If you've been looking for a sign that it's time to advance your cybersecurity compliance strategy, here it is.
Sometimes we need a push in the right direction to get moving. Especially with something as esoteric as cybersecurity compliance solutions. Our infosec and IT folks: we see you. And for everyone else, we're here to lend a hand. To be the Gandalf to your Frodo, if you will.
So before we set you down the path to Mordor (SOC 2 audit, anyone?) let's get into cyber compliance's whys and hows.
Why is cybersecurity compliance important?
Security breaches are like burglaries. They usually show up in the middle of the night before you have to give a huge presentation to your executive team. They're disruptive and threatening and can ruin your day - or your year! And unfortunately, they are a reality.
No power in the world can stop cyber threats like security breaches, ransomware, and hacking from trying to rear their mean, little, ugly heads. But we can be proactive to try to prevent them.
Cybersecurity compliance is like installing an alert system for your home. It's a preventative, continuous step, keeping the felons at bay. Cloud-based startups, organizations, and MSPs alike benefit from compliance in several ways:
- Preventing loss of revenue from data breaches
- Enhancing customer trust and confidence in services
- Meeting the security requirements for enterprise-level clientele and the growing competitive landscape
- Offering compliance-as-a-service
Compliance involves following the rules of a framework established to uphold data security standards for a particular sector, region, or use case. Third-party auditing processes keep compliance attestation on the organization level up-to-date. These audits are typically conducted annually, but can very in frequency depending on on the organization.
As Forbes contributor Jim Goldman says, "[these certifications] represent that a company's systems are set up to assure security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy of customer data…"
Keep your framework certification up-to-date. In doing so, you'll signal to your customers your preparedness for the threats that lie ahead. No burglar threats here!
How much should I spend on cybersecurity compliance?
If you want to talk dollars and cents, check out our blog post on what MSPs can expect to pay for cybersecurity compliance.
For a broader perspective, we like what Gartner experts say about costing out cybersecurity compliance solutions. They suggest using "outcome-driven metrics to enable more effective governance over cybersecurity priorities and investments." Trying to stamp out ransomware is a Whac-A-Mole game; you won't win many prize tickets. Instead, plan your budget around preparedness for how to address such attacks.
Cybersecurity compliance software is a flagship investment. It encourages an outcome-driven mindset. Preparedness is critical in the game of security breach safeguarding.
Tips for advancing your cybersecurity compliance strategy
Let's take the discussion around cybersecurity compliance and convert it into actionable steps. These tips apply to your startup, cloud-based organization, or MSP/MSSP.
1. Encourage internal ownership for cybersecurity compliance
Every Frodo needs their Samwise Gamgee. So before you start this journey, you'll want to make a Samwise out of every employee on deck. We're talking about fostering a culture of cybersecurity compliance.
Compliance culture has many benefits, including:
- Knowledge-sharing and collaboration can help fast-track audit preparation.
- Marketers and sales teams are empowered to communicate compliance to prospects and customers.
- Risk levels reduce when compliance and data protection are top-of-mind across departments.
Continuous monitoring requires a workflow. There's no easier way to connect everyone on board than with a solution that manages everything in one place.
2. Begin your risk analysis
It's time to rip off the bandaid and examine your cybersecurity risk. Risk analysis involves:
- Collecting risk data
- Assessing risk levels
- Defining risk tolerance for each piece of data
You could do this by hand, adding risk data to a spreadsheet. It's an itchy, time-consuming task rife with opportunities for human error. It's painful, sort of like how writing an online dating profile can be…
Or, you could start with a preloaded risk register on a web-based platform. Get rapid risk scoring and export reports for audits in a couple of clicks.
Establishing a risk analysis provides a roadmap for pursuing and achieving compliance in your chosen framework or frameworks. So let's talk about frameworks!
3. Choose your compliance framework or frameworks
Not to get too woo-woo on you, but you may need to look deep inside and ponder some serious questions about your company's goals.
From HIPAA to NIST 800-53, there is a compliance framework for every geography, sector, and use case. What you choose to follow could have to do with several factors. For example, you may want to appeal to enterprise clients or adhere to regional requirements.
SOC 2 and ISO 27001 are certifications Goldman believes are "the thresholds of costs of doing business that companies must accept if they are going to sell their services to enterprise-scale companies." These frameworks are becoming increasingly sought-after in multiple sectors.
4. Keep your policy documents up to date.
There are many fun and easy ways to procrastinate on this unpleasant task. But before you go search for more cat GIFs, we have good news. With pre-built templates from ControlMap, developing and maintaining essential policy documents is painless.
Keeping your policy documents up to date will make the audit process smoother. With clean records on hand, your team can respond to questions and assessments in a timely fashion.
And if you're starting from scratch, having preloaded templates for the various documents you need to suit your chosen framework will set you down the path to success.
5. Promote your security posture to prospects
If you've got it, flaunt it. As WeForum contributors Michael Meli and Nisha Almoula say, "to be truly successful, the perception of cybersecurity must switch from being a 'check the box' exercise to being a strategic tool to build trust."
Transparency about your cybersecurity compliance standards fosters confidence in your services. Now is no time for a humblebrag. Share details about your team's efforts to uphold the integrity of their data.
Here are three high-impact ways to promote your security posture to prospects:
- Encourage conversations. Meli and Almoula recommend educating sales team members to include cybersecurity as a discussion point with customers and prospects.
- Write the press releases. Every successful SOC 2 audit is a win. Spread the word far and wide! Audits, certifications, and enhancements to your cybersecurity compliance software are all cause for press releases.
- Engage the ControlMap Trust Portal. It's a dynamic web page feature that allows you to share a rich, real-time snapshot of your security compliance posture. Your marketers, sales team, and customers have a user-friendly place to source and share valuable data.
Have you got questions about cybersecurity compliance?
Start your epic journey into cybersecurity compliance. Book a demo today!