Conducting business operations in the digital world is prone to security risks. Mitigating them would be impossible if you don’t have an IT compliance policy.
Setting up a robust IT compliance policy in your business is more important now than ever. And it’s because most organizations now depend on digitized services.
Online companies rely on e-commerce websites to do business by taking orders and receiving payments. Even brick-and-mortar organizations utilize software to perform various activities, such as order management and back-office accounting.
In such tech-driven environments, a lack of proper security measures jeopardizes the business leader’s position. Their IT systems get abused, and their technology often becomes a source of scandals.
The only way to avoid this possibility is to create a strong IT compliance policy.
This article will cover key considerations when developing your system of IT compliance.
WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER FOR IT COMPLIANCE POLICIES
FACTOR #1 - PEOPLE, PROCESSES, AND HOW THEY ALIGN TO TECH
IT compliance isn’t just about technology – it also involves people and processes. And the reality is that many organizations focus heavily on their tech, resulting in failed audits due to their failure to consider the other two aspects. This makes the compliance world more complex.
Taking the correct approach can help ensure your enterprise abides by the necessary standards.
FACTOR #2 - RELEVANT LAWS AND REGULATIONS
Laws and regulations stipulate the policies that govern IT compliance requirements. Here are the most common ones:
· The Sarbanes-Oxley Act – regulating financial reporting
· The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – governing non-public personal information and financial data
· The Health Insurance and Accountability ACT – regulating health information that healthcare organizations process
Ultimately, you can’t start your compliance process without understanding the laws and regulations applicable to your organization.
You should also ascertain the controls that apply to these laws and regulations. They are process-oriented and technical means to adhere to your policies.
There are various industry and government standards that specify them, including:
· Control Objectives for Information and Related IT
· National Institute of Standards and Technology
· Payment Card Industry Data
These can have a massive bearing on your sector. Therefore, make sure to familiarize yourself with all relevant controls.
FACTOR #3 - RAISING EMPLOYEE AWARENESS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE POLICY
One of the biggest threats to your data security is having untrained employees. Their actions can have a huge impact on cybersecurity. For instance, improper software upload, sharing, download, and storing can jeopardize critical information.
The reality is, many employees opt for insecure data transfer methods due to their convenience. Some of the tools they use are personal emails, consumer-grade collaboration apps, and instant messaging. All of these are ideal targets for cybercriminals.
To prevent your business from becoming a victim, your users must learn and understand where various threats originate from. They should especially understand the actions that can give rise to vulnerabilities.
Making file sharing a top priority and investing in proper education demonstrates the significance of IT compliance. Your efforts can help team members willing to adopt the best practices in this field.
When developing your training plan, make sure to include several key topics:
· How insecure file transfer methods expose your company to risks
· Avoiding phishing scams
· Precautions to exercise before using or downloading unsanctioned applications
· The conditions for using and creating strong passwords.
FACTOR #4 - HOW YOUR IT POLICY ALIGNS WITH THE COMPANY’S SECURITY POLICIES
Aligning IT compliance with your business operations involves understanding the culture of your organization. For example, your environment can revolve around either processes or ad-hoc ways of doing things.
Enterprises aligning with the former are best off issuing in-depth policies to ensure compliance.
By contrast, companies that match the latter require detective and preventive controls. They need to address specific risks associated with your policy. It helps various auditors understand why you’ve deployed a particular control or decided to face certain risks.