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Hybrid Cloud and subsequently, data is the center of the digital world today. As data increases, so does the number of regulations, to protect and control access to this sensitive, high-value information. In fact, data sovereignty has become more stringent than ever before. National and state governments are initiating new and strengthening existing laws and regulations to protect citizen information. The myriad of regulatory requirements that organizations need to stay compliant with has made the compliance landscape layered and more complex.

Understanding what regulations apply to their data and what standards and rules they must follow to attain and maintain continuous compliance, is a massive challenge for organizations. With increased cloud migration and shared security responsibility blurring cloud boundaries, organizations are uncertain about their compliance obligations and what cloud compliance actually means. The composite nature of the regulatory landscape coupled with the speed, scale and sophistication of cyber-attacks, has placed tremendous pressure on organizations to stay secure and compliant at all times.

Compliance management is hence a vital requirement for organizations to transform security and compliance from a burden to a benefit.

The Current State of Compliance Management

Compliance management continues to work in silos. Organizations believe that they need to deploy different point solutions to solve different compliance requirements and expectations. Disparate tools ensure that each compliance need is met solely for that regulatory requirement, but unfortunately, it is not coordinated across different levels and layers of the organizations, resulting in data silos, duplication of planning, misaligned reporting processes, blind spots, etc.

This practice needs to change. As organizations are increasingly being defined by their ethical stance and performance, it is critical for them to rethink their current definition of risk and compliance. Whether it is compliance with national, or international regulatory requirements or industry-specific or internal governance standards, they need to strategically root compliance into the culture of the organization in every single day-to-day activity. So, now it’s not just about attaining compliance, but also continuously monitoring and maintaining it.

The Compliance Culture

Compliance culture refers to the values, attitudes, and behaviors that shape an organization’s approach to compliance with laws, regulations, and standards. A strong compliance culture is one in which employees understand the importance of compliance, take responsibility for complying with relevant requirements, and act in ways that are consistent with the organization’s commitment to compliance.

It starts with leadership and is reinforced by clear policies and procedures, effective communication, and training and education programs. When employees understand the reasons for compliance and see that the organization takes compliance seriously, they are more likely to act in ways that support compliance. This in turn can help to reduce the risk of non-compliance, legal and financial penalties, and reputational damage.

A robust compliance culture is not only beneficial from a risk management perspective, but it can also help to build trust with customers, regulators, and other stakeholders, creating an overall positive work environment. By prioritizing compliance and embedding it into the fabric of the organization, companies can demonstrate their commitment to ethics and integrity and create a strong foundation for long-term success.

The 3 C’s of Compliance

Creating a powerful compliance culture that will strengthen the brand and the business depends on designing an all-encompassing compliance management system that is built on the 3Cs of compliance. These 3Cs drive the culture of compliance and are aligned with an organization’s internal objectives and their set response to external requirements.

1. Communication:

Clear communication enables the compliance process to successfully permeate through every level and layer of the organization. This ensures that each employee understands the process and is committed to doing the right thing. It also creates a robust reporting mechanism that is flexible and meets the dynamic compliance reporting requirements, while effectively storing evidence of compliance, saving time and costs and avoiding reputational damage. Furthermore, it gives a clear picture of how your control framework is mitigating risk and provides an actionable plan to identify the root cause and remediate risks instantly.

2. Confirmation:

This principle includes implementing proper balances and checks to evidence compliance. It involves recording every event that has occurred with a clear trail that allows management or auditors to track and re-examine activities effectively.  It also includes setting alert priorities, which means only the most significant alerts are escalated to ensure immediate action. Basically, it is about maintaining an equilibrium between identification, detection and remediation, while recording and reporting detailed evidence of compliance.

3. Correction:

It is very important to know and understand the root cause of the risk (how it happend? What is the target stack and how to prevent future attacks even before they happen?)  to remediate the incident effectively. Additionally, ‘correction’ involves being cognizant of how this will impact your business objectives, the current market and the regulatory environment at strategic, tactical and operational levels and taking the necessary corrective measures.

It is important to understand that the 3Cs of compliance remain the same across the diverse industries that implement compliance management. As data protection laws change and new regulations come into force, these principles of compliance will help you effectively comply with set regulatory requirements in accordance with local, national, international and industry-specific laws and support risk-based cloud security framework to help you successfully navigate a regulatory minefield and avoid the hefty financial and reputational cost of non-compliance.

Benefits of Strategic Compliance Management

How to get Compliance Ready for 2023

Every organization today understands the need for visibility, and clear communication, assessment and reporting. A strong compliance management strategy provides direction in times of crisis and enables better correction, robust detection and prevention, and further drives innovation at speed.

But first, to deliver on required expectations, organizations must recognize that each regulatory requirement comes with specific rules and requires profound and in-depth technical knowledge of the subject matter at hand. The below steps will help ensure compliance readiness for 2023 and beyond:

1. Review your compliance status

Review the relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards that your organization must comply with, and make sure you have a clear understanding of the specific requirements.

2. Conduct gap analysis:

Conduct a gap analysis to identify any areas where your organization may be non-compliant. This will help you identify areas that need improvement and prioritize your compliance efforts.

3. Develop a compliance plan:

Based on the results of your gap analysis, develop a compliance plan that outlines the steps (i.e., timelines, responsibilities, and resource requirements) you need to take to become and stay compliant.

4. Understand the ‘New-age’ compliance culture:

Even the most astute organization can fall prey to today’s sophisticated hackers. Hence, awareness training is critical. Initiate rigorous protocols and implement an intensive security and compliance framework (NIST RMF, ISO 27001, SOC 2, etc.) that provides you with the right direction to attain and stay compliant.  

5. Automate compliance:

Automation reduces time and costs and improves accuracy while reducing human error. However, it’s important to remember that automated compliance is not a one-time effort, and requires ongoing monitoring and continuous improvement to ensure ongoing compliance.

6. Train your employees:

Ensure that your employees are aware of the regulations and standards that apply to your business and have the necessary training to comply with them. This includes training on policies and procedures, as well as general compliance training.

7. Conduct regular audits:

Stay a step ahead by conducting regular audits to ensure that your organization is completely compliant. This includes monitoring compliance activities, reviewing compliance reports, and making any necessary adjustments to your compliance plan.

Investing in multiple compliance management systems or tools will double the cost and complexities. Therefore, organizations must look at deploying a built-in unified platform solution that continuously monitors, assesses and reports for any drift in security and compliance posture.

Caveonix’s unified platform delivers converged, automated, and continuous compliance with a holistic model for cloud security and risk transformation to meet and exceed over 42+ local to global regulatory compliance requirements, such as NIST 800-171, NIST 800-53, ICS 500-27, SOX, HIPAA, GDPR, FedRAMP, PCI DSS, and CMMC 2.0.

The Caveonix Cloud platform delivers real-time visibility to risk, security, and compliance operations teams, offering a dynamic and all-inclusive view of the organization’s security and compliance posture at all times, bridging the silos between compliance and security across all data sources and frameworks.

Learn more about how we can enable you to stay continuously compliant, book a demo.

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