When many companies think about business security, they tend to operate with one goal: Taking the steps necessary to protect against the very basic risks like a data breach or infrastructure downtime. Now, while that broad goal is an important first step, there’s a big difference between “sleep at night” security and true compliance-level security. Ultimately, security compliance is the goal whether mandated by regulations, customers or business partners.
“Sleep at night security” uses basic solutions in major categories of security to provide high-level protection, but doesn’t operate with the goal of providing security that complies with specific regulation or best practices. Compliance level security, on the other hand, leverages regulation best practices to provide adequate and appropriate security for your specific company and situation.
So, what does it take to upgrade to compliance-level security so that you can get serious about security compliance.
7 steps to Compliance:
- Start with a security risk assessment
- Implement the solutions that the risk assessment recommends
- Configure your security properly to achieve desired results (and then test them)
- Document policies, processes and results
- Train employees and tech staff
- Monitor your security for compliance level security
- Manage, maintain, update, and adjust your security as required
Ultimately, the purpose of this process is to perform essential activities on your company’s security infrastructure that reveal threats to key corporate assets and vulnerabilities in your current security controls. A risk assessment is a critical first step and it can include security reviews, gap analysis, and any number of tests or diagnostics – something we help clients with every day.
From there, you can define appropriate safeguards that are tailored to your company’s risk profile and priorities, and follow the rest of the checklist above.
Who Needs to Get Serious About Security?
Companies in regulated industries — i.e., health care, retail, financial, government, and publicly-traded companies — have specific regulations written that require security compliance.
Additionally, if your company provides services to businesses, you should also assume that you’re expected to be compliant with some aspects of security regulation. Even if you aren’t, business partners in regulated industries are increasingly pushing their partners to comply with their specific security regulations. Most business services companies have received letters or contracts requiring that they comply, attest to, and document their compliance.
The Risks of Inadequate Security (and How to Avoid Them)
Companies that are not proactive about taking key steps toward compliance are creating a ticking time bomb of business risk.
What can happen if that bomb goes off? As we outlined in a prior post, failing to comply with security regulations can lead to loss of business, a negative impact on your reputation, costly data loss, fines, and civil prosecution.
To avoid that scenario, it’s a good idea to work with a third-party expert security provider, like eSecurity Solutions, which can perform a security risk assessment to define risks, vulnerabilities, and security gaps, and recommend appropriate solutions. We can also implement a year-round risk management program to assess, implement, maintain, monitor, and adjust security as required. Click here to contact us for more information.