As technology continues to evolve, so do the security protocols and best practices associated with it. Some common terms you’ve probably heard involved in these business conversations are “security” and “compliance.” But what do they really mean? More importantly, how are they related?
For CTOs and CIOs specifically, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of these two concepts—that’s the first step in developing a comprehensive security strategy. In this blog post, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at both security and compliance and exploring their ever-growing role in the corporate world.
So, let’s get started.
A strong understanding of the fundamentals of IT security makes it far easier to create a security program that meets both corporate governance obligations and your organization’s risk management needs. Here are 10 key differences between cybersecurity and compliance, including the purpose of each, the regulatory framework they fall under, and how they’re related.
Cybersecurity refers to the processes of protecting an organization’s data and IT infrastructure from unauthorized access, malicious actors, and natural disasters. Compliance, on the other hand, involves meeting the expectations set by industry regulations or laws such as GDPR, CMMC, HIPAA and SOX. While cybersecurity and compliance are closely connected, their objectives are inherently different.
In cybersecurity, risk mitigation is achieved through a variety of measures such as implementing firewalls or patching software vulnerabilities. In contrast, compliance focuses on creating policies that keep an organization compliant with applicable regulations or laws. These policies may include requirements for employee training or incident response plans that need to be followed in order to maintain the company’s legal standing.
When businesses secure systems with both cybersecurity and compliance measures in mind, it’s important to involve stakeholders from various departments such as IT, Legal, and Finance to ensure that all aspects are properly addressed. For example, members of the IT team will be able to identify any potential weaknesses or vulnerabilities within the network while members of Legal and Finance can help establish processes for handling incidents should they occur.
Cybersecurity teams are typically responsible for monitoring networks for potential threats and responding accordingly. When it comes to managing incidents related to regulatory violations, however, this task typically falls under the purview of a company’s compliance team. It is important for CIOs and CTOs to understand who is responsible for which tasks so as not to overlap responsibilities or leave gaps in coverage.
Depending on the threat posed by malicious actors, cybersecurity teams may implement firewalls or encryption software while compliance teams may require robust reporting capabilities or automated alerting systems. As technology evolves, so do the tool sets used by each discipline, requiring CIOs and CTOs to stay up to date on new techniques and trends in order to protect their organizations effectively.
Cybersecurity teams rely heavily on automation when performing tasks such as patching vulnerabilities as manual processes lack efficiency during operations. On the other hand, while some elements of compliance require automation, most still depend on manual review and validation due to the complexity associated with these regulations.
Cybersecurity teams usually employ monitoring mechanisms such as intrusion detection systems (IDS) or penetration testing, whereas compliance is mostly focused on adhering to external requirements set forth by regulators. Auditing also differs between the two disciplines—cybersecurity teams audit their own internal networks, while companies must periodically audit their operations against external standards set out by governing bodies such as IS0/IEC 27001&2 standards.
Here’s a secret: your security policies are only effective until someone takes advantage of them. While it’s normal for companies to have some gaps in security, you need to consistently run penetration tests to discover and resolve any vulnerabilities.
To meet their respective objectives, cybersecurity teams must train personnel about topics such as malware prevention methods while also providing knowledge about how users can safely use corporate resources online. Compliance generally requires a high level of understanding from employees regarding complex regulatory frameworks and how these rules apply within an organization’s specific context.
Cybersecurity incident response plans rely primarily on technical expertise, whereas some aspects of corporate governance are better addressed using non-technical solutions such as communication strategies designed to limit damage caused by data breaches .
In certain cases where an incident involves both cybersecurity violations as well as regulatory requirements being breached, there may be some overlap between what needs to be done from a compliance perspective versus what has already been performed under a cybersecurity program. This underscores why it is important for CIOs & CTOs to understand both areas if they wish to address issues quickly and effectively.
Looking for a partner that helps your business face the strictest security and compliance standards? Choose BL King consulting.
We understand the importance of staying compliant in today’s ever-changing digital landscape. We use advanced technology and industry-leading practices to ensure that our clients are always up to date on the latest security protocols. Start a conversation with our experts, or schedule a free risk assessment to learn more.