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A Look Inside: The Importance of Compliance Monitoring

Posted on Oct 19, 2021 2:08 pm

Did you know that informational security has become a $170 billion industry? Companies everywhere are taking compliance monitoring very seriously to avoid becoming another statistic in growing cybercrime. 

Don’t worry if you don’t know what compliance monitoring is or how to tackle this important topic, because you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about keeping your company within the law and regulations.

Staying diligent in this matter is more than simply following the letter of the law. You need to ensure that your client’s information is safe and secure as well. 

What Is Compliance Monitoring? 

Compliance monitoring refers to the tests and audits companies must do to ensure they’re meeting both internal and external regulations. Companies in many industries must adhere to strict regulations set by external bodies, such as governmental requirements.

One example in the online industry is the strict adherence to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set by the EU to protect the privacy of its citizens. In addition to external requirements, many companies set strict internal obligations they must follow.

Regular testing and internal audits ensure full compliance to these internal standards of practice. Some tests and solutions you can consider using include application performance monitoring or you can choose a DNS performance monitor. To do this you can use a simple framework such as the RESTful API (representational state transfer). 

Larger organizations will have an assigned team to monitor compliance in the daily activities of the company. However, smaller companies must also assign regular and consistent monitoring to someone on their team and establish a working protocol. 

Benefits of Continual Monitoring

One thing companies large and small have in common is the desire and obligation to ensure that they’re following the strictest standards set for them. Continual assessing of day-to-day business operations is the best way to ensure these standards are being met.

From reducing risk to uncovering weaknesses, there are several benefits to compliance monitoring. Regardless of your industry, you can benefit from tracking and maintaining the strictest compliances of the regulations in your field. We’ll jump into the top three here.  

Maintain Best Practices

As mentioned, companies have certain standards of operation they must meet. And the best way to ensure your company maintains those best practices is through continual monitoring. 

Whether accidental or intentional, you need to identify any areas of non-compliance within your workflow, equipment, and network. You have a certain level of standards of practice that you expect strict adherence to. And compliance monitoring is the tool you need to ensure your team is maintaining those best practices.  

Improve Cybersecurity

Companies everywhere fear the worst when it comes to cybersecurity. You don’t want your organization to make the news for the wrong reasons. You must improve your cybersecurity, and the best way to do that is to evaluate how your company’s operations align with industry standards.  

Your compliance plan must identify the possible risks from failed cybersecurity, and then develop a plan in advance to eliminate those risks. Be sure to run a vulnerability scan to spot where your system is vulnerable, so you can focus on that weakness and minimize it. 

Minimize Risk

From cybersecurity to legal obligations and operational efficiency, your company needs to minimize its risk management. With the proper training, your team can help you minimize risk and follow the internal standards you set for your organization. 

To properly ensure minimal risk for your company, take the time to create your compliance monitoring plan now. You need to have a written process for your team to follow. You will also need to have a formal communication channel to relay any changes. We’ll dive into the steps for how to do this in the next section.  

How to Monitor Compliance

Now that you can see why it’s vitally important for your company to monitor compliance with regulations and standards, let’s look at how you can create a plan that meets your obligations. 

Many companies find that they can easily follow these steps and ensure strict compliance within their industry. Other companies find they need external assistance from experts so they can make certain their organization doesn’t have any weaknesses or flaws within their compliance. As you read through these steps, consider if managed security might be the right choice for your organization. 

1. Define Who Is Responsible

As mentioned earlier, this might be a dedicated team, a point person, or someone who monitors compliance in addition to their regular daily duties. Regardless of the size of your organization or the size of your monitoring staff, you must delineate exactly who is responsible for each test. 

This will eliminate the confusion that can come from thinking someone else is monitoring compliance. Take the time to first assign who will be responsible for monitoring each test and reporting their results. Set up a central Security Operations Center (SOC), that is responsible for your compliance monitoring. 

2. Outline What You Will Monitor

Second, you must know what your team will monitor within your organization. The best way to do this is to map out what regulations each test is linked to. Your team must be able to see at a glance why they’re running each test and what needs to be done should a fault or flaw become known during a test or audit.  

As mentioned earlier, from GDPR to application monitoring, each company will have an array of regulations they will need to track. You need to outline where your business needs to stay within both the external regulations as well as your internal standards for excellence.  

3. Determine the Monitoring Schedule

Having a set schedule is the key to ensuring you consistently and continually monitor compliance. Automate this schedule and instill reminders so nobody misses an important test or audit.  

The best way to automate this schedule is to create and manage a software technology tool such as a Robotic Process Automation (RPA). This will assist your team and eliminate human error that naturally comes from relying on people to consistently take a certain action on your predetermined schedule. 

4. Track Compliance Score

You need to ensure that your organization is meeting the standards and regulations within your industry. And the best way to do this over time is to track your compliance score. You will then be able to quickly and easily see where the gaps are or where you might have a temporary change in your quality controls.

Now that you know who is monitoring which tests and when you need to assign a scorekeeper. Who will track the score and ensure that your organization is maintaining strict compliance with each regulation? Then measure to what level your organization is meeting those standards.   

5. Create a Plan of Action

Finally, remember that monitoring compliance isn’t the end result. You must have a plan for what you and your team will do with the results they find. If a test shows a weakness, how will you fix it? Have a contingency plan for each possible scenario, and ensure that your team knows where to find this information should they need it. 

If you run a software program, you will need to know who will create the patch that will fix any known issues within your program. Patch management is a key component of your plan of action and must be outlined here fully. 

Staying Compliant Is Important to You, Your Organization, and Your Customers

While compliance monitoring might not be the most exciting conversation around the boardroom table, it’s vitally important to the continual success of your company. You owe it to your clients and your employees to maintain the strictest compliance.

You need continual, real-time monitoring, so you can ensure your organization keeps the information you’ve been entrusted with safe. Many organizations find that this level of security can become more than they can safely monitor and track.

Get the Help You Need to Stay Compliant

Compliance monitoring is too important a task to let it take a backseat. But you have a business to run and can’t constantly stop what you’re doing and monitor every network, computer, and data risk. 

That’s where NETdepot can help you. We’ve helped businesses around the world, just like yours, complete regular audits, run continual tests, and keep their business safe from cyber threats. And we can help you do the same with our continual threat detection and real-time responses to possible risks. 

If you’re ready to learn more about how we can help you shore up your defenses and keep your business safe, then reach out to us today

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