What is Compliance Automation: Find out How to Automate Compliance

Payal Wadhwa

Payal Wadhwa

Jan 25, 2024

compliance automation

According to a compliance risk study conducted by Accenture, 93% of respondents agreed that AI and cloud compliance programs and tools remove human error, automate manual tasks, and prove more effective and efficient. Regulatory authorities bring new rules and policies into effect frequently, and the increasing complexity of the compliance environment demands that technology take a more active role. 

Hence, forward-thinking organizations have understood that compliance automation is the only way ahead. In this blog, we cover what compliance automation is and how it can be a game-changer for your company.

What is Compliance Automation?

Compliance automation is the process of utilizing technological solutions like artificial intelligence to better execute and speed up the compliance process. It essentially employs an automated system that simplifies a number of compliance procedures and activities such as evidence capture, policy rollout, internal gap analysis, risk mitigation strategy, and certification, while unifying them within a single centralized interface.

Organizations that leverage compliance automation are not only safe from the repercussions of non-compliance but are able to implement sufficient measures to address vulnerabilities and expedite compliance procedures to achieve certification.

Why is Compliance Automation Required?

Compliance is a huge pain point for many organizations today. According to Accenture’s 2022 Compliance Risk Study, 95% of businesses have established or are trying to build a culture of compliance. Between constantly changing regulations, strained budgets, and security threats, enhancing your compliance posture can feel like an endless game of catch-up. This is precisely why more companies are turning to compliance automation software. 

Here are a few reasons why compliance automation is important:

  • Traditional compliance is tedious and time-consuming. Organizations need help to balance day-to-day operations, security issues, risks, budgets, and vendor demands. This makes it hard for employees to focus on important tasks.
  • Lack of compliance certifications can hinder business deals, especially for regulations like GDPR. Being non-compliant is a non-starter.
  • Compliance automation software compresses months of compliance work into weeks. It makes organizations certification-ready quickly.
  • Compliance automation software like Sprinto streamlines workflows, provides in-depth assessments and enables proactive reporting. This helps organizations address issues proactively and avoid problems.

Check out the complete guide to compliance management

Case Study

Check how Noosa.io became GDPR compliant in 14 sessions with Sprinto

How does compliance automation work?

Compliance automation uses technology to systematize and simplify compliance processes. Rather than relying on manual checks and audits, compliance automation leverages tools like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics.

These tools can automatically scan systems and infrastructure to identify compliance gaps and vulnerabilities. For example, automation can check that security patches or software updates have been correctly installed to adhere to policies. It can also monitor user access and activity to ensure the separation of duties and least privilege principles are followed.

Built-in remediation capabilities of compliance automation enable you to take corrective actions to security issues. This can identify sensitive data that may violate regulations like ISO 27001 or GDPR if the required security measures are not implemented. The automated reporting provides visibility into compliance status across the organization.

Overall, compliance process automation aims to reduce compliance efforts on employees. It ensures that systems and processes adhere to relevant regulations and internal policies. This frees up security and compliance teams to focus on higher-level strategy.

Experience the Sprinto advantage: Compliance is challenging. But how do you address the challenges with minimum effort and cost? Sprinto’s scalable compliance automation platform helps to be compliant for popular frameworks at lightning speed, at a fraction of cost, and with zero manual effort. It helps in monitoring entity-level risks as well as security controls and enables automated compliance reporting, all from a single intuitive dashboard. It continuously monitors your infrastructure for risks and non-compliance and trains employees. 

How to Automate Your Compliance Process?

Managing compliance through manual processes can take a lot of work. Compliance automation consolidates all your compliance workflows into a single intuitive dashboard. This provides real-time data visibility, allowing the SOC team to track their compliance status in real-time. 

Here’s a quick run-through of how you can implement compliance automation:

compliance automation process

1. Gathering the requirements

In order to understand automation requirements, it is crucial to conduct a thorough study of existing policies and controls. This will help identify gaps and vulnerabilities in the up and running systems, which is the key aspect of gathering requirements. Specific areas within a process or control that require immediate attention will come under notice. It also helps to keep in mind the latest compliance needs while resolving any persistent issues. 

Integrating systems

The next step is to integrate all your existing systems with compliance automation software. A comprehensive compliance automation system can help amend and formulate better policies, improve risk assessment, and enhance response mechanisms and times. 

2. Creating a tactical plan

Now that systems have been integrated and the gaps identified, it is vital to create a strategic plan that can be implemented and replicated at a granular level. This may involve translating certification requirements into action items that can be disseminated to employees and systems across the organization. A tactical plan may also include creating employee training schedules, enabling change management, and establishing mitigation and recovery plans. 

3. Policy training

Often, new policies will have to be drafted to accommodate new compliance requirements. It is necessary to ensure that both technical and non-technical stakeholders understand what has changed and every employee within the company undergoes in-depth policy training and walkthroughs. 

4. Internal audit

Internal audits serve as a litmus test that assesses the efficiency of the systems in place. They help check if system controls are functional, reports are accurate, and the areas of risks covered. Internal audits are frequent exercises that help gauge how certification-ready the organization is against a set threshold.

Must check out: Compliance audit software

5. Certification

A compliance automation platform essentially accelerates the certification process from end-to-end by streamlining workflows, automating evidence collection, and presenting data in an easy-to-understand format for auditors to assess. This makes the certification audit more accurate and transparent while making it a less time-consuming process.

Learn how a tool like Sprinto can help you scale and implement multiple compliances at the same time. Take to our experts today.

6. Surveillance and monitoring

Compliance is not a one-time occurrence and goes beyond the certification stage. Surveillance monitoring is an integral part of the compliance process that ensures adherence to standards on an ongoing basis. This may include keeping track of controls and making observations on a regular basis while addressing the areas of non-compliance brought up in the audit stage. 

If you are thinking about cost, here is an article on compliance budget that might help.

Types of Compliances that can be Automated

Compliance can be broadly categorized into two categories—regulatory and corporate compliance. Let’s have a look at the types:

Regulatory compliance: 

Any kind of local rules, state-level regulations, or federal laws fall under regulatory compliance. For example, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Regulatory compliance can also be industry-specific. HIPAA compliance in the healthcare industry is a great example. PCI DSS in the payment card industry is another instance.

Corporate compliance: 

The compliance of internal policies and procedures while maintaining the decorum of federal regulations is corporate compliance. For example, if the company has a BYOD (Bring your own device) policy, there can be regular scans for potential vulnerabilities to ensure data privacy and security.

Find out the different types of compliance frameworks

What are some Compliance Automation Examples?

Compliance automation helps organizations efficiently meet regulatory requirements, manage policies, ensure data protection, and streamline audits. It utilizes specific tools to simplify compliance processes, including monitoring, reporting, and workflow management. You can choose to automate compliance processes in parts or as a whole. 

Here are some examples of areas where compliance automation can help you improve:

1. Risk management: 

Risk management helps organizations identify potential vulnerabilities and drive measures to mitigate impact. A compliance process automation helps organizations proactively integrate processes upfront to get ahead of risks by identifying gaps in their infosec infrastructure and policies and providing them with tactical action items to help resolve them.

2. Regulatory and corporate compliance: 

Compliance automation framework captures all activities and data changes, creating automated audit trails. No more manual gathering of data for regulatory reporting and generates accurate reports with ease. Automation tools help organizations stay proactive to regulatory changes. The automation software handles policy management, documentation management, continuous monitoring, and employee training and ensures timely compliance.

3. Security controls: 

Security and compliance are intertwined. Automation helps ensure information security through the discovery of data, entity-level risk mapping, error-detection and risk mitigation and thereby helps to scale to multiple compliances. This provides flexibility to meet changing business needs.

4. Audit trail management: 

Compliance automation works like a centralized solution to automate your audit requirements like document tracking, evidence collection, reporting etc. It can help you maintain a record of previous audits and verify the accuracy of compliance-related activities. This results in improved analysis and reduced errors in regulatory filings. You can trust your reports.

Benefits of Compliance Automation

The benefits of compliance solutions are both qualitative and quantitative. In short, you’ll see shorter sales cycles and reduced costs, and you’ll also see a culture of compliance and better productivity. The major advantages include:

Reduced errors

82% of data breaches are because of the involvement of humans, according to a report by Verizon’s 2022 Data breaches. Compliance automation removes the guesswork involved in the business processes, such as the implementation of policy, and mitigates the margin of error. Reduced error rates and increased accuracy minimize compliance violations and overall turnaround time for compliance requirements.

Breathing easy through audits

Most companies submit a readiness checklist to the auditor but fail to produce evidence that supports controls at each stage. As a result, the auditors have to keep moving back and forth to their clients for corroboration.

With an automated compliance environment, gathering evidence is straightforward. A compliance automation tool streamlines evidence collection and helps facilitate internal audits seamlessly

Centralized access management

With compliance automation, there are centralized controls over authorization and authentication. User identities, roles and access permissions can easily be managed bringing greater visibility and strengthening defense against unauthorized access.

Real-time progress tracking

Manually monitoring where you stand in terms of compliance progress can eat a lot of the bandwidth of the leaders. Compliance automation documents, organizes and presents evidence for each stage of the control, demonstrating real-time progress and making the whole process reliable and efficient.

Also read: The benefits of the compliance management system

Compliance Automation with Sprinto

Compliance is essentially a sales accelerator and compliance automation is the key that helps you gain a competitive edge. With evolving compliance regulations, those who leverage automation are guaranteed to stay ahead in the game. 

With a comprehensive suite of features, Sprinto is an intuitive compliance automation software that helps you streamline your regulatory compliance and certification process. With Sprinto, you leverage smarter security workflows, policy templates, and automated compliance reporting to help you respond to evolving regulatory changes quickly. 

Sprinto has been recognized as the category leader by G2. Let’s show you how compliance is done. 

Speak to our experts today to ease your compliance journey!

Compliance Automation FAQs

What is a compliance automation platform?

A compliance automation platform is a software solution that can essentially automate compliance workflows by integrating with other systems in the organization and thereby fast-track compliance progress. It caters to areas like document management, risk management, reporting and analytics, training, etc. It is a cost-effective and time-saving solution for organizations, big and small.

How to pick the best compliance tool?

The choice of compliance tool will be based on several factors, such as your industry standards, current IT infrastructure, the task management functionality you need, and risk management facilitation. These can be key but not all determinants. You can have custom requirements based on internal policies and procedures and talk to the software team for tailored solutions.

What are some best practices for automating compliance management?

Best practices for automating compliance management include defining the requirements in detail with milestones and timelines, centralized workflow management, testing and tracking performance, training employees, and documenting procedures.

What is the cost of automating compliance?

The cost of automating compliance varies based on factors like choice of software, types of industry and organizational needs, and maintenance costs. It ranges from subscription fees to implementation and ongoing support expenses. Conducting a cost-benefit analysis is essential to assess the ROI of compliance automation.

Payal Wadhwa

Payal Wadhwa

Payal is your friendly neighborhood compliance whiz! She turns perplexing compliance lingo into actionable advice about keeping your digital business safe and savvy. When she isn’t saving virtual worlds, she’s penning down poetic musings or lighting up local open mics. Cyber savvy by day, poet by night!

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