Security compliance management is a hot-button topic for organizations — particularly high-regulated ones — to meet applicable regulations governed by regulatory bodies over their industry. More than just a mouthful, complying with industry regulations means organizations have met the stringent requirements pertaining to critical business functions and processes for handling protected data types while adhering to minimum levels of security to ensure that devices, users and data are protected from cybersecurity threats.
What is security compliance management?
In a nutshell, security compliance management refers to everything that an organization has implemented to achieve and enforce compliance from a security perspective. This includes all manner of items ranging from high-level concepts to granular applications of practical techniques targeting compliance goals.
Some examples of what goes into holistically managing security compliance are:
- Regulations governing your industry
- Standards and frameworks utilized to meet compliance goals
- Risk assessment to identify risks and tolerance levels
- Business procedures and user processes
- Active monitoring of endpoints for insight into device health
- Baseline device security posture
- IT and Security workflows for impacted devices and data
- Security controls implemented and configured
Anything the organization relies on falls under the scope of managing these resources to fulfill its regulatory requirements.
Why is security compliance important?
Regulations are laws that are designed to protect users of regulated business processes in certain ways. These laws are not variable, open to interpretation nor can organizations cherry-pick which parts of the law they comply with. Because of the criticality of complying with regulatory laws, each regulation has its own set of criteria relating to organizations that unknowingly (or willingly) violate these laws.
Impacts on your organization — both good and bad — stemming from security compliance are:
- Reputation and public standing
- Business opportunities and partnerships
- Revenue and finances
- Legal liability
- Business operations
Challenges of security compliance management
Security compliance goals vary from one industry to another. Similarly, the management of security compliance will also vary between organizations — depending greatly on the resources available to each organization in carrying out and meeting the compliance.
The above not only challenges security compliance management but may also introduce a different set of challenges unique to your organizational needs. Variables that may affect your security compliance goals are:
- Multiple regulations (local, state, tribal, federal, regional) may apply depending on where your organization does business and where its customers are located
- Some regulations may be strict while others are more relaxed
- Budgetary considerations
- Availability of your preferred solutions provider
- Juggling multiple regulations may require multiple solutions, frameworks and standards to comprehensively address
- Skill set and knowledge base of team members tasked with ensuring compliance
What are the goals of security compliance management?
The primary goal of security compliance management is to centrally manage all the curated processes, controls, standards, etc. that were outlined in the first section. Collecting these together provides a top-down view of each piece of software, configuration and tooling that your organization uses on its compliance path.
Other goals that are part of your compliance paradigm and just as critical include:
- Maintain alignment between company policies and regulatory requirements
- Understand how standards and frameworks help on your compliance path and where they fall short
- Design a comprehensive plan that addresses risks while extending it holistically across your infrastructure
- Actively monitoring endpoints to ensure device health
- Verification that tools and workflows quickly enforce compliance standards when devices fall out of compliance
- Secure data while privacy is upheld without compromising either
- Keep up-to-date, time-stamped reports that verify endpoint health logs for regulators during investigations
New to compliance management? Read our in-depth guide for tips on how to get started.
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