Collecting, storing, and sharing confidential data of customers, employees, and partners is a part of businesses’ daily operations. That’s why compliance regulations oblige all sizes of businesses to protect confidential data at all times. Compliance refers to specific security guidelines, rules, and directions that are regulated under global and local laws to protect all kinds of confidential data. But, many compliance regulations only require businesses to implement the minimum amount of security measures to safeguard sensitive data.
Nowadays, a compliance-oriented cybersecurity approach isn’t enough to combat cybercriminals and protect confidential data. Poor security compliance often results in successful data breaches, and these kinds of incidents harm a business’s reputation and credibility top to bottom. Additionally, for each violation of compliance regulations, regulators can apply severe fines and penalties. For instance, if cyber criminals steal health-related confidential data of customers, then Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulators can apply fines that are up to 1.5 million dollars annually.
To avoid regulatory fines and protect all corporate assets, a company should work on establishing cybersecurity compliance. Security compliance refers to an organizational risk management procedure that is aligned with compliance requirements and standards. IT security compliance allows businesses to define the degree of risks, create security policies and procedures prior to breaches, and mitigate the risks of cyber attacks. Let’s look at five best practices of cybersecurity compliance in 2022.
Table of Contents
1. Create Cybersecurity Compliance Team
Commonly, businesses create a compliance team to handle documentation and reporting compliance requirements. The same approach applies to cybersecurity compliance, meaning a company should create a cybersecurity compliance team that consists of IT professionals, and staff who are responsible for compliance documentation, monitoring and reporting. Creating a cybersecurity compliance team allows a company to implement adequate security policies, procedures, and measures that are aligned with compliance requirements.
But, you should be careful while choosing members of the security compliance team, and evaluate if each member can handle their duties. Because on the road to security compliance, your team needs to conduct regular audits, assessments, risk analysis, and incident response plans. Additionally, compliance is a constantly evolving landscape, meaning regulators can always oblige new compliance requirements. That’s why your team should be able to handle constantly evolving compliance requirements.
2. Understand Which Regulations Apply
Compliance regulations vary across industries, geo-locations, and data types. For instance, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) applies to all companies that collect, store and share health-related confidential data in the United States.
In another example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to all companies in Europe, and it requires businesses to protect the confidential data of Eu-based individuals. Meaning if a business only operates in the United States or any other location other than Europe, then this business isn’t obligated to follow GDPR requirements. Simply put, not all compliance regulations apply to your business, that’s why it is important to understand which regulations apply to your business and which requirements are needed to comply with these regulations.
3. Conduct Risk Analysis
On the road to security compliance, your team should be working on conducting regular risk analysis to define the degree of risks of every information asset, information system, and dataset. This way, you will be able to set risk levels for every confidential data type and prioritize security needs in accordance with risk levels. Additionally, conducting regular risk analysis will help your team ascertain high risks involving areas in your current systems so that your team can implement adequate security policies, procedures, and measures to safeguard these areas where confidential data is stored.
4. Set Security Controls and Document Policies & Procedures
Setting security controls is one of the most important practices of security compliance because your team should make sure all compliance requirements are covered with security measures, policies, and procedures. Secondly, your team should test your existing security infrastructure to see if each security tool is functioning properly or not. According to these testing results, your team can see if you establish security compliance or not. Additionally, your team should document every security policy, and procedure they put in place to safeguard sensitive data because documentation helps your team systematically align compliance requirements, audit, and revise your organization’s compliance efforts.
5. Outsource Your Compliance Needs
To establish cybersecurity compliance, you can outsource your compliance needs from third-party providers. Using compliance services from a provider is a great solution, especially when you don’t have enough resources, staff, and time to handle cybersecurity compliance. Most providers already have internal teams consisting of IT professionals who are experts in cybersecurity. That’s why using the compliance services of third-party providers will help you establish cybersecurity compliance easily.
But, while choosing providers you should be careful, and make sure they can handle your cybersecurity compliance needs. For example, if you want to work with a trusted provider, you can consider NordLayer, a well-known cybersecurity firm that helps businesses achieve cybersecurity compliance with modern security solutions.
In today’s world, not complying with compliance regulations isn’t an option for most businesses as regulators don’t hesitate to apply severe fines, and penalties for each violation, and data breach. But, meeting compliance requirements doesn’t necessarily mean that your business is secure against cyber threats. That’s why establishing cybersecurity compliance is essential as it helps businesses mitigate the potential risks of data breaches, and create security policies and procedures to safeguard confidential data.