Meeting security-related compliance requirements is an increasingly complex job. Focus on these three strategies to easily manage compliance.
The consequences for disappointing auditors and regulators can be severe. Failure to comply with today’s ever-expanding thicket of security-related compliance requirements can result in fines and penalties, outraged customers, loss of sensitive data, increased scrutiny from regulators, and costly damage to your organization’s brand and reputation.
Not surprisingly, then, compliance has become a topic of intense interest to senior executives and board members. To bolster their confidence that your company meets all of its requirements—and can defensively prove it—follow these best practices:
1. Enable access while protecting information
Adopting a comprehensive approach to identity and access management, combined with an intense focus on sensitive data and relevant reporting and metrics is an important balance. Policies should specify granular data access privileges based on where employees are located, what network they’re on, and which device they’re using, with additional controls commensurate with risk. For example, access should be further scrutinized when utilizing a personally owned smartphone over a public network, than when using a company-owned laptop at the office.
2. Control sensitive data
Most security mandates apply chiefly to personally identifiable information, healthcare records, payment transactions, and other classified data. To comply with mandates, you must first identify sensitive data by creating a classification model for the various kinds of information your company creates, transmits, and stores.
“Most companies have between three and five different types of data classifications, ranging from public to top secret,” Black says.
Once again, security solutions can help you enforce classification-based policies automatically.
3. Audit, measure, and demonstrate compliance
Comprehensive security reporting is always important, but especially critical when it comes to compliance. “Auditors and others want to see clear evidence that you did what you said you would,” Black says.
Satisfying those demands takes systematic logging, reporting, and auditing processes thorough enough to track when specific users access specific apps and data, and flexible enough to address new regulations and standards as they emerge. Create a reporting dashboard as well where authorized managers can see the latest compliance goals and results. “Otherwise you’ll be pushing around spreadsheets that are out of date before anyone even gets them,” Black notes.
Security leaders that have sound policies and thoroughly monitor and report security effectiveness are prepared to protect their company from today’s growing swarm of potent threats. However, auditors, regulators, partners, and customers are demanding defensible proof of that fact. This whitepaper provides 3 strategies to easily manage compliance, allowing you to prove to senior execs and board members that your company meets all its compliance requirements.