Industry standards groups and governments are attempting to police cybersecurity by developing more strict compliance criteria as the frequency and severity of cyber threats grow. Compliance regulations, on the other hand, frequently lag behind cyber security risks. As a result, in order to keep ahead of changing compliance requirements, companies must adopt a security-first strategy to cybersecurity.

As a matter of fact, cybersecurity compliance has become a driving factor behind corporate performance as new industry standards and regulatory regulations touch all businesses. So, in this article, we will talk about what cybersecurity compliance is and take a look at how it effect companies.

What is compliance?

Compliance is the condition or the process of being in accordance with set norms or requirements. Compliance can also refer to attempts to ensure that businesses follow both industry and government rules. Compliance is a common business worry, mainly due to the ever-increasing number of rules that demand businesses to be cautious in keeping a complete awareness of their regulatory compliance responsibilities.

Cybersecurity compliance, on the other hand, is not dependent on a single standard or rule. Different standards may overlap depending on the sector, causing confusion and extra effort for firms that use a checklist-based approach. For example, The EU General Data Protection Regulation — GDPR applies to companies that service clients or conduct business with persons in the European Union.

Parts of Compliance

Essentially, there are two aspects to a cyber security compliance definition for companies. The first one is regulatory compliance which is the actions taken by a company to ensure that it complies with all applicable external laws, rules, and standards. And the second one is corporate compliance which is internal rules, procedures, and acceptable conduct, as well as external requirements, are enforced by the activities and programs that a company implements.

Both sorts of compliance standards are necessary to safeguard a business and its personnel, and they should be used together. A company that fails to comply with regulatory requirements might suffer federal penalties, legal action, or even closure. On the other hand, without a corporate compliance program, an organization’s operations may become chaotic, wasteful, or immoral.

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance refers to a set of rules that companies must follow in order to comply with the law which is why, as part of their operations, all enterprises, regardless of industry or size, must follow certain rules and regulations. On the other hand, Specific sectors are also subject to regulatory compliance.

To assure product safety, several food sector regulations, for example, focus on the whole supply chain. These would be different from the financial services industry’s rules, which include things like how to manage sensitive data and cybersecurity. Let’s take a quick look at some of the regulatory compliances.

  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act: SOX Act establishes guidelines for the storage and retention of company records in computer systems.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act: HIPAA includes a clause on the administrative simplification that requires electronic health record systems to be standardized.
  • Federal Information Security Management Act: FISMA mandates that federal agencies examine their information security programs on an annual basis.
  • General Data Protection Regulation: GDPR’s goal is to safeguard persons and the data that characterizes them, as well as to guarantee that enterprises collecting this data do so responsibly.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration: The OSHA regulations were established in 1971 by the United States Congress to safeguard worker health and safety in the United States.

Corporate Compliance

Corporate compliance is the process through which a corporation verifies that it is abiding by all applicable rules and regulations. Policies, training, procedures, and practices are often designed, implemented, and monitored in this manner. A corporation is exposed to considerable risk and legal liability if none of these factors are present.

To have an effective business compliance program, there must be standards and controls in place to guarantee that every employee follows them. This is accomplished through the use of different critical internal compliance tools. Here are some of them:

  • Code of Conduct: It should outline your company’s ethical beliefs as well as the broad guidelines by which officials, management, and workers conduct business.
  • Procedures of Compliance: Compliance procedures define the everyday requirements and practices for implementing, following, and enforcing compliance standards and rules.
  • Compliance Standards and Policies: These outline the company’s corporate compliance program’s expectations and guidelines for each of the important categories. The whole business compliance program is built on these standards and procedures.
  • Compliance Training: To ensure that all workers are aware of their responsibility to follow compliance standards, rules, and procedures, every successful corporate compliance program must include appropriate compliance training programs.
  • Compliance Monitoring and Auditing: Monitoring programs are required to check compliance in real-time, find issues rapidly, and fix breaches. On the other hand, auditing is used to assess the overall picture of your company’s compliance procedures on a quarterly or yearly basis in order to uncover anything that the monitoring systems missed.

As We Close

It’s not simple to comply with cybersecurity regulations. There are hundreds of controls and dozens of terminology, and many small company owners are absolutely overwhelmed. Law and regulatory agencies can impose various compliance obligations. However, companies should never overlook cybersecurity compliance since it may result in legal actions, penalties, or even closure.  That is why having a complete understanding of what cybersecurity compliance is and implementing it is crucial.

Also Read: How To Perform a Complete SOC 2 Compliance Report in 2022