A secure IT compliance framework is an essential component of every organization’s infrastructure. It can be defined as a set of protocols for companies to follow to ensure their businesses comply with industry-related mandates, laws, and regulations. It consists of processes, functions, tools, and controls either written down or deployed at some level. Yet, regulations are on the rise and continually evolving. Thus, many companies feel they have gaps in their IT compliance framework and fill the IT compliance services gaps.

Regulations and standards such as ISO 27001, Visa’s Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP), the GDPR, the CCPA, and Sarbanes-Oxley increase the number of audits with the time it takes to perform an audit and how much it costs the company. Companies are mandated to specifically manage vital IT information processes and demonstrate evidence using auditable systems and trails.

If you have a secure IT compliance framework, you can:

  • Designate responsibilities for accountability
  • Accurately gather the right information for reports
  • Obey the law and avoid hefty fines
  • Deploy the proper guidelines and protocols

So then, every business must have a secure IT compliance framework to ensure the ability to keep the business open. Yet, many companies do not know where to start, nor do they have the resources to keep up with audits and regulations. A practical and secure IT compliance framework requires the following components described below.

Compliance program

For starters, businesses need an IT compliance program that includes:

Policies: Industry-related regulations guide these policies, and management should ensure every team member follows these company-wide policies.

Processes: Processes may vary depending on the industry, size, and types of products and services the business offers to its target audience. Nonetheless, procedures must follow guidelines set by the regulatory environment.

Training: Employees will require training on policies and processes. However, many companies don’t have the resources to offer initial and ongoing training. As such, IT compliance services are necessary to keep team members apprised of new policies and processes.

Monitoring: Organizations must develop an IT compliance framework monitoring system to mitigate potential issues and make sure mistakes are not repeated. Failure to monitor the framework can result in reputational damage, expensive penalties, and even business closure. On the other hand, IT compliance services provide proactive monitoring so that your in-house teams can focus on doing what you do best.

Compliance audit

A compliance audit determines whether a company has adhered to laws and regulations. Besides, it verifies whether internal policies and implementations are adequate. It would help use IT compliance services to perform an independent review and conduct IT compliance audits frequently.

Consistent auditing ensures the company can identify compliance risks, and it also gets team members used to audits. If the IT compliance framework is consistently monitored and audited, then there are no surprises.

When audits are completed, gaps may be found and lead to corrective actions. While the word audit may induce fear, it is much less worrisome when you utilize IT compliance services to manage the audits so that your organization can retain its ability to transact business.

A crucial element of passing IT compliance framework audits is demonstrating control over the network. Unfortunately, many companies forget this critical task and have an insecure framework without any direct accountability. What would happen if your business can’t pass Visa’s CISP standards or the GDPR? The worst-case scenario is to fail industry-mandated audits.

With IT compliance services, you can ensure a demonstration that you are effectively managing your IT controls and standards. Further, you can access reports that are reliable and collect the required data.

The manual and in-house approach has limits

Managing access control manually is time-consuming and redundant. These activities include:

  • Handling server privilege settings
  • Creating router access control lists
  • Ensuring the security of the systems

It can take a week or more to manage and audit systems manually. It is time most companies don’t have.

Manual audit reporting also exposes the reality of governance. Without constant monitoring offered by IT compliance services, what happens if an issue arises between audits. Does every audit require more expenditures to fix said issues that in-house teams didn’t notice because they weren’t monitoring the framework?

The good news is IT compliance services can provide the following:

Enforced operator access control standards with role-based access control to all network servers and devices. If any unauthorized attempts occur, they are flagged and reported to the designated team. Also, compliance services will monitor gaps in access control when a company may not have support for a centralized authentication server.

Then there is real-time auditing, with an audit trail, to ensure documentation for every infrastructure change and accountability. Further, this helps to demonstrate a comprehensive change management process with real-time change reviews.

You will also get automated compliance verifications around internal standards and best practices. Instead of worrying about yearly manual audits, daily checks are made across the IT compliance framework to determine any security policy violations.

As you can see, IT compliance services are necessary for an increasingly regulated business environment and benefit not only heavily-regulated industries such as government, financial services, health care, and pharmaceuticals but also businesses with high-transaction volume networks.

Moreover, small-to-midsize businesses can benefit from IT compliance services when their employees access networks from their remote devices while working from home. Compliance is a must. Is your business ready?

Final thought

It takes a lot of time and resources to implement a secure IT compliance framework. However, IT compliance services can relieve your team of the burden so that you don’t have to worry about falling on the wrong side of the law and can retain regular business activity with a good reputation around compliance. As a business owner, it’s critical to have a secure IT compliance framework to ensure a good position for any audit and to maintain a competitive advantage in your market.