In business circles, you’ll inevitably hear about the many ways to beef up your cybersecurity to protect your company and your clients. However, another term is also often brought up when discussing cybersecurity: compliance. It’s not talked about as often, but both cybersecurity and compliance are essential for any business to succeed.
Compliance helps businesses keep consumer information protected, and this compliance is fulfilled when businesses and organizations prove that their cybersecurity practices meet specific security regulations and standards set by third parties like government agencies. Compliance is not optional; businesses must meet these requirements to protect sensitive information as well as their clients. Failure to meet compliance requirements results in fines, penalties and even legal ramifications.
The Business Benefit of Compliance
No one really likes regulations (except maybe regulators), but there is an upside for your business. If your business is compliant with its cybersecurity protocols, it’ll also appear more trustworthy to the clients and other businesses that work with you. And, of course, it protects you from downside risk: one cybersecurity breach can permanently damage your company’s reputation. Customers will no longer want to do business with you for fear that their personal information could become compromised.
While cybersecurity and compliance sound similar and are related, there is a slight difference between them. Compliance is often driven by business needs rather than technical needs, whereas security is driven by the need to protect against constant threats. If you want to maximize your company’s cybersecurity practices, then you’ll need to go further.
Cybersecurity Starts with Compliance
Overall, compliance and cybersecurity should work hand in hand. Your initial cybersecurity plan should be based on compliance. You must know the standard requirements to remain compliant and put the necessary practices in place to achieve that status. This comes down to knowing the exact details of what is necessary to stay protected. You should be specific so your team knows exactly what is needed to protect your business.
You also need to make an effort to document your practices as frequently as possible. You should create a paper trail of everything you have done to stay compliant as well as your added cybersecurity practices. It can help to add potential audits and any frequency-bound events to your calendar so you don’t get blindsided or miss something important.
After you’ve gathered all of your evidence and put your cybersecurity and compliance protocols to work, you can automate many of your reports. That way, you won’t have to dig and pull data yourself in the future.
While it might seem like a lot of work to ensure your business remains compliant, companies out there can help. Managed IT services providers like Echopath can help ensure your cybersecurity is bulletproof. At the same time as we take care of your IT needs, we can also ensure your business remains compliant with any third-party regulators. New cybersecurity threats are introduced every day, and only with strong cybersecurity and compliance practices can you ensure your business is protected for the foreseeable future.