Roadmap for Tracking Compliance
If you have gone through the information security compliance process, then you’ll opine that it’s a process that requires tenacity. It’s characterized by voluminous documents that you’re expected to read and comply with all the recommendations.
However, you can use the compliance tracking tool roadmap to ease your risk and compliance management. The use of this tool makes the journey to compliance and eventual certification quite fulfilling.
Compliance Tracking Tools
With the rising levels of risks, different regulations are developed regularly to ensure that your organization is protected from malicious individuals.
However, the large number of these regulations can be overwhelming, and the compliance process becomes somewhat tricky. As a result, many organizations are utilizing automated software solutions.
The automated software brings together all the documents required in the compliance process thus making it easy to comply with many regulations within a relatively shorter time.
Additionally, this software will ensure continuous monitoring and auditing of your organization’s risks. The compliance tracking tool keeps all the records of compliance and alerts you of any new or existing regulation that you should comply with. This makes it easy for you to prove to auditors that your organization has met all the requirements of various regulatory bodies.
Since you already know your destination (compliance with all the regulations), you have to develop a roadmap to help you get there. For example, if you deal in retail businesses, then you need to be PCI DSS compliant. On the other hand, a healthcare provider must follow all the guidelines laid down by HIPAA and publicly traded entities should follow the SOX framework.
You should check all the alternative routes you can choose to comply with the regulations and select the best depending on your industry.
Evaluating Compliance Risk
When deciding the route to follow in the compliance journey, you should evaluate the regulation and industry standards that pose a higher financial risk. These are the ones you should start with to ensure that you protect your financial environment.
For example, failure to comply with HIPAA and PCI DSS regulations may cause your organization financial distress due to the hefty fines associated with it. On the other hand, ISO and NIST are primarily aimed at developing customer’s confidence, and failure to comply have minimal financial implications.
As such, your organization should start complying with HIPAA and PCI DSS before moving on to ISO and NIST.
The Process of Determining Cybersecurity Risks
The process of compliance risk management should have controls based on the risk of unauthorized access to protected data. You should follow the following steps:
1. Protected information offers a high compliance risk. As such, ensure that you maintain the integrity, accessibility, and confidentiality of all the data you collect, transmit, or store
2. Review all the locations of the devices that receive, transmit or store data. Follow the control guidelines of the specific regulations
3. Determine the security of all your devices and block any unauthorized access to your data
How to set controls
After identifying your risks, you should devise a method to mitigate them. Follow the following steps:
1. Identify all points of information entry. E.g., devices, systems, and networks that interact directly with your data
2. Institute controls. Lock all the entry points and only allow authorized individuals to access them. You can use passwords, encryption, network segmentation, and firewalls
3. Develop policies and procedures to guarantee control effectiveness
How to Develop Metrics
The following metrics will dictate your compliance success:
• Last data breach event
• Time needed to discover a data breach
• The time required to control the data breach
• The frequency of your system’s unavailability
• The duration before your system is restored
• The number of systems you’ve patched for implementing security updates
• The number of networks you installed based on the standards
You can monitor compliance by:
1. Review alerts. You should regularly update your system
2. Act after spotting something weird, e.g. browsers taking too long to load
3. Ensure that you install ransomware and malware software that update regularly
Aligning Standards and Regulations
Your organization should perform a gap analysis to identify specific controls that must be implemented to assure compliance. You can follow these steps:
1. List all your controls
2. Check all the standards and regulations that you need to align
3. Compare all the controls you have and pick the best
4. Fill the gaps
Sharing of Information
While it is necessary to set policies and regulations, it’s critical that you inform all the internal stakeholders of every step you’ve undertaken to enhance compliance. You should use the following steps:
1. Ensure that you notify the Board of Directors. All the members should decipher the risks, controls, and all the security incidents that have occurred
2. Engage in all required audits
3. Consult all the internal stakeholders from different departments
4. Ensure that all the departments have a common vendor management procedure.
Once you follow these steps, you can be sure that the journey to compliance will be smooth and fulfilling!
Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Learn more at ReciprocityLabs.com.