Best Practices for Security Compliance Management

Cybersecurity frameworks exist to provide a unified security standard for organizations to follow to protect their data, networks, and other digital assets. These frameworks, such as NIST, CIS, and SOC 2, mean companies don’t need to start from scratch to prevent cyberattacks. 

Compliance with security frameworks provides an organization and its partners with confidence that they are reasonably protected from malicious activity. Ultimately, the purpose of security compliance frameworks is to provide protection. However, failing to comply with a framework often results in regulatory fines.

The world of cybersecurity is constantly changing, and so are security frameworks. As a result, organizations need to create a compliance management program to ensure that they abide by the latest regulations and implement robust security practices. 

However, only 20% of security operations specialists believe their organization has mature security operations. That means 80% of organizations are left vulnerable to the attacks frameworks are designed to prevent, plus they may incur regulatory fines.

Some organizations create a security compliance management program to allow cross-departmental coordination that ensures the company stays compliant. A compliance management program prevents fines, but it also keeps the company’s cybersecurity posture as strong as possible.

Today, we’ll explore why information security compliance management programs are a valuable asset to your organization. Then, we’ll examine best practices for implementing and maintaining an effective program.

Best Practices for Security Compliance Managemen

What is Security Compliance Management?

Compliance management is a specific program designed to ensure an organization abides by relevant frameworks and regulations. Companies with a compliance program will always be aware of new guidelines, new risk-mitigating controls, and procedural changes that enhance their cybersecurity.

Conversely, failing to have a defined compliance management program often results in disjointed efforts to stay updated on changes and regulations. As a result, it’s easy for an organization without proper compliance management to fall behind, leaving them vulnerable and likely paying fines after the next audit.

Goals and Challenges of Cyber Security Compliance Management

Most security compliance management programs share common goals and tackle similar challenges. 

Key Goals of Compliance Management

What are these programs aiming to accomplish? Most organizations have similar goals when instituting a compliance management program and it’s essential to define your goals when creating a new program. Common goals are:

  • Avoid regulatory fines and other penalties: Most cybersecurity frameworks are not suggestions but legally enforceable guidelines. Therefore, a security compliance management program’s primary goal is to avoid the steep fees that accompany failing to comply with security frameworks and consumer protection regulations, such as GDPR.
  • Improve data management and security: A vital component of many frameworks and regulations facing organizations is properly managing and securing sensitive data, such as customers’ private information. Staying up to date with these frameworks means protecting data entrusted to you by your customers.
  • Protect the company’s reputation: A security breach can be disastrous to a company’s reputation. Some companies never recover, while others face the difficult task of reassuring customers and partners that the vulnerabilities have been fixed.

Challenges of Security Compliance Management

Creating and maintaining a compliance management program is exceptionally valuable. However, there are several common challenges that companies face, including:

  • Staying up to date with framework changes: The world of cybersecurity and its threats are constantly changing. As a result, frameworks are frequently updated, and organizations need to know about them and implement meaningful changes. It’s challenging to manage it all but vital to avoid fines and protect company assets.
  • Coordinating across large teams: Poor collaboration between security teams increases the risk of a breach or failing a compliance audit. The larger the company, the more people need to communicate to make meaningful decisions that keep the organization compliant.
  • Multi-country presences: Most large companies have a foothold in more than one country. This means they must abide by all applicable laws and regulations that apply to their industry. 

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Best Practices for Effective Security Compliance Management

Now that you know the common goals and challenges of security compliance management, you can employ best practices that help you succeed. 

Create a Comprehensive Compliance Management Program

It begins by creating a security compliance management program that strategically involves IT, security, and compliance teams. You may even extend to other departments; anyone involved with compliance should participate in the program. 

The first task of the new program is to document the regulations and frameworks that must be followed. Then, a detailed risk assessment should be conducted to identify any current security and compliance gaps. 

Your risk assessment will inform the next steps of your compliance management program. For example, do you need to implement new controls to cover inherent risks? Or is your security posture excellent and needs proactive maintenance?

Encourage Communication Across Teams and Avoid Silos

Compliance is complicated if teams are only working within themselves. Therefore, a security compliance program should break down silos and encourage all relevant teams to collaborate and communicate. 

Not only does this create effective compliance management, but it avoids redundancy. If two teams are working on the same compliance task separately, it’s likely wasting time and resources that could be expended elsewhere.

Utilize Security Compliance Automation Solutions

Automation is your best tool for cutting down on time involved in remaining compliant. Some common ways to automate your security compliance include:

  • Regularly generate reports necessary to prove compliance or inform the effectiveness of risk-mitigating controls.
  • Reduce duplicative efforts by answering smart questionnaires that apply across multiple frameworks and regulations. 
  • Centralize updates provided by frameworks and regulatory organizations rather than manually hunting down changes.

There are several potential opportunities for automation found throughout your IT and security departments. Examine any repetitive task to determine if automation is possible. You’ll save company time and free up specialists to work on higher-level tasks that make a more significant impact.

Continuously Monitor Risks and Controls

Don’t wait for a framework to enforce changes; proactively understand risks facing your organization and the effectiveness of the controls meant to mitigate them. Regularly revise your security assessment to determine if the chosen controls protect against the risk or if vulnerabilities remain that need to be addressed.

Additionally, malicious actors are constantly looking for ways to circumvent your controls. Proactively finding vulnerabilities before they do will significantly reduce the likelihood of a breach.

Integrate As Many Tools as Possible

Cybersecurity tools have helped analysts handle important tasks and review necessary information more manageable than ever before. Yet, IT professionals often have to manage dozens of different tools throughout the workday. This can cause oversights that may impact compliance and overall security. 

Integrate as many tools as possible into a centralized dashboard. Most cloud security compliance platforms provide an API that enables integration with other tools or in-house dashboards. Put them to work and prevent critical missing details.

Transform Your Compliance Management with Centraleyes

Security compliance management protects your digital assets, avoids regulatory fines, and keeps your company in good standing with partners and customers. A security compliance management program creates a unified cross-departmental task force that keeps you compliant. 
Centraleyes provides automation across workflows and repetitive tasks, as well as real-time insights into your organization’s compliance status. Customizable alerts, meaningful integrations, and automatically updated frameworks will streamline remaining compliant. Book a demo today with our compliance experts to discover how Centraleyes can work for you.

Start Getting Value With
Centraleyes for Free

See for yourself how the Centraleyes platform exceeds anything an old GRC
system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days

Start building your Security Compliance Management Program
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