What is Information Security Compliance and why is it important

Shivam Jha

Shivam Jha

Aug 11, 2023

Information Security Compliance

We all benefit from living in a connected world, from people using social media to remain in touch with distant family members to corporations reaping the benefits of remote working. Although connectivity is excellent and has many benefits, it also brings in vulnerabilities.

Most businesses that handle sensitive data become the subject of cyberattacks. Organizations lose money, time, and resources as a result of frequent threats like malware, ransomware, and Denial of Service (DoS) assaults.

This is where information security compliance plays an important role. Complying with various industry-specific information security compliances means that you are adhering to set rules that enable you to manage and mitigate potential vulnerabilities.

What is information security compliance?

Information security compliance is the process of adhering to industry-specific laws, rules, and standards. It entails putting rules and procedures in place to guarantee that data belonging to an organization is safe from unauthorized access or modification.

Information security and compliance have a significant relationship. In order to fulfill their legal and regulatory duties for data protection, privacy, and other areas of compliance, organizations must take information security precautions. 

By implementing proper control, organizations can lower the risk of a breach or data loss while still ensuring that they continue to comply with all relevant laws and regulations.

What is the importance of information security compliance?

Aside from the benefit of guaranteeing the security policies and solutions of an organization’s data, strong security compliance helps safeguard a business’s reputation and maintain the legitimacy of its activities, both of which have an impact on the organization’s revenue.

Businesses want their current and potential consumers to have confidence in them, but if that business loses control over customer data, that confidence is quickly shattered. 

To ensure that their reputation not only remains intact but also has the potential to be improved, businesses must take care to preserve sensitive customer data.

According to PwC research, 85% of customers responded that if they are concerned about a company’s data practices, they will not do business with them. While large corporations can absorb such reputational harm, this challenge might be too great for small or medium-sized businesses to overcome.

Examples of information security compliance

There are hundreds of information security compliance issues around the world. However, here are some of the major ones:

SOC 2

SOC 2 (Service Organization Control Type 2) is a voluntary compliance standard for service organizations created by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), which outlines how businesses should manage client data. 

The following Trust Services Criteria serve as the foundation for the standard: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. The needs of each organization are taken into account while creating a SOC 2 report. 

Every organization has the ability to build controls that adhere to one or more trust principles depending on its unique business practices. These internal reports offer organizations with crucial details about how they handle their data to authorities, partners in business, and suppliers. 

HIPAA

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a federal law that mandates the development of international guidelines to prevent the disclosure of private patient health information without the patient’s knowledge or consent. 

To put these rules into practice, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) established the HIPAA Privacy Rule. 

A portion of the data covered by the Privacy Rule is protected under the HIPAA Security Rule. The Privacy Rule establishes guidelines for people’s rights to know how their health information is used and to exercise that control. 

A key objective of the Privacy Rule is to guarantee that people’s health information is appropriately safeguarded while permitting the flow of health information required to deliver and promote high-quality healthcare, as well as to safeguard the health and well-being of the general public.

GDPR

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the cornerstone of European law governing online privacy.

In accordance with the terms of the GDPR, any organization handling an EU resident’s data is not only required to ensure that personal data is collected lawfully and in accordance with strict guidelines but also that those who collect and manage it are required to safeguard it against misuse and exploitation and to respect the rights of data owners – or face penalties for failing to do so.

ISO 27001

ISO 27001 is one of the most prevalent international standards for information security. It was released by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). 

Not only does the standard give businesses the knowledge they need to protect their most precious data, but a business can also become certified against ISO 27001 and, in this way, demonstrate to its clients and business partners that it is committed to securing their data.

What are the legal requirements of information security compliance?

The legal requirements of information security compliance change vastly depending on the jurisdiction and the relevant compliance. However, here are some general overviews of the different legal requirements for cybersecurity compliance:

Data protection laws

Data protection regulations govern the collection, use, transfer, and disclosure of personal information, as well as the security of such information. People are given access to their data, accountability requirements are established for companies that process it, and remedies are provided for improper or harmful processing.

Also check out: Guide to Data security regulations

Data breach notification laws

Data breach notification laws contain provisions relating to its application, such as who the rules apply to (individuals, organizations, or authorities) and what constitutes a breach under these laws. These regulations mandate that organizations that have experienced a breach (and are therefore liable to the law) notify the individuals whose data was compromised, as well as other important parties of the occurrence.

Also check out: A detailed guide to compliance risk

Data retention and destruction

Data retention is the process of keeping various data kinds, records, and documents for a specified duration. The practice of sifting and shredding (commonly known as data destruction) data that is no longer valuable to an organization.

The handling of personal information by a firm, its workers, and parties who engage with the business is governed by written policies called data retention policies. What and how data is gathered, preserved, or erased depends on the rules of data retention and destruction policies.

Contractual requirements

Specific information security standards may be imposed through contractual agreements that organizations have with clients, business partners, or suppliers. These agreements could have clauses about incident response, security audits, confidentiality, or data protection.

Also, check out the internal audit process under compliance

Sprinto’s role in information security compliance

Information security compliance has emerged as a top priority for organizations across industries in today’s wild world of ones and zeros. Maintaining information security compliance with the law entails not only adhering to regulatory standards but also protecting sensitive data, preserving client confidence, and reducing risks. 

Organizations should strengthen their defenses against cyber attacks and show their dedication to protecting sensitive information by diligently implementing robust security measures, keeping up with changing requirements, and establishing a culture of security awareness. 

Sprinto is a compliance automation solution that is a testament to the advancement in technology. It is a one-stop solution for all your compliance needs. Sprinto provides you with all the customizations suited to your unique requirements.

Not just that, Sprinto’s experts are available throughout your compliance journey to assist you in need. Talk to our experts to know how Sprinto can cut your cost and time and get your compliance ready in days.

FAQs

What technical measures do organizations use to ensure compliance with information security?

Typical technical controls include firewalls, IDS/IPS, access restrictions, encryption, vulnerability management, incident response planning, logging/monitoring systems, and network security measures.

How can businesses make sure that sensitive data is sent and stored securely?

By encrypting data at rest, utilizing secure data transmission methods, separating data, and keeping an eye on data access, organizations can ensure the safe storage and transmission of sensitive data.

How can businesses make sure that laws governing data protection are followed?

Organizations can ensure compliance by acquiring valid consent, adopting privacy by design, enabling data subject rights, doing data protection impact assessments (DPIAs), and setting up data breach reporting procedures.

Shivam Jha

Shivam Jha

Shivam is our in house cybersecurity sage with over six years of experience in cybersecurity under his belt. He is passionate about making the digital world safer for everyone and whipping up Indian delicacies on the weekend.

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