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Continuous Compliance – A key Component of Your Business’ Security Plan

Today, security must function as a business enabler and be an organic component of every organization’s daily processes. Keeping up with compliance standards plays an important role in making sure your business is secure. Your business can be audited at any time, day or night, at any point in the year, and the biggest mistake organizations make is thinking, “If I’m compliant today, I’m compliant forever (until I change something).” Regulations, infrastructure and regulatory standards change all the time, often without end users knowing. It requires vigilance and review, and it’s best to get reporting of key performance indicators in place to ensure that your data is as protected today as it was on day one – and to ensure that standards put forth in the regulations are still in effect (and not expanded upon). This is one of the first steps to maintaining ongoing compliance and reducing your business’ risk for a potential breach.

Remember: Staying compliant is something that needs constant evaluation and adjustment. Sources are ever changing, and applicability of control over data should be consistently reviewed — that’s the age of continuous compliance we live in today. An important element of continuous compliance is to look at how your organization can improve communication. Compliance and security teams need to be talking to each other. They could even be considered one team.

To help overcome problems that occur when teams who should be talking with each other just don’t communicate, make sure those who traditionally don’t share information (Security, HR, IT Operations, etc.) define their roles for the organization and give examples of what they do with data. Look for data similarities or lines that cross – and ensure that all other parts of the organization understand their goals and purposes for gathering data.

Eliminate the communication silos that exist across disparate teams within your organization. Set clear objectives on who owns what for review. Enforce policies that allow audit results to be published internally. All of these will help your business maintain a secure and compliant footprint and put you in a strong position to discover vulnerabilities and deal with unforeseen audits – and potentially even prevent threats that may lead to a data breach.

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