IT compliance: Challenges, Benefits & More! 

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IT Compliance: Challenges, Benefits & More! 

The world is moving forward rapidly, with technology rendering game-changing solutions in different verticals across industries.

However, this speed has come at a high cost of making businesses vulnerable to cyber criminals who are plotting cyber attacks looking to steal critical information that may be personal or financial in nature. 

Due to the increasing cyber-attacks, governments are issuing guidelines for protecting their citizens’ sensitive data assets and personal data from getting compromised by cybercriminals looking to exploit it for extortion, ransom, etc. 

Since adversarial tactics, techniques, and procedures are constantly evolving, the regulatory environment is changing, and enterprises are failing to stay in line with all the recent updates and developments in compliance changes. 

It is primarily because of a lack of compliance experts who can guide them to achieve compliance-specific goals. 

We will answer some fundamental questions on compliance and its benefits for businesses through our blog.

What is IT compliance?

Compliance is a set of guidelines issued by regulatory or global bodies for enhanced cybersecurity, protection of information, and increased posture. 

Most regulatory and global guidelines define how organizations must monitor and safeguard the user data that is processed, controlled, and stored.  

IT compliance implies all the measures that are implemented to meet those guidelines.

It ensures that an organization is compliant with all the GRC (Government, Regulatory, and Compliance) guidelines which helps them to manage risk better and stay compliant. 

Upon non-adherence to these guidelines, an organization may face a penalty or fine depending on the specific punishments mentioned in the regulatory or global compliance. This is the main reason why organizations consider compliance management as one of the critical aspects of cybersecurity. But why are organizations failing to comply with the regulatory and global compliances? 

Standard Controls of IT compliance

The following are the controls found in most IT compliances:

  • Access and identity control
  • Data sharing controls
  • Prevention of data loss
  • Protection against cyber threats such as ransomware
  • Security policies
  • Monitoring and reporting
  • Recovery measures from incident response

Challenges to IT compliance

Businesses often find themselves stuck at a dead end in compliance. It is true, especially for small and medium-sized organizations, who find it challenging to meet all the requirements. 

Let us take a look at some of the challenges faced by organizations to become compliant:

Absence of skills for compliance management

Organizations worldwide are facing a shortage of cybersecurity expertise. On top of this, experts don’t come cheap and are difficult to find. Organizations struggle to find the right set of experts who can assist them with taking the correct steps. It is why they fail to identify where they fall short in compliance. 

High cost of security solutions 

Most compliance guidelines require organizations to implement some or the other form of an advanced monitoring solution for threat detection enabling them with increased posture. However, over 60 % of organizations believe in a rise in the cost of security solutions over the past few years. 

Lack of the proper resources and expertise for the identification of vulnerabilities 

Organizations may not possess the right solutions and expertise to engage in security assessments or pen-test their infrastructure to identify security measures for implementation. It is the main reason why even the most established organizations fail to meet IT compliance. They lack certified professionals who can deploy the right tools and techniques. 

No expertise in implementing measures for security 

According to one research report, over 51% of organizations struggle to identify critical risks and categorize vulnerabilities as per their severity due to a lack of expertise in cybersecurity. It proves that there is a shortage of skills in cybersecurity in organizations. It takes expertise to categorize vulnerabilities and understand and effectively implement all the measures recommended in the compliance guidelines. 

Areas that demand serious attention in compliance 

Certain areas strictly demand high compliance. Areas such as information security guidelines such as those suggested by the NIST Framework, and industries such as the healthcare industry that demand high confidentiality and protection of healthcare information. Ensuring compliance in such areas is highly difficult. 

Constantly changing regulatory environment

As the threat actors continue to evolve in the threat landscape, regulatory and global bodies update their guidelines and recommendations from time to time to assist the affected organizations to step up their security and organizations often find themselves in a tough spot. Without the right expertise, they are unable to identify and update the measures implemented for information security and security. 

How is it different from IT security?

While IT security is implemented independently to safeguard all the IT infrastructure that stores, processes, and controls data, it is different from IT compliance, which is focused entirely on complying with the guidelines stipulated by the regulatory and global bodies. 

Where compliance sets a fundamental ground for a default level of cybersecurity posture implemented by default, IT security focused on building over the baseline established through the identification of the best security practices and implementing them.

Some examples of compliances (global and regulatory) GDPR, PCI DSS, ISO 27001, NIST, NESA, SAMA, PoPIA

What are the benefits of IT compliance?

1. Increased cybersecurity posture

By implementing the guidelines recommended in the compliances, organizations ensure that they implement the best security measures based on some of the best security practices identified by regulatory and global bodies to increase their cybersecurity posture by default to a level. 

2. Improved reputation in the market

Through compliance achievement, organizations build a default set of security standards and certifications that improve their reputation in the market. By implementing all the measures recommended by the bodies, businesses achieve a default baseline posture encompassing round-the-clock protection of all their sensitive business assets and customer data. 

3. Increased trust among customers

By implementing all the measures for the protection of the data of their clients, they ensure that they safeguard their customers and employees’ information, building trust and improving their brand’s image among the stakeholders. It leads to business growth unlocking all the business opportunities locally and globally. 

4. Mitigation of some of the most common vulnerabilities and threats

Being compliant with some of the best in class compliances, organizations ensure that they take measures to establish a default posture against some of the most common vulnerabilities and threats and implement measures to build cyber resilience. So by implementing the guidelines they fend off some of the most common cyber criminals and keep them away from stealing their sensitive information.  

5. Organizations find themselves in the company of good clients, customers, and partners

When your company is compliant with all the statutory and regulatory requirements you automatically fulfill the standards that world-class businesses, clients, and customers are looking for before they engage in partnerships, contracts, or buy your services. IT security helps you meet global standards. 

6. Reduced costs as a result of avoiding data breaches

As per IBM’s cost of data breach report 2022, the average cost of data breaches is around $4.35 million. IT compliance ensures round-the-clock protection of all your assets that store, manage and process data. It saves you from the high cost of data breaches be it from loss of data, damage to digital assets, or legal fines. 

7. Helps with incident response planning

Incident Response is how (people, process, and technologies deployed) an organization responds to cyber-attacks and Incident Response Planning specifies how attacks are identified, categorized, and addressed. IT compliance ensures incident response planning. It provides the much-needed preparedness against the most lethal cyber threats, protecting a sensitive company or customer-specific data from getting into the hands of notorious cyber criminals. 

Where does SharkStriker Help?

We have seen how non-compliance can be costly not only in terms of money but also in the reputation of the business among its partners, clients, and other stakeholders. Most organizations are not well equipped with the subject matter expertise that is much needed to close all the compliance-specific gaps. SharkStriker assists them by offering a dedicated team for compliance and cybersecurity! 

So, if you are a business owner looking for experts who can not only assist you in improving your cybersecurity posture but also all of the compliance requirements with a team of cybersecurity experts and compliance consultants then you are at the right place. SharkStriker’s compliance as a service deals with all the industry-specific challenges faced by businesses from around the world. 

With dedicated compliance services for GDPR, PCI DSS, ISO 270001, NIST, SAMA, PoPIA, & NESA,, and other compliances, we help solve the specific compliance-related bottlenecks that businesses can’t solve on their own. 

To conclude

Through our blog, we have taken a closer look at what IT compliance really means and how different it is from IT security. In the ever-growing digital space, becoming non-compliant can be costly in terms of time, money, and reputation. Meeting compliance requirements can seem impossible, especially when you lack the expertise to meet all the requirements stipulated in the regulatory and statutory guidelines applicable to your organization. SharkStriker helps businesses from different industries around the globe meet their compliance requirements and gain increased cybersecurity posture through their end-to-end compliance management services and dedicated compliance services.


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