Whether it’s data protection laws such as GDPR, or industry-specific quality assurance requirements, businesses are under an increasing expectation to adhere to regulations that are designed to empower people and keep them safe. Technology is increasingly essential for meeting the mark of compliance requirements, especially as a business grows. Businesses are able to work with an IT support provider to empower their compliance and they can make great progress internally. In any case, the eight pillars of regulatory compliance will be needed to effectively monitor, enforce and control adherence to regulations such as GDPR’s data protection requirements.
Dealing with compliance can feel daunting when you’re unsure of what your requirements are, how your business currently measures up to them, and the IT solutions that can help. If this feels familiar to you, fear not! Our next blogs in this series cover the principal pillars of compliance, and how to implement them to comply with GDPR, and any industry-specific regulations that apply to your business.
What Are the Pillars of Regulatory Compliance and How Can I Use Them?
The pillars of compliance are a shorthand way of assessing your compliance posture and how it can be improved. You can think of it as a checklist of themes that you can use to assess and enhance your compliance efforts by finding a way to improve on each theme, or pillar, using technology. In brief, the pillars of achieving compliance with IT are:
- Education & training
- Auditing & Reporting
- Resilience & Recovery
To get started with using these pillars, get clear on your compliance requirements, how your business is meeting them, and then use these pillars to find ways where they could be improved. From there, you can find IT solutions that can help you across each pillar, working with an IT support provider can also prove very empowering for your efforts.
At its core, observability is about having a clear view into your IT environment. It allows organisations to monitor, detect, and analyse their systems in real-time. By understanding where your data resides, how it’s being accessed and processed, and ensuring there’s no unauthorised access, you can ensure that your business has minimal risk and can sail through compliance audits with ease.
Processes are the operational heartbeats of organisations, and technology can keep them going without skipping a beat! Streamlined processes ensure that everything, from data protection measures to user access controls, are in good working order. Processes are also a guiding force that empower consistent adherence to requirements, coupled with observability, this can really empower your business’s compliance to remain in good stead.
If observability is like having a map for your compliance across your IT environment, and processes are like arteries that ensure a flow of consistent compliance, then policies are the guiding rules that determine how your business ensures compliance across the territory, forming the logic around how compliance is organised and met for your organisation. Policies, processes and observability will also evolve and grow with your business.
An organisation without clear policies is like a ship without a compass – it’s likely to drift into non-compliance waters. Thus, it’s essential to lay down robust and clear policies about compliance, and to keep them intimately connected with your technology and processes.
Education & Training
People are another important factor to consider in your compliance efforts! Education and training is about ensuring that your people understand the importance of your compliance requirements, how to fulfil them using tools and processes, and how to report deviations and anomalies, helping your business to lower risks and achieve consistency.
Relatedly, user awareness training around cyber security can be extremely useful for preventing data breaches that can impinge on compliance. Often, users are
the weakest link in data protection and are the main cause of incidents, so aligning your people with security and compliance best practices is another crucial pillar to consider.
Get In Touch to Discuss Your Own Half-Hour Cyber Awareness Training
The vast majority of cyber incidents are caused by human error, get in touch with us today to discuss a cyber aware awareness training session for your business, and transform your weakest security link into your strongest security and compliance protection asset.
Our sessions equip teams with the knowledge of cyber security best practices and the ability to detect even sophisticated phishing threats, enabling your business and its compliance posture to focus on what it does best, uncompromised by today’s cyber threats.
Relying on manual processes can be relatively slow, tedious, and risky in terms of the accuracy and reliability of data and quality assurance. Automation can be a game-changer for addressing each of these pain points, as long as it’s well configured! Automation solutions can be relatively simple or sophisticated, depending on the context in which it’s applied.
For example, a simple ‘unsubscribe’ button provided by your CRM solution makes it easy to comply with GDPR’s provisions about ensuring that the withdrawal of consent is accessible and easy for data subjects. Whereas a healthcare setting, like a care home, might make use of more elaborate automations, such as automated notifications that ensure regular check-ins and medication management for residents.
Auditing & Reporting
Regular audits can offer a much-needed reality check for any organisation, and should be enshrined as a regular occurrence. They can uncover disconnects between your technology, processes, user behaviour and compliance requirements, yielding actionable insights that you can use to further refine your efforts.
Resilience & Recovery
Even with the best of plans things can go awry! Resilience and recovery is your pillar for mitigating the impacts of cyber incidents whenever they do happen, enabling your business to bounce back faster. This pillar involves incident response planning, data backup and disaster recovery solutions, and ensuring business continuity. In effect, this pillars gives your business a safety net, and the ability to respond and recover from incidents with confidence.
A disjointed IT environment will inevitably hinder a more seamless compliance solution for your business, integration is a pillar about connecting together your IT environment so that all steps and facets of compliance can be supported by your IT tools and processes. To the extent your IT environment is not integrated, then a degree of manual intervention will be needed to ensure compliance.
By applying these eight pillars, you can simplify, streamline and empower your compliance efforts like never before. Ultimately, these eight pillars will require aligning your people, processes and technology to work together. With these three key elements and these eight pillars, you can ensure your data is safe, that time is saved, compliance is assured, and that you can enjoy peace of mind.
In our next two pieces, we will delve into using IT solutions to achieve compliance with GDPR and industry-specific regulations. Stay tuned for practical guidance for your business!
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