re facing, unfortunately, puts an even bigger bullseye on the board.
10. Information is power
Are you SOC 2 savvy? How’s your ISO 27001 intelligence?
The internet is an endless source of information about enhancing your data security. But how do you know what resources to trust? Are they up to speed with the latest compliance industry trends? And which information is truly relevant to your business?
In 2022, the ultimate trend should be arming yourself with the knowledge you need to take your organization’s information security to the next level.
If you’re leading SOC 2 compliance at your company, then the free Scytale SOC 2 masterclass was made for you. It’s comprehensive, run by leading experts, and designed to offer practical insight.
Compliance technology that makes information security work for you
At Scytale, we developed a world-class compliance platform with the user in mind. Our powerful SOC 2 and ISO 27001 platform provide powerful automation that will transform your compliance. But we also appreciate that there’s no substitute for the human touch, which is why we also offer all the compliance support and advice you need to get even more out of your tech. See what our customers have to say about how we made their compliance simple, easy, and extremely effective.