With regulations related to IT systems and data are on the constant rise, CISOs should ensure that they take the required steps that will allow them to avoid hefty fines related to non-compliance.
Compliance being an integral part of security for every organization, is highly regulated in industries such as healthcare, financial services, and government. While it often comes under the mantle of compliance, risk management, legal and other departments, the growing threat to the enterprise infrastructure requires the immediate attention of IT leaders.
CISOs and other board members should make themselves aware of the regulations that involve privacy, security, data and other technical elements. They can play a vital role in ensuring their organization does not end up paying hefty fines for non-compliance. Today the regulatory environment has become complex, especially with the emergence of many new rules that cover data privacy, including EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). In fact, as per Gartner’s “The State of Privacy and Personal Data Protection, 2020-2022”, 65% of the world’s population’s personal information will be covered under modern privacy laws by the end of 2023.
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For today’s businesses, regulatory compliance related to IT systems, networks, devices as well as data has become a significant area of concern. The key to success in compliance efforts is to not cause difficulties. Here are a few mistakes that they should learn to avoid:
Taking a defensive approach towards auditors
It becomes difficult not to adopt a defensive position when auditors and examiners question the latest IT projects and their impact on compliance. When we speak of the well-thought-out IT strategy, it becomes more likely that there will be friction. Hence, to effectively deal with it, IT leaders should have in-person discussions with the auditors to understand their perspective and consider how it will help to make the environment better. They should ensure that their views align with the regulators, including the ones that made the compliance rules and ensure that mistakes do not take place.
Not handling exceptions effectively
It should not be surprising that there is the right solution in 100% of the cases, especially when considering the business, security and customer impact trade-offs. There are always exceptions to many rules and regulations when governing different aspects of IT. Hence, it is crucial that organizations have an exception management process in place.
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Not able to prepare the team
Just like with most elements of IT, the inadequacy of knowledge, experience and skills can create problems for compliance.
Before designing their compliance strategy, CISOs should understand that it begins with their team. They should build a compliance team that embraces the continuous improvement approach to address regulatory requirements changes associated with IT. By adopting a continuous improvement approach, the team can identify modifications required for the compliance program in areas such as reporting, control management and engagement.
Additionally, CISOs’ compliance efforts should be cross-functional. This will ensure that the organization has the engagement as well as support from everyone within the organization, resulting in a fostering compliance culture.
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