IT Compliance Management: The What and Why

IT Compliance Management

IT compliance management can be difficult for many organizations that don’t understand the requirements of cyber data, especially when you have to consider standards such as SOX, NERC CIP, PCI DSS, GLBA, etc. Today, let’s discuss IT compliance management and its importance within your organization.

What is IT Compliance Management?

Ultimately, your goal is to prove you are maintaining your systems to be in line with all required standards. These standards outline very specific security criteria that a business must meet to be deemed compliant. As an example, NIST 800-53 dictates that information systems have session locks able to conceal displayed information for when users stop work and move away from the area temporarily.

Often, a company must prove compliance before doing business in other countries or heavily-regulated markets. As Forbes recommends, you should have a compliance officer involved in strategic business decisions, due to the highly specialized content they must be familiar with. It is even becoming more commonplace for third parties to ask for proof of compliance before agreeing to do business with another organization. As part of their due diligence, companies will ask for records of compliance as well as an assessment.

Why Manage IT Compliance?

The importance of IT compliance is due to the legality of following certain standards, as well as the risk you carry by not following them. If a data breach were to occur, any third parties you are in business are going to need that proof that you were compliant in order to avoid hefty legal fees. Your own company will need proof of assessments as well to avoid fees and any interruption of business.

Your company also provides a real value when engaging in third-party relationships. When factoring in the cost of due diligence, ongoing monitoring and the risk of future non-compliance, many companies will choose to enter into the safest relationship available. If you’re being considered for a vendor or supplier option, showing your compliance and record of such can push you above the competition.

Perhaps most motivating of all are the fees and reputational damage you potentially face. Last year, Target stated the total cost of their data breach in 2013 , accounting for lawsuits that followed up to 5 years later, totaled a massive $414 million. When calculating the reputational damage to the brand, it’s hard to calculate just how much of an impact news stories have in the minds of potential customers. To speak in numbers, Target adjusted its sales outlook for a decline of 2.5%. For a company that didn’t already have a widely liked and established reputation such as Target, the impact on business could be catastrophic.

How to Manage IT Compliance

You have to delve into some specialized content, but it comes down to knowing what is required and making sure you meet those expectations. This is simplified with the use of software. Try a free trial of our software, SecureWatch, which allows you to simply select the content libraries you want to pull questions from and then create your surveys. It’s as simple as having someone at your facility answer questions and saves you from having to hire a trained professional.

As always, we encourage you to go above and beyond compliance. While compliance with set standards is necessary and encompasses most potential complications, it really is the minimum. When crafting your facility assessment, you should include custom requirements such as layered security systems.

With IT compliance management, your work reaches a point where it is “done,” but you should always keep striving for better security measures. This ultimately makes your business more secure and prevents you from being a target for low-hanging fruit.

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