IT Security and IT Compliance:  Differentiation and Convergence

What is IT Security? And how do you define IT Compliance? How are they similar? Where do they differ? And why do they need to combine in one solution called IT Security AND Compliance?

It’s essential to understand the differences between these two elements that make up IT Security and Compliance in order to appreciate the full benefits of the software that unifies both.

IT Compliance and IT Security is all about protecting your IT infrastructure from cyber threats like malware, hacking, and data theft, and the other nightmare scenarios of a business world that is perpetually plugged online. IT Compliance is setting the baseline for the security measures you will implement. IT Security looks forward to the future and prepares your company for the kinds of attacks that you might not have anticipated yet, but which you need to.

Winning the War on Cyber Security

The Japanese once defined doing business as similar to fighting a war that you have to win. It’s a winner-take-all scenario: either you or your enemies have to defeat the other to conquer the territory. Cyber threats are like the missiles that your combatant throws at you. IT Compliance means creating a defense perimeter stocked up with anti-aircraft weaponry that can neutralize those weapons before they even enter your airspace. But this is only the minimum requirement to protect yourself; you have to keep on studying the enemy’s tactics and use the research to boost your own arsenal in case they launch something totally out from left field, but which is dangerous like an invisible nuclear bomb. That Special Operations and Research Department that prepares you for those unforeseen scenarios is IT Security.

Many companies think that IT Compliance is enough to protect themselves from unruly hackers or pesky viruses. But traditional defenses like IPS, firewalls, and Web gateways are rendered easily vulnerable to more daring, aggressive cyber robbers who are determined to steal your valuable data. Cyber threats are not just increasing, but they are evolving. IT Security is the system that keeps you informed of these new dangers and equips your IT infrastructure to handle them when the time comes.

IT Compliance is the present; IT Security is the future. You can’t have one without the other. As this presentation will show, readiness for the here and now is not enough. Yes, you need to secure your present IT organizational set-up and the people who run them, but it is imperative that you plan ahead and continue to strengthen them for various online criminal scenarios that might not even have been invented.

Think of IT Compliance and Security as the entire might of your Armed Forces with a Special Operations Team that combs the mountains and explores the depths of the sea to study how the enemy will move next and prevent them before they launch the first shot.

The Business Advantages that IT Security and Compliance Provides your Company

IT Compliance and Security brings significant positive changes to the organization and its overall  business performance precisely because it secures the various vital aspects of its infrastructure from attack. The importance of this capabilities cannot be overemphasized. Cyber threats can do irreparable damage to a company by leaking confidential data, disrupting operations, and damaging entire layers of equipment. Work slows down or stops, deliverables are not fulfilled, customers are left dissatisfied or disgruntled, and sales declines. Worst of all, the sacred bond of trust between company and client is breached.

Think about it. Would you still do business with a company that had an insecure paywall? Would you put your money in a bank that suffered the loss of stored recorded information caused by a virus? Would you continue purchasing your groceries from this online store after a disrupted had caused it to delay its deliveries three times in a row?

The obvious answer is NO.

Now let’s look at the reverse which will give you a YES answer.

Once word gets out that you have a safe, secure, and practically impenetrable IT system, which will be proven regularly over time, you have better chances of keeping great and loyal customers. This strong foundation is what your business needs in order to grow.

How does IT Compliance and Security contribute to your business success?

  • It ensures business continuity that guarantees fulfillment of deliverables.
  • Fulfillment of deliverables project corporate stability and reliability.
  • Perception of corporate stability and reliability increases customer trust in your organization.
  • Increased customer trust enhances customer engagement that can lead to repeat business.
  • Increased customer trust brings about positive public relations that can bring about new business.
  • Repeat business and new business can expand market share and drive sales.

Customer engagement is the crucial bridge that can bring in added revenues. That’s probably why it’s located in the mid-point section of our analysis above (See fig. 1). According to one Gallup poll, customers who are fully engaged bring 37% more annual revenue to their preferred company than customers who are disengaged.

Those are the customers you want to keep and the numbers you want to reach.

Now let’s study how IT Compliance and Security does this for you.

Reduce Cyber Threats and Protect your Investment

How much do you save your company if you implement an IT Compliance and Security solution? That’s probably best answered if by looking at what it can cost you if you expose yourself to risks by not having one. According to Forbes, one out of five U.S. small-to-medium-sized companies have suffered a security breach that cost them a huge amount in dollars for downtime, lost productivity, replacement of damaged equipment, and loss of revenue. Studies by Security Intelligence have shown that an organization that had been successfully infiltrated by a cyber attack experienced a 46 percent drop in profit the following quarter. That’s almost half of your revenue that could have been spent on operations or placed securely in your corporate bank account as happily welcome surplus funding.

How does IT Compliance and Security literally save you from this massive headache which, as experienced by damaged companies, can cost you years and millions of dollars to recover from?

  • End-to-end situational awareness and monitoring of vulnerabilities and risks in the system
  • Upgrading security policies that will block the latest kinds of digital and electronic assaults
  • Providing employees with tools that will shield the equipment they use from malware, snooping, phishing, and other low-tech invasions
  • Security in transmission of data from the cloud and other storage devices to mobile equipment and other gadgets used by employees
  • Configuration of mobile devices that will stop any leakage, transmission, or hacking of data in cases of actual theft of the laptop, tablet, or smartphone
  • Cloud solutions that will seal any unauthorized openings and the possible seeping of data into unrestricted areas because of apps and other third-party applications
  • Payment Card Industry compliance that secures all transactions done through credit and debit cards
  • Data management that conforms to industry regulations and standards

Reduced risks mean lesser damages which means lesser repair time and costs, which all translate to considerable savings.

Build Trust and Increase Customer Engagement

IT Compliance and Security does not just mitigate risks to your system, but it optimizes their performance and makes operations more efficient. Business continuity does not just prevail, but it can become a platform for improving standards further and raising your organization’s competitive edge.  Leaders and employees who can rest in the knowledge that their systems are secure and are functioning at optimal levels have greater confidence and have a more positive mindset to raise standards of performance. More projects from other clients can be acquired, teams can be pushed to shorten deadlines without sacrificing on quality, and sales targets as well as profit projections can be elevated.

Your customers will grow to rely that your word is your bond, that you deliver on expectations. Contracts are met, deliverables are fulfilled, and projects are accomplished on time. Their satisfaction, though, could also increase as they see improvement in your performance. Their trust of your organization grows. They become even more engaged and might even become your unofficial ambassadors to their colleagues and communities, which can mean more business for you down the road.

How does IT Compliance and Security heighten performance and streamline operations, cutting out the fat to make you even more competitive?

  • Reduces vulnerabilities in your system and patches up flaws
  • Boosts the  capabilities and strengths of your operational processes
  • Maintains the integrity of your data which you can tap for your marketing analyses, customer behavioral studies, and sales strategies
  • Audits your corporate transactions which advises decision-makers in your company about current cash flow, expenditures, revenues, profits, and how all these affect the bottomline
  • Compliance with internal protocols and external regulations that support operations and productivity
  • Sophisticated and smart data management can assist executive decision-making

A fully functioning IT system can heighten the kind of customer experience that will make your client want to stay with you for the immediate and the long-term. In studies done by Neosperience, 70 percent of your customers will stay with you if they believe that you are better than the competition. And for every two percent of them who you do retain, you save another ten percent in operational cost. Perform at full peak to their satisfaction and you are looking at 350 percent in potential savings!

Compliance Paves the Way for Business Growth

Retaining customer growth is one thing, but scalability is another. You may draw in a huge number of customers and might even expand your market share — but is your system equipped to scale? Can it handle the increasing load of customer demand? Can the new orders be sustained by your customer service? Can your databases remain secure even as fresh  information comes streaming in from new markets, welcoming communities, and unusual demographics?

Let’s go back to our war analogy a few pages above. You are beating the enemy, capturing territory and recruiting more soldiers. But do you have enough resources to provide these fighters the uniforms and weapons they need to march in your army? Do you have enough materials to build defense perimeters and bunkers to secure those territories?

IT Security and Compliance can help you to scale through one of its little-known but vital components known as Operational Intelligence.  It will monitor the masses of people coming in to your fortress, track their activity and consumption, and measure that against your resources.

In short, IT Security and Compliance will keep your operations running at maximum while informing you on what still needs to be done to keep up with your winning momentum and increase your market share and revenues.

Here’s how:

  • Continuous accumulation and analyses of vital data which is then sent out to the related teams
  • Alerts you about possible business fraud and compliance breakdowns
  • Looks up needed financial data and integrates them with questions about project requirements and fulfillments
  • Reveals how security and compliance issues can impact revenues
  • Suggests and creates operational platforms that can improve the tasks but at lesser cost

Operational Intelligence will not just help you meet your targets – it will spur you to  keep up with your momentum.

Strengthening your Systems to Secure your Future

IT Compliance and Security is a highly effective tool that can defend your company from present and evolving computer attacks. At the same time, it is a valuable instrument that can help heighten your corporate performance and make your industry position more robust. Smooth and unimpeded business continuity can save you from costly defects that will entail an expensive repair job. Reduction of operational waste and downtime can also add to your savings. Finally, access to smart data can guide you and your leaders in making wise and informed business decisions.