According to a Gartner study of 117 organizations conducted in late 2020, spending on IT compliance was bound to plateau after several years of unprecedented growth. This is mainly due to the disruptions caused by the novel COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, it has also increased the number of legal and compliance teams now navigating a deluge of organizational risk in a remote work environment.
Today, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and continuous compliance and integrations dominate the IT compliance landscape. But the need of the hour is to decipher what they mean to small businesses and how they can capitalize on these concepts to set up a security program.
In researching this problem, one must keep in mind the truth that robust computing systems do not equate to the most efficient or productive tools for employees. Compliance can only be achieved when people fully understand and are comfortable with a specific security process.
Small and medium-sized businesses need to identify or define exactly what will work in their compliance environment. To do so, they should be guided by a basic understanding of ongoing compliance and how to identify right-sized integrations and automation.
Decode Continuous Conformity
Ongoing compliance requires knowledge of how well the control environment is working. This means you know how the controls in your organization are monitored and working in sync with specific policies. The compliance concept assumes that there is a robust compliance environment and that there are people who remain responsible for measuring the output.
It should be noted that there is no point in only assessing your compliance landscape at specific time periods. For example, to rate it only at the time of the exam. You should integrate compliance assessment throughout the business lifecycle. In simple terms, ongoing compliance should become an organizational mindset, not a set of metrics. Everyone should have the controls and processes. But that’s easier said than done for an organization that’s on the move or expanding.
Decoding integrations for compliance
Integration means the ability of a compliance solution provider to bring audit documents into an integrated platform for sharing with a client. The role of integration becomes crucial when you need to collect evidence. It can save you a lot of time in these activities. It means having the products that can connect your compliance solution provider. For startups, which by their very nature are characterized by labor-intensive processes, integrations like a documented workflow or Google Forms are a good option.
Following the latest Governance-Risk-Compliance or GRC trends, integrations are essential for organizations to scale their compliance programs. Integrations make communication and collaboration smoother, eliminate all manual or labor-intensive work revolving around evidence collection, and make continuous compliance and monitoring a reality.
What does effective compliance automation mean?
Automation means the ability to reduce a human-performed task into a data model and create and set up code for repeatability. Compliance practice requires a lot of human work. Therefore, we cannot fully apply the term automation to it. However, gathering audit evidence through integration can fit into the concept of an automated solution. Such automation ensures timely evidence gathering tasks.
Small and medium-sized companies can take advantage of automated compliance concepts by first analyzing those tasks that conventionally cannot be completed without consultants. You must determine if this activity can be repeated for all Consultants. A suitable example would be conducting an annual risk assessment. Another appropriate example is measuring practices between your organization’s cybersecurity policies against a single standard. A well thought out automated system can achieve nearly 95 percent efficiency on even the most complicated tasks.
Currently, integration is constantly changing, mainly because common technologies are constantly changing. As a result, startups may find themselves missing out on the impact of built-in automation. The right course of action for such organizations is to automate repeatable security practices. For example, you can integrate checks and balances instead of investing in an expensive tool.
Understand the value of adaptive compliance
Along with automation, adaptability is the most important parameter when evaluating compliance platforms. Adaptive compliance enables organizations to appropriately incorporate new controls, risks, and evidence gathering requirements. Basically, adaptive compliance systems are designed to manage security practices that complement your organization.
As companies expand, so does their compliance environment. They can edit a small percentage of their controls and increase the overall controls by 5 percent. During an audit, a strong compliance management system enables organizations to integrate control changes. Monitoring these changes is critical as the auditor needs evidence of consistent compliance. Therefore, the ability to customize or customize your cybersecurity policies will allow your business to transform itself into a more efficient version of itself.
An adaptive compliance inspection module allows companies to monitor and manage all inspection activities. Users can streamline the entire audit lifecycle, from scheduling audits to generating electronic reports. Knowledge and progress can be adequately measured with it.
For small and medium-sized businesses, it all boils down to making this automation approach a priority, fully tailored to their organizational goals. Consider that your priorities will change over time, so you need a system that can adapt to base-level changes.
Your focus should always be on incorporating flexible technology and investing in the ideal compliance technology to ensure you are always moving towards innovation and value creation. Contact Ezofis, an automation management company that excels in providing automation solutions for small businesses and startups.