Faced with a range of obstacles, businesses are changing how they approach cybersecurity
Cybersecurity has been a priority for business leaders for many years. Yet, despite investments in security controls, cyber-attacks keep coming.
Failing to meet regulatory compliance standards costs organizations billions every year. Even worse? The financial impacts continue to rise. These costs come from more than just fines and sanctions but actual damage to business disruption and loss of productivity. By taking a continuous approach to compliance requirements, your organization can dodge these monetary bullets and improve information security and data privacy.
Data protection compliance costs less than noncompliance
Smaller companies — with fewer than 5,000 employees — in particular may be hit hard by GDPR requirements and other data compliance hurdles. A new report does the math.
Research has shown that having a CISO can lower the cost of a data breach. But is there an effect on the cost of data protection compliance?
In many industries, the value of data is increasing, and so is the cost of protecting sensitive and confidential information. Regulatory scrutiny of information security is higher in industries such as financial services and healthcare, but that doesn’t mean other companies are off the hook.
Compliance, similar to a robust cybersecurity framework, is a key enabler of business and its absence instills heavy monetary impacts in the case of both on-premise and cloud deployment. What is the cost of compliance? Are organizations saving costs by remaining non-compliant? Understanding this is imperative in the world of modern business where cyberattacks continue to grow sophisticated.
Non-Compliance Cost And Its Repercussions
Several organizations had rationalized the non-compliance cost to be lesser than it is needed for bringing data and technology processes under compliance. However, the impact of non-compliance cost is jaw-dropping compared to the cost of compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, and so on.
Recent years have seen high recommendations for compliance regulations to prevent legal implications, consequences regarding business reputation, and possible fines
It has been witnessed that the demand for audit evidence requests is increasing and organizations, one in six times, are found non-compliant. This has resulted in huge fines when screened by third-party auditors. The majority of organizations believe that compliance becomes a problem while moving systems, infrastructure, and applications to the cloud. They think that challenges come to the fore while dealing with IT security compliance in the cloud.
Often Overlooked Costs
The complete financial costs of a data breach can be hard to quantify. Tangible assets are the easiest piece of the puzzle, but consider other expenses such as lost future business and reputational damage. Intellectual property loss, downtime, and operational impacts affect the daily activities of an organization and render it unproductive. Noncompliance is also a substantial financial factor—breaches often incur attorney’s fees, prosecution, and penalties.
Each data breach accumulates costs related to investigation, response, notifications to regulatory organizations, victim identification, public response, victim outreach, and internal and external communication campaigns. Victims often require compensation, as well.
Take a Proactive Approach
In light of the mounting risks to security and the expenses of a breach, every organization must make risk-aware decisions. The ultimate goal: mitigate risk without addressing every threat or vulnerability
What costs are involved in bringing your organization into compliance? The following components typically make up compliance costs:
- Data protection and enforcement – Preventing data leakage and enforcing data usage policies
- Audits and assessments – Examining and inspecting the current stance of an organization compared to what is required by the compliance framework mandated
- Policy development – developing internal policies that provide the structure needed to comply with various compliance regulation frameworks
- Training – Training staff and others involved to carry out needed activities for compliance
- Certification – certifying your business against various compliance regulations
- Investment in security solutions and other specialized technologies (data loss prevention, governance, encryption, etc) – Investing in technology solutions that allow more easily bringing your business into compliance with regulation frameworks
To Sum Up
Compliance costs are significantly lower than that of non-compliance and leveraging technology solutions helps reinforce the process further. Holistic approaches are necessary for ensuring data compliance, security, and protection. As key functionalities of businesses evolve, surrounding malware protection, data usage, and backup, and audit applications, a number of AI-driven compliance solutions are coming to the fore. These solutions help shore up compliance programs, thereby avoiding risks and preventing costly repercussions of non-compliance.
While compliance costs are far less than the cost of non-compliance, using technology solutions can help to reduce those costs even further. Soffid provides a holistic approach to ensuring your data is protected, secure, and compliant.
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A compliance audit is a comprehensive review and evaluation of a business or organization’s compliance with a voluntary compliance framework (e.g., SOC 2) or a regulatory requirement (e.g., GDPR). The scope of a compliance audit depends on which framework/regulation the auditor is evaluating against and, for some frameworks, what type of information the organization stores and how they utilize it.
Many companies still do not appreciate the interconnection of security and compliance. Both are often considered cost centers, and that paints a scowl on the face of many Chief Financial Officers. However, there is a different way of looking at compliance (or its negative counterpart, non-compliance).
We can divide compliance into the categories of obvious and not-so-obvious costs.
The obvious costs are easy to understand:
- Track – Keeping a close watch on the requirements to maintain compliance
- Mitigate – Correcting any deficiencies
- Fines – Monetary penalties for compliance failure
Some of the hidden costs include:
- Additional internal audits – To verify that everything is in order as well as the costs of reworking
- Business disruption – Due to a regulator lockdown of a business unit or the entire organization,
- Productivity loss – The time employees need to focus on remediation
- Brand loss – Due to bad media coverage, and this leads to customer erosion
These costs ensure that your organization is equipped with the correct resources that are required to maintain and confirm there are no compliance slips. The biggest hidden cost, though, is the loss that is not accounted for due to non-standardized operating procedures and a lack of standardized control.
In information technology, this is known as secure configuration management. An organization may be operating at lower efficiency without being noticed until regulatory compliance audits unravel the cracks in the IT ecosystem. This is the “close to broken” setting mentioned earlier.
Fortunately, the journey to compliance need not be a burdensome task. For example, in the banking industry, digital checking mechanisms enable institutions to track all the risks and ensure compliance by applying the appropriate controls. Comprehensive dashboards are used to ensure that banks can effectively monitor and mitigate compliance issues before they cross into non-compliant territory.
To reduce business risk by ensuring systems are properly configured or hardened to meet with your internal regulatory and legislative compliance standards, Secure Configuration Management is a must.
A secure configuration management tool combines network monitoring and Endpoint Protection methodology to compare monitored systems against an approved configuration baseline or a golden image. Deviation from this baseline, known as test failures, can usually be corrected with little or no human intervention. Secure configuration management is truly a need-to-have based solution.
Secure configuration management offers benefits to organizations, not only from the cost-avoidance standpoint of non-compliance but also from increased organizational efficiency and agility.
It is important to note that while many vulnerabilities are “common,” there is a more critical aspect of maintaining compliance to protect your organization. The largest segments of attack types are targeted. This type of attack means your organization is singled out, and the attacker has a specific interest in your business or your intellectual property.
A targeted attack takes time and planning, sometimes months, to lay the groundwork and prepare. Attackers still use commodity techniques to probe the systems in your organization, looking for the best path to exploit, but their methods are specifically tailored to your infrastructure, your processes and your personnel. The main reason that targeted attacks are effective is because organizations struggle to follow basic security practices and properly institute measurable security policies.
Could you imagine how much less risk your organization would have if you could eliminate 99.99% of attacks?
How Soffid Can Help
Soffid makes compliance to security standard easier with the broadest set of compliance and security policies that accelerate securing your infrastructure and knowing where the weak points are. We update these policies as standards change and allow you to customize the test and assessment results to better meet your individual needs, as you get a giant head-start on your security policy and framework as well as the flexibility to make it your own.
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