To the common person, regulatory compliance is misperceived as an all-encompassing term that includes security. Some may even think it’s the same thing.
As a result, modern-day startups tend to fixate on meeting compliance standards. From GDPR and CCPA to ISO27001 and SOC 2, achieving compliance takes precedence to sustain operations and geographical expansion. However, IT protection is rarely a given.
Treating compliance and security as one and the same can be an expensive mistake. In truth, compliance infers that an organisation meets a minimum set of controls. In contrast, security contains wide-ranging practices and software that help address the risks associated with business functions.
To cultivate a fully compliant and secure computing environment, let’s start by understanding how it is possible.
We’ll start with IT security as companies need to maintain IT regulatory compliance. Like complying with regulations, security is an act of risk mitigation. And the risks are multi-tiered indeed.
Many young organisations are compliant while still being vulnerable in their protection status. For instance, let’s say a software company meets SOC 2 standards, requiring its employees to install endpoint protection on their devices. Even so, it has no strategy for enforcing employees to activate or update the software.
Plus, let’s say the company lacks centrally managed tools to monitor and report any endpoint breaches, when and how they occurred. This poses a problem, especially if said company is not proficient in quick responses and recovery.
Companies always have the risk of operational issues that result in downtime, such as system corruption from external attacks, internal threats to on-premise systems, central computing infrastructure, etc. Not to mention, every single endpoint device on the network is exposed to some extent.
So, IT security helps you dictate the actions necessary in line with the number of risks you face. Reacting to problems on the spot is never a viable option. When protecting your network from such threats, you will acquire a more comprehensive understanding than under even the strictest compliance standards.
While regulatory compliance also involves minimising risk, it entails following definite rules instead of securing your systems. Government entities or third-party security structures typically pass down these regulations. Customer contracts contain precise requirements as well.
Consequently, network administrators have their hands full with the obligatory tasks to complete in order to keep their company’s IT compliant with various mandates. In fact, some regulations only dictate the business purchase regulation-compliant hardware without addressing IT infrastructure.
Where Does Your Company Stand?
Although you may meet compliance standards, it is evident that security flaws remain. Startups are particularly vulnerable in the face of security breaches, which will eventually become extremely costly.
The danger for businesses in compliance lies in the false sense of safety. Of course, receiving a compliance certificate from auditors or revered professionals can evoke a sense of accomplishment. But that does not mean your security posture is covered.
You should always have a dedicated plan in place to secure all your digital assets aside from meeting your industry’s regulatory mandates. This cybersecurity strategy must prioritise ongoing training, whether for disaster recovery, endpoint protection or Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) protection.
Keep in mind that compliance only deals with defined terms and does not cover new circumstances that could arise. In an ideal world, compliance would equal security from the get-go, but it’s still up to you to enact protection on your digital assets.
Feel free to explore how Aegis can aid you in your cloud backup and disaster recovery needs for maximal security.