Security Compliance Management: Goals and Best Practices

Payal Wadhwa

Payal Wadhwa

Feb 17, 2024

security compliance management

Imagine this. You’re a top executive in the finance department of the company. One day, you receive an email from your CEO’s email address explaining in great detail a scenario that resulted in him not being able to login to one of your databases. Nothing really seems to raise an alarm. The domain name looks legitimate. So what if he’s using his personal email address? It’s even got his signature. What would you do?

Belgian Bank Crelan was a victim of one such incident and ended up losing $75.8 million. A lack of training and the absence of a structured security program was attributed as the reason.

Insufficient security compliance management can have catastrophic results for your organization and can lead to data breaches, attacks, and more.

Let’s explore what security compliance management is, what its goals are, and go into some of the best practices that organizations can follow.

What is Security Compliance Management?

Security compliance management is the process of implementing security controls and monitoring systems and policies while ensuring adherence to the latest regulatory standards. Organizations adopt several measures to ensure safety against security threats such as risk assessment, incident response, and system and network surveillance.

What are the Goals of Security Compliance Management?

The goal of security compliance management is to ensure a robust security system fit to meet industry standards while aligning with corporate policies and regulatory mandates.

Broadly it caters to the following: 

Implementation of security controls

Security controls encompass a range of physical, technical and administrative measures to safeguard sensitive data. Biometric controls are an example of physical security measures while data encryption, firewalls, data backups etc. fall under technical measures. Initiatives like security education and training that establish security processes around company personnel are administrative controls.

For real-time monitoring of security controls at a granular level, consider tools like Sprinto which can eliminate the need for manual oversight.

Risk identification and incident handling

Risk management essentially involves identifying various risks, assessing their severity, and initiating measures to contain or eliminate the damage. It is essential for protection of an organization’s information assets, taking well-informed decisions and ensuring continued operations. A security compliance management system acts as a risk manager by ensuring continued compliance, identifying potential risks in real-time and proactively commencing incident handling measures when required.

Avoiding ramifications of non-compliance

Uber was fined $148 million for not disclosing that their data had been stolen by a hacker for a year.

Google was ordered to pay $43 million by the Australian court for misleading customers about their personal location data.

Non-compliance can land organizations into serious legal trouble that not only damage reputation but can have some severe financial consequences in the form of fines and penalties. Moreover, being entangled in legal investigations can drain resources significantly.

And then there’s a loss of revenue because of operational disruptions and decreased productivity.

Maintaining public perception

Your brand carries an image that customers and stakeholders are all invested in. It takes years to build trust. One negative report related to non-compliance can shatter the company’s public image in seconds. Customers start looking for alternatives, stakeholders start leaving and investors start turning their backs on you. Entering a new market becomes difficult.

Security compliance management helps you steer clear of reputational issues by giving you compliance confidence.

Also, check out: Best compliance monitoring tools

Best Practices for Security Compliance Management

Organizations today are subject to a number of regulatory compliances and exposed to several non-compliance ramifications. These include financial risks, damage to public perception and more. Having a certain set of best practices for security compliance management helps keep things under control.

Here are 5 tactics to facilitate impactful security compliance:

Define the scope of compliance system

Effective security management begins with defining the scope of the compliance system. Proper policies need to be laid down to serve as a centralized source of truth. This begins with identifying the compliance requirements and addressing the areas which need to be covered by the compliance system. These will essentially be areas where compliance risks are most significant.

Assess risk early

Reactive measures are often not as effective as being proactive, especially in the matters of security. Organizations must assess risk early through a proactive approach and continuous risk assessment. Conducting penetration testing, vulnerability scans, installing intrusion detection systems etc., ensure that potential threats do not become major accidents and disrupt the operations of the organization.

Understand compliance requirements

The industrial regulations, nature of business activities and geographical locations mostly dictate the compliance requirements. It is essential to have a thorough understanding of the prerequisites before chalking out an action plan. Knowledge about the legal and regulatory obligations will also enable better risk management and protection against non-compliance ramifications.

Conduct frequent audits

The best way to demonstrate commitment to compliance is by conducting frequent internal audits. This ensures ongoing adherence and continuous improvement in compliance processes. Any potential harm to finances, reputation, or operations is avoided and there’s increased discipline and efficiency in employees.

Include surveillance and monitoring

Surveillance and monitoring should become a part of the company processes for efficient security compliance management. The effectiveness of the implementation plan, the true picture of cyber resilience, and any persisting weak links are essentially learned during these exercises.

Also check out: Guide to compliance reporting.

Security vs Compliance: Where is the Intersection?

Security and compliance are two distinct concepts and yet, are dependent on each other.

Security refers to safeguarding information networks and systems from unauthorized access, intrusion, modification, and destruction. Compliance, on the other hand, pertains to the adherence to internal best practices and regulatory obligations.

Compliance requirements lay down the foundation for security best practices that help in data protection. Organizations are required to conduct security threat assessments and submit audit reports as a part of their compliance certification process.

Compliance is as much about security as it is about other things. A failure to implement security controls can cause data breaches, hacking, attacks, etc thereby leading to non-compliance. For an organization to function optimally and protect themselves from risk, security measures should align with the organization’s compliance programs.

Become Security Compliant with Sprinto

Following best practices for security compliance and focusing on achieving its goals helps organizations improve security posture, minimize exposure to non-compliance risks, gain competitive advantage, and build reputation.

Sprinto is a security compliance management platform. We help companies understand compliance requirements and implement security measures tailored to the requirements of the organization. Our security program is auto-mapped to thousands of requirements and 10+ frameworks so the security compliance work that you’ve done for one compliance can be reused to get another compliance with minimal efforts. This expedites the certification process and helps you stay ahead of the compliance curve. Speak to our experts to leverage the best-in-class software solution.

FAQ

What is the role of security compliance?

The role of security compliance is to implement a security management system that identifies and mitigates cyber threats associated with an organization’s compliance journey. It keeps regulatory requirements, corporate needs, security controls and industry standards in check through continuous assessments and surveillance.

How do you ensure security compliance?

You can ensure security compliance for your organization by documenting security policies, conducting training for employees, conducting regular risk assessments, and monitoring of data and systems.

What are some regulations and standards related to security compliance management?

Some regulations and standards that relate to security compliance management are International Standard Organization Compliance (ISO), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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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