Although they are not clear on where the lines are drawn or how these two structures can synergize, organization leaders are realizing that IT security and IT compliance go together. They are like a person’s right and left arm – they are independent, can function separately without the other, and yet are stronger when they work together. The reverse also holds true: cripple the right arm, and the left, though still healthy and functioning, can hardly do the same things it used to manage superbly with its former ambulatory partner.
Users equate IT security with cyber safety and the equipment and software that can keep data secure while fending off online attacks. Meanwhile, they see IT compliance as strictly fulfilling industry standards and requirements. Compliance often serves as the support system of this partnership. An organization can make itself safe from hacking or identity theft, but that does not necessarily make it compliant. In complying with industry protocols and legalities, it has strengthened its security, stability, and safety.
A word of wisdom to IT administrators and business leaders: invest in anti-hacking systems and applications to ensure the well-being of your organization, but do not neglect the implementation of IT compliance.
Actually, to notch your organization’s defense systems a few levels above normal, take note of this major compliance issues and address them soon:
According to CIO, your first line of defense which compliance can easily secure comprises your employees and their devices, especially the mobile ones like their laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Hackers and other online hostile parties target staff and their insecure gadgets to obtain vital corporate information and trade secrets. Security can be strengthened by training employees in cyber warfare, such as recognizing the first stages of phishing, or placing a filter on a laptop display.
Compliance can make your organization more secure eventually by crafting security policies that all employees should follow and implement. These include the creation, transfer, storage, and use of company data; rules that will allow or prohibit access to the main servers and databases, ranging from physical, wireless, electronic, to digital. Compliance can also mean establishing clear rules about all office equipment and their apps that employees are to observe while on a business trip, commuting, or working at home.
Virtru points out that compliance measures should also be in place as far as partners are concerned, including business associates, allied organizations, or independent contractors. The best of intentions are not enough to stop one entity or individuals from slipping and inadvertently revealing confidential information or private data. This momentary weakness will affect your organization, too, even though you are not the erring party.
Prior to establishing a partnership, or signing the dotted line about one, align the documentations like contracts with the compliance measures set by industry bodies. For instance, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations have laid down concrete policies on data access and information security breach. Complying with these standards is one step closer to ensuring your organization’s IT security.
Finally, the IT Tool Box warns that neglect of or failure in compliance can subject the organization to penalties that will affect its business continuity. Fines that can go up to $100,000 are not unheard of. Top management of non-compliant companies can be called to give testimonies in Congressional hearings. Government can withdraw agreed funding or, worse, sue the organization.
These are serious issues that the organization head should recognize early on and address to secure the company’s business sustainability and overall future. IT compliance is a major issue that will remain present if the organization exists. Make it a powerful ally and an integral tool, to avoid major headaches later on.