*Post Updated in April 2021
What is Cybersecurity Policy Compliance?
Cybersecurity policies are documents that set the standard for security-related activities and behaviors such as encryption of emails, password management, rules on the use of social media, and many others. A policy should also explain every employee’s role and responsibility in protecting valuable corporate data and their company’s IT system.
Cybersecurity compliance is a thorough adherence to the rules an organization sets in its cybersecurity policies and meeting strict legal requirements that differ for various industries. The end goal of compliance is to direct the company’s policies towards mitigating existing cyber threats and monitoring potential threats that might crop up in the future.
Clear and concise cybersecurity compliance policies should be the first brick you lay in your cybersecurity foundation. Once a strong compliance base is established, organizations can operate more comfortably and efficiently.
Why is Cybersecurity Policy Compliance Important?
The Healthcare industry provides an excellent example to illustrate the importance of cybersecurity compliance. Due to the sensitive nature of patients’ medical information, healthcare providers need to adhere to strict legal requirements that enforce high standards of cybersecurity. Just imagine the chaos that would ensue if a hospital’s lackluster compliance policies enabled cybercriminals to steal hundreds, if not thousands, of sensitive medical records!
Listed below are a few of the benefits as a result of a strong cybersecurity policy:
1. Upholding and development of brand reputation
Data breaches can undermine a company’s reputation and lead to growing distrust with its customers. More than just losing current clients, organizations might lose prospects and business partnerships they could’ve potentially had.
Organizations that develop robust cybersecurity policy compliance and operate under the guidance of policies can significantly reduce the chances of a data breach. Beyond avoiding brand reputation damage, cybersecurity compliance can help to strengthen the relationship between an organization and its industry.
2. Facilitating compliance with several regulations
With the growing number of cyber incidents, policy and lawmakers consistently come out with stricter and stricter laws that force organizations to protect their customers’ and employees’ data. The violation of these laws would lead to the imposition of massive fines and penalties. Some famous examples of cybersecurity regulatory frameworks include General Data Protection Act (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Singapore Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
By maintaining and adhering to these various frameworks, companies can secure their valuable resources and innovate more efficiently.
3. Protecting the productivity of the organization as a whole
Let’s say a piece of Ransomware has entered into a company’s network. This malware halts the company’s entire operations, and workers are no longer able to work, severely affecting their productivity.
Having cybersecurity policies mapped and operating under the guidance of an efficient cybersecurity compliance program will help guide and educate employees on how to have a cyber-safe posture. Therefore, raising cybersecurity policy awareness amongst employees can help your company avoid Ransomware and other cyber threats that focus on the human element – avoiding attacks that could affect your company’s productivity.
Cybersecurity Policy Compliance Beyond Audits
People make up the core of all compliance practices, not checklists or lengthy paperwork. Train your teams well to avoid non-compliance, and they’ll be your best defense. It may sound obvious now, but most companies don’t factor in the human element when building their compliance policies.
A report from CSHub.com points out:
A famous approach used in product development is that launch is a process, not an event. The spirit of that message is important for security leaders to consider in building a sustainable business case for compliance. Compliance should be viewed as a continuous, organizational process.
It can be tempting to treat compliance policies like a checklist, but the reality is that compliance policies are like high-performance sports cars. They constantly need to be fine-tuned, maintained, and monitored for performance and precision. A compliance policy that manages to pass an internal audit but fails to prevent an actual data breach is not much of a defensive measure, and this is where risk assessments come in. By providing compliance training, organizations can ensure that the employees are grasping the concepts.
Are you interested in learning more about cybersecurity policy? Read our blog posts: How to Define and Enforce Cybersecurity Policies, and 4 Tips for a Successful Cybersecurity Policy Compliance Program.