Have you been told your organization needs to comply with certain information privacy and/or security standards, such as PCI, HIPAA, etc.? If so, you may find yourself quickly overwhelmed with all the requirements for bringing people, processes and technology into “compliance.” Yes, compliance can suck.
So how can you adhere to a compliance standard and, at the same time, actively run and grow the business? The secret is to begin with security in mind, because most compliance standards are really a collection of security best practices that you should have in place.
In essence, all privacy- and security-related compliance standards share the same goal: To effectively defend and protect sensitive customer information. If you begin with security in mind and build it into your day-to-day processes and practices, then compliance can naturally follow.
Why "Security First" Works
The security-first mindset unifies security and compliance, allowing your business to simultaneously strengthen its security posture and simplify the process of achieving—and then maintaining—compliance.
Here’s how this works in terms of people, processes and technology:
Limiting the number of individuals with access to sensitive customer information like payment or patient data, and providing ongoing training to those who do, strengthens security and satisfies multiple compliance-related requirements.
The processes by which your organization conducts its day-to-day business should be considered (or reconsidered) from a security standpoint. Are core business processes that involve data receipt, transmission and storage accurately documented, fully communicated and followed as prescribed? Security and compliance unite when exceptions and ambiguity are eliminated wherever possible.
The secure implementation and management of your business’s IT network—and its individual components—is critical for compliance as well as avoiding technology gaps that can make your business vulnerable. For example, effectively deploying a piece of secure technology such as a Unified Threat Management (UTM) firewall can strengthen your business’s security posture while resolving multiple compliance mandates.
From Walking to Running
When security and compliance are unified, they work together to protect customer data and satisfy industry-specific requirements. You have the freedom to run and grow your business, along with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re a step ahead of the cyber criminal.
Yes, managing and maintaining compliance sucks, but approaching it with security in mind can make compliance suck less. Want additional tips and tricks for improving IT security and compliance while simplifying the process? Check out our free whitepaper, "5 Critical IT Challenges You Can Solve Today."
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