How confident are you in managing your information security compliance? If words like SOC 2, ISO 27001, or HIPAA leave you with an anxious lump in your throat – your compliance management system isn’t doing what it’s supposed to.
Regardless of your security framework, compliance is never something you can completely tick off your to-do list. But managing it doesn’t have to be so draining, time-consuming, or complex either. This blog looks at compliance management systems and which elements to look out for so compliance can work for you, not the other way around.
What is a compliance management system, anyway?
Running a business without a compliance management system is like entering a battle without armor. You may be able to survive for a bit if you stay small and hide in a corner, but if you’re hiding – how are you going to reach new clients and grow your business?
A compliance management system is your organization’s data bodyguard, line of defense, and an essential part of mitigating regulatory and reputational risk. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – security compliance isn’t a one-time thing. This means that once you’re compliant, you must ensure that you stay that way. How? A solid compliance management system.
A compliance management system is tasked with constantly monitoring and evaluating your organizational systems to ensure that they meet all regulatory compliance rules and security standards. Information security frameworks like SOC 2 and ISO 27001 set out specific security requirements and controls that your organization should implement to get compliant. Your compliance management system will monitor these controls – specific elements within your organization and ensure there aren’t any inherent risks or critical gaps you may be missing.
Why is a compliance management system important?
A robust compliance management system will help you keep data-related risks off your back and give you the peace of mind of knowing that you’re insured against any unnecessary penalties and fines associated with non-compliance. Proving due diligence also enables you to better manage controls, policies, procedures, security training, and any additional requirements needed to ensure consistent compliance. Additionally, a well-implemented compliance management system plays a key role in maintaining customer trust and safeguarding your organization’s reputation against the consequences of data breaches or compliance failures.
What are some elements of a compliance management system?
When it comes to your compliance management system, it needs to do one thing and do it exceptionally well; keep you compliant. That means looking at all core elements of your information security system and any internal and external threats or vulnerabilities. That being said, a good compliance management system should focus on the following core elements;
Security awareness training
You can have the most robust security gadgets and gizmos, but if your team doesn’t know how to utilize them, it’s not much help. Not only is regular security awareness training considered mandatory for ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA, and most security frameworks or regulations, but no organization can operate smoothly or mitigate risks without knowing how to identify and respond to them in the first place.
Be sure to check the scope of security awareness training in your current compliance management system. The goal of SAT is to maintain personnel compliance and training readiness and effectively communicate information to your employees that allow them to understand and improve their knowledge of security as well as bring awareness to the impact it has on their day-to-day responsibilities. But sadly, not all security awareness programs are created equal. Leverage a SAT program that tests your employees’ comprehension of the covered topics and their ability to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios.
Security policy management
Your security policies should act as your blueprint for all things infosec. It should be created at an organizational level and implemented throughout the workforce to ensure that all employees understand their roles and responsibilities regarding compliance. In the event of an audit, your security policies will also be analyzed to see whether or not you’ve implemented due diligence across the board. Your compliance management system should continuously monitor your policies and procedures to see whether or not anything is slipping through the cracks.
Automated control monitoring
Sure, you may have implemented your custom security controls, but how effectively are they doing their jobs? Monitoring all your security controls is a time-consuming and daunting process, especially considering the speed at which new cybersecurity threats appear seemingly out of the blue. To ensure consistent compliance and accurate monitoring, your compliance management system should leverage automation technology. This also prevents the risk of human-error.
Vendor risk management
Now, you may be conquering compliance yourself, but unfortunately, it’s not always up to you. Your third-party vendors can easily affect your compliance, and without the necessary vendor risk assessments, they might just be your organization’s Achilles heel. A robust compliance management system must track the compliance risk and exposure pertaining to your vendors.
Updated regulatory compliance
Just when you think you’ve got the hang of the rules, regulations, and standards that your organization must adhere to, another regulatory change or update may affect your processes and procedures. As cybersecurity threats evolve, your information security should evolve along with it. This means implementing a compliance management system that doesn’t just monitor and track that you are up to par but one that’s ahead of the compliance curve and constantly monitors and checks that you’re following the current best practices and implementing the most recent requirements.
Streamline compliance management with Scytale
Regardless of the time, effort, and resources you put into manual compliance management; it’s still a nightmare running after evidence and never-ending admin. It’s also not worth the risk if one tiny error or missed (new) rule could implode your entire organization’s reputation. Scytale’s automated compliance software can help you get and stay compliant all year round with automated monitoring and alerts, dedicated support, and everything you need to conquer security compliance in one ultimate security compliance automation platform. Just see what our customers have to say!