What is the Difference Between IT Security and IT Compliance?

What is the Difference Between IT Security and IT Compliance?What is the Difference Between IT Security and IT Compliance?
Rebecca KappelRebecca Kappel Staff asked 1 year ago

1 Answers
Rebecca KappelRebecca Kappel Staff answered 1 year ago
In very simple terms, IT compliance can be compared to rules that govern secure practices in an IT environment. IT Security can be compared to the “spirit of the law.” 

An organization can invest heavily in security and network technologies, and fail to be compliant with regulatory standards. Conversely, another organization may have filled in all the checkboxes on multiple compliance standards and still have open security gaps in their system. In truth, both security and compliance are needed to attain a well-developed security management system. 

Security vs. Compliance

IT Security and IT compliance complement each other nicely but differ in their goals.

Security is the process of implementing controls and strategies to fortify a digital system in the face of threats. It includes identifying and assessing risk, detecting security gaps, implementing controls, and responding to threats. The end goal is to achieve a resilient system.

Compliance, for its own sake, is more like a checkbox exercise of aligning with a given standard to achieve certification or self-attestation. Compliance teams need to follow a set of rules intended to help protect corporate assets from many forms of damage or risk. The goal of IT compliance requirement is to abide by the guidelines outlined in the standard or regulation.

The main reason for standardized compliance frameworks is that without a common frame of reference, it would be extremely difficult for companies to demonstrate that certain security requirements are being met. Aligning with a compliance standard is not a guarantee that your system is secure against cyber attacks, but it does give potential partners and vendors a tangible way to measure your security practices and level of cyber maturity.

If you’re ready to integrate your security and compliance goals, check out the Centraleyes platform for a unique approach to your cyber security compliance management and risk efforts.

Related Content

Authorization to Operate (ATO)

Authorization to Operate (ATO)

What is an ATO? An ATO is a hallmark of approval that endorses an information system…


What is StateRAMP? In 2011, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) laid the groundwork…
Segregation of Duties

Segregation of Duties

What is the Segregation of Duties? Segregation of duties (SoD) is like a game of checks…
Skip to content