Cybersecurity and compliance have become inextricably linked, but for organizations staring down two complex and risk-driven paths, navigating a strategic roadmap can be a formidable challenge.
Whether your company’s compliance efforts are driven by regulatory standards, investor/board pressure, increasing risk factors and/or other influences, take care to avoid these obstructive hurdles on your journey.
1. Lack of Visibility into Your Environment/Data
How can you effectively safeguard your organization’s data if you don’t know where it is? The answer, of course, is that you can’t. But too often, companies adopt new cybersecurity technologies and implement new practices, crossing their fingers in hopes that anything and everything will be protected. But if you can’t pinpoint exactly what data a hacker may be able to access (and what the ultimate value of that data is), you risk serious consequences.
In order to achieve compliance, you need to put processes in place to mitigate risk. And in order to mitigate risk, you need to know what’s AT RISK. With data discovery and classification technology, you can use automation and machine learning to scan your networks, applications and connected devices to locate and value sensitive data, so you can implement controls and safeguards to shield that data from potential intrusion.
Without proper discovery, any compliance efforts on your part are hindered by an inadequate understanding of your risk.
2. Manual Processes and Disconnected Systems
Compliance as an undertaking can be labor-intensive – which is why it helps if you have a handle on where your data is located! Of course, without such insight, companies frequently rely on manual processes to locate and gather data, remediate IT and cybersecurity issues, and manage the compliance process as a whole. Those manual processes can be further hindered by disconnected or outdated systems that don’t allow for integration and thus depend on internal IT personnel to ensure proper controls are in place and processes are followed across all systems, applications and access levels.
Naturally, this leaves significant room for errors during the compliance audit process.
3. Lack of Strategy & Oversight
When it comes to cybersecurity compliance, piecemeal solutions and patchwork fixes won’t do the trick. To effectively assess your business’ cybersecurity risk, identify gaps in technology and policy, and ensure effective conformity with relevant standards and requirements, you need a comprehensive compliance strategy.
Whether you choose to manage compliance in-house or work with an experienced managed service provider, the ultimate responsibility for compliance falls to you. And not just your IT team. The reality is, IT cannot act as a silo and be solely responsible for cybersecurity protection and compliance.
That means it’s essential to have internal oversight of the compliance process – either a top executive or broader steering committee – who will create a culture of compliance and champion the management process not just at a single point of time, but continuously.
Alas, the road to compliance is a not so much a straight path, but a constant loop that depends on proper planning and commitment to ensure a smooth journey.
How We Can Help
Not sure where to start? Our vCISOs at Omega Systems have counseled hundreds of companies across a wide variety of industry verticals and can guide you in designing an IT compliance strategy that addresses any relevant regulatory requirements as well as aligns to your business’ unique goals and risks.