Best Practices for Cybersecurity Compliance Monitoring
The number of data breaches continues to rise, costing companies billions every year. Unfortunately, this trend isn’t expected to change anytime soon. In fact, experts predict that cybercrime will cost $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.
As the threat landscape becomes more complex, businesses need cybersecurity professionals to ensure constant vigilance to stay ahead of hackers.
Since cybersecurity has become a significant concern for organizations around the globe, you may be asking yourself, how often should I perform security compliance monitoring?
If you want to ensure your organization stays safe from cyberattacks, consider implementing a consistent security compliance monitoring program. To help you achieve this, we’ve put together some best practices.
Cybersecurity Compliance Monitoring Best Practices
1. Determine Which Regulations Apply
First, it’s essential to determine which laws and regulations are applicable to your organization.
The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are just some of the many regulations that cover organizations in different sectors.
For example, HIPAA applies to healthcare providers, while GDPR covers personal information collected from EU citizens. This makes it important to understand what type of regulations apply to your business, whether you operate nationally or internationally.
In addition to determining whether a regulation applies, you must also assess how it affects your organization. Each industry has unique requirements. Depending on your industry, specific regulations may require additional training, registration, or compliance measures.
2. Conduct A Risk Assessment
A cybersecurity risk assessment is a process that helps an organization figure out how to manage, control, and mitigate cybersecurity risk.
It also helps inform decision-making and streamline proper responses. Leveraging a risk assessment process can significantly reduce compliance risk and improve your compliance management processes.
An organization can leverage a Risk Assessment Template to build a robust risk assessment process no matter how many people work within their organization.
Another excellent option is outsourcing and having a team of experts perform a risk assessment. Whichever option you choose, it’s crucial to thoroughly assess your organization for weak points to avoid cybersecurity threats and manage compliance requirements.
3. Perform Compliance Review
A common misconception about cybersecurity compliance is that it involves only technical solutions. However, cybersecurity compliance also includes legal, financial, regulatory, operational, and administrative components.
Therefore, a company must have an effective cybersecurity compliance program that addresses these areas. And the first step to creating an effective compliance program is by completing a compliance review.
For a full external compliance review, organizations can outsource to get additional insight and analysis to ensure they meet all compliance demands.
4. Cybersecurity Awareness Training
An effective cybersecurity awareness training plan is another important step organizations can take to help meet compliance needs and secure their organization from cyber threats.
One way a company can accomplish this is by requiring employees to complete annual training courses related to cybersecurity and compliance standards.
If your company already provides some form of cybersecurity awareness training, you might want to evaluate the program’s effectiveness.
As part of the process, you should assess your current knowledge base and determine where there are gaps. For example, you might find that certain areas require additional attention, such as educating employees about mobile device management tools.
5. Create Policies & Procedures
Organizations should aim to have regularly updated cybersecurity compliance monitoring policies and procedures.
This could include ensuring your employees know your company’s policies regarding access to sensitive information and whether employees are trained to recognize phishing emails.
You can also ensure your employees are familiar with best practices for protecting themselves while accessing corporate systems. There should also be policies and education in place when it comes to reinforcing endpoint security.
Security control is one of the most significant security compliance practices a company can implement. Therefore, your security team should ensure all security requirements are met with security measures, policies, and procedures.
6. Continuous Monitoring Plan
To help mitigate risk, you must perform continuous monitoring to detect new threats and vulnerable spots. Once your organization conducts an initial audit, you can begin developing a compliance monitoring plan.
You should start by identifying the most critical risk areas. Also, if there are known issues, focus on addressing those first.
Once you identify potential vulnerabilities, act quickly to resolve them. By doing this, you will be able to stop any potential breaches from becoming a security issue.
How to Create a Compliance Monitoring Plan
To create a continuous monitoring plan, your security team should first test your current security infrastructure to see if the tools work correctly. Then, based on these tests, determine whether you set up further security compliance procedures or not.
Additionally, your team should document all security policies and procedures they implement to safeguard sensitive information. This way, the documentation can help aid in systematically aligning compliance needs and audits and revising your organization’s security efforts.
The plan should include how often you will perform the assessment, what type of assessments, and whether you will rely solely on automated tools or manual reviews. Some organizations use a combination of both approaches.
When selecting an approach, consider each method’s level of effort involved. For example, automated tools typically require less time and resources, while manual review requires more.
Unfortunately, hackers continually find new ways of penetrating and stealing data, leaving you open to compliance risk. This is why cybersecurity compliance monitoring should be done regularly but also proactively.
This means that companies should look for signs of potential breaches before they happen. They should also have a plan to respond quickly if a breach occurs.
Companies must ensure that their employees understand the importance of cybersecurity compliance and take steps to protect themselves from cyberattacks.
A company should also determine whether it will develop a formal policy to govern the process or decide to outsource compliance monitoring altogether.