Compliance done right, so you can sleep at night.
In many industries, (i.e. healthcare, education, insurance, and finance) failure to meet IT compliance regulations can cause shutdowns, financial risk and potentially jeopardize the livelihoods of hundreds or thousands of employees and their families.
Still, many businesses treat compliance as a fire drill instead of treating it as a normal day-to-day function. It should be a part of who you are as an organization and consist of creating a strong Compliance Program.
Building a Strong Compliance Program
Understanding Your Compliance Needs
IT compliance can be tricky. You not only need to understand the compliance expectations, so you can apply them, but you must be able to prove you’re meeting those standards. And depending on the capabilities of current technologies, that may be a difficult, time-intensive manual process.
It’s time to streamline compliance, eliminate the compliance gaps, and leverage technology to both maintain and prove compliance.
We will determine a compliance and ethics program relevant to your industry and requirements. (This can reduce the time needed to fill out security questionnaires by 75%.)
Compliance Management Platforms
Our state-of-the-art management platform can help you achieve your compliance goals by:
- Enabling multiple compliance sets without double the work
- Using a single pane of glass for tasks and reporting
- Automatically updating regulatory sets as they change in the world
- Enabling you to set applicable tasks to ensure compliance with the policy
- Automating scheduling of evidence collection and tasks
- Simplifying audit activities with an audit platform allowing for 3rd party viewing of policies & control evidence
- Giving you confidence that you can pass any audit and maintain this compliance integrity
Establishing a Strong Framework
When it comes to compliance, you have the best of intentions. But making those intentions a reality doesn’t work if you don’t have the right technology (and people using that technology) to help you achieve your goals. We help you leverage a best-in-class compliance toolset. We automate much of what prevents you from achieving and then maintaining your compliance program.
Our compliance programs adhere to ISO27001 for IT compliance and security and then overlay the specific compliance regulations to which your company must adhere. Here are some of the key ones we have implemented and with which we are very familiar: HIPAA IT Compliance, NIST Security, SOC 2 Type 2 Compliance, GDPR, CPA.
1. Establish and Document Processes
Stop the fire drill approach with a clear focus on compliance all the time, not just when it’s time for an audit. Trade-in evidence collection and security questionnaires for real-time, on-demand reporting that aligns with compliance expectations and requirements. No more scrambling to prove you’re adhering to your industry’s requirements.
Real compliance involves setting up repeatable processes and generating documentary evidence. We help you do this by:
- Developing company-wide controls.
- Implementing a code of conduct, including standard operating procedures to meet the controls.
- Appointing overall program administrators (usually the board of directors).
- Creating a channel for reporting misconduct/violations.
- Defining performance incentives and disciplinary procedures.
- Setting up an audit process.
- Establishing training for all employees.
2. Track Your Data
Managing sensitive data is the largest part of compliance (about 90%). Reducing your data footprint to just those systems and users within your compliance framework’s scope not only makes that data more secure, but significantly reduces the data flow you have to track to prove compliance.
To better ensure data control, we’ll also help develop policies and procedures to control user access and define acceptable use policies. Then build a system to ensure those policies and procedures are followed.
3. Establish an internal Audit Process
It’s not enough to ‘set and forget’ a compliance process. A robust internal audit process will allow you to periodically test procedures and collect the evidence needed for an outside auditor to complete a security questionnaire (e.g., in response to a request for proposal).
4. Focus on Training
We can talk all day about technology. But at the end of the day, it’s how people use technology that maintains compliance. Regular updated training is essential to keep employees engaged with a culture of compliance. Apply training to the whole business, including the governing authority, organizational leadership, employees, and even selected external agents.
Annual training should cover the basic components of your compliance and ethics program, your Code of Conduct, and any role-specific training that may be needed. But how you track training is as important as the training itself. Once again, you must be able to prove training compliance so you can address any deficiencies.
5. Invest in the Right Technology
This one may sound obvious, but right-fit technology can streamline processes, cut costs, enhance productivity, and make compliance easier — especially when you have a partner who can help you implement.
A survey of CEOs by global professional services firm PwC identified four factors that separated compliance leaders from their competitors – and they all involved the use of technology. One factor included streamlining policy management using platforms that brought all elements of compliance together.
A compliance management platform enables businesses to track progress, assign tasks and store evidence in one place. What’s more, businesses don’t even have to run the platform on their own servers. By sourcing help from an ITaaS provider, they can access enterprise-grade technology while saving money on hardware and staffing costs.
Facing a Compliance Audit NOW?
If you face an audit at this very moment, download “How Not to Fail Compliance Audit.”
Want to Be Ready Before You Have an Audit?
Talk to one of our experienced team members to get you started with the right compliance program, so you don’t have to worry if you do have an audit.
IT Incident Response Compliance
Incident response is critical for business continuity. Whether a server goes down or a front-line employee gets locked out of their computer, time is of the essence.
Incident response is best addressed with a solid plan that outlines:
- How to document an incident
- The process followed during an incident
- The expected timeline for resolution
- When an incident requires escalation and how that happens
- Reporting to verify that the incident response plan is being followed
- Identification of where the incident response team can perform better (continual improvement)
When it comes to communication, your plan should outline how you manage communication during events like these.
- An incident caught before impact may not warrant any communication
- An incident causing an outage or work stoppage will need to be communicated internally.
- Incidents requiring a data breach may require communication to internal staff and customers. Communication around major incidents will need input from executive leaders, corporate counsel, and sometimes public relations firms.