Preparing Cyber Security Leaders For Regulation And Compliance
New Legislation, Digital Tech And Expanded Data Processing Expand Risk
Not all industries have faced regulatory compliance and reporting requirements as a course of conducting business operations. Financial services, healthcare and government agencies have had compliance requirements for many years.
Industry sectors that are under-regulated today can take steps from a cyber security perspective to prepare for a more regulated future. The most impactful advice for organizations is to adopt external frameworks. Leverage guidelines from external frameworks to institute structure into your cyber security and compliance program.
Compliance is often viewed as a reaction for organizations. The auditing of compliance becomes the event that is anticipated with resources and preparation aligned to culminate in the audit itself. A famous approach used in product development is that launch is a process; not an event. The spirit of that message is important for security leaders to consider in building a sustainable business case for compliance. Compliance should be viewed as a continuous, organizational process.
Realizing the Extent of Cyber Exposure
The processes and the technology used to operate business today are drastically different than behaviors of the past. The amount of information now available and the technologies deployed to accelerate information processing enable organizations to act at the speed of business.
With business processes being digitalized, organizations pan-industry are able to leverage these elements as a competitive advantage to fuel growth through increased speed and scale of business operations. However, an operational digital enterprise also increases your attack surface, which can leave organizations exposed to an unprecedented number of new threats and vulnerabilities across both systems and processes.
Emerging risk can be identified through a combination of new legislation, additional technology choices and expanded data processing. These additional considerations can compound an organization’s ability to maintain regulatory compliance.
Beyond GDPR and CCPA, the governments of Singapore (PDPA) and Brazil (LGPD) have adopted data privacy legislation. These laws impact how organizations can target website visitors and engage in browser experiences.
Transforming Risk Into Business Measurements
These “transformational” elements to business operations are fueling risk for organizations with mature risk management initiatives as well as those that are standing up their first cyber security program.
It is recommended that organizations establish a baseline to measure risk, such as ISO or NIST, and audit business practices to align with best practices. Executive teams must also rationalize risk beyond the cost of a data incident and any regulatory penalties assessed. Lessons from data breaches show a far greater and longer-term impact. Investigations into cyber-attacks often provide insight into internal processes that can shape public opinion and impact an organization’s corporate reputation.
Cyber leaders assessing risk as part of the organization’s compliance efforts will need a combination of technology and process improvements to mitigate cyber risk and prepare for new levels of regulatory compliance.