On the surface, compliance and cybersecurity share identical objectives in safeguarding businesses from disastrous breaches. Both terms are often mistaken to bear the same meaning, while in reality, they mean different things.
Compliance refers to an organization’s readiness to adhere to government laws and industry standards with regard to information security and data privacy. Security refers to the collective measures a company implements to protect its IT assets from theft, damage, or loss stemming from unauthorized access.
Cybersecurity is a component of compliance. While compliance cannot exist without security, it is important that businesses align both aspects to achieve a better outcome in protecting their business operations from malicious threat actors.
This blog post highlights the issues organizations face in cybersecurity and compliance efforts and how best to respond.
Why is Security and Compliance So Important?
Compliance and security are not limited to larger companies only; small and medium-sized businesses, too, are required to comply with regulations within their industry and jurisdiction.
- Financial firms in the US are required to comply with the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA). Global companies must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)
- Healthcare firms are required to comply with the Healthcare Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Businesses handling sensitive information for Brazil citizens are required to comply with the LGPD (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Pessoais) laws
- Businesses handling sensitive data belonging to UK citizens must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
As mentioned, compliance and security work in tandem to protect businesses from serious data breaches and resulting fines and penalties.
That said, companies face the following issues in implementing compliance and cybersecurity:
1. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)
Advanced persistent threats launch sophisticated attacks on high-level targets to obtain sensitive business data for a prolonged period of time.
Persistent attackers gain access to the organization’s systems through its unsecured networks, malware, infected files and applications, and phishing emails.
To remain undetected, the malicious perpetrators may capture admin access, rewrite code, and secure larger parts of the network.
One way to counter such attacks is by deploying a round-the-clock monitoring solution backed by advanced threat protection measures such as complex firewalls and regular password changes.
2. Missing Inventory on All Devices on the Network
The complex nature of today’s IT ecosystems and the vast interconnectedness of mobile phones computers, on-site, and remote servers – just to mention a few – make it difficult to locate and monitor every device connected to a company’s network. This makes it even more difficult to retaliate in the event of a cyber attack.
The solution? A comprehensive assessment and documentation of all connected devices to understand their risks, whether or not they’re actively connected to the network.
3. Employee Cyber Threats
Employees are considered a risk factor when they do not have sufficient training regarding cybersecurity practices. A common tactic used by threat actors to trick employees into giving out data is phishing emails.
Phishing attacks mimic legitimate emails but in the end, employees provide their admin login credentials, credit card information, and other information that can wreak havoc on the organization if it falls in the wrong hands.
The best course of action in preventing employee cyber threats is through regular security awareness training, to educate them on common cybersecurity threat challenges.
4. Insider Threats
Insider threats originate from within the organization and are hard to detect. Often, insider threats occur when employees of the organization, management, or contractors knowingly or unknowingly expose the organization to data breaches or attacks.
To prevent insider threats, consider setting up machine learning and automation to detect anomalies in the network and alert the organization of imminent danger before it’s too late.
5. Sensitive Credentials on the Dark Web
When hackers steal information, it may end up at an auction on the dark web. Sensitive user passwords, credit cards, and social security numbers of high-value targets are sold to the highest bidder (usually another hacker), who further exploits the company in the future.
While the scope of the data stolen and sold on the dark web for a specific company may exceed your imagination, the organization can get in touch with an MSP that offers dark web monitoring to erase any passwords, credentials, or other leaked information circulating the dark web.
Aligning Cybersecurity and Compliance Goals
With the unprecedented growth in cyber attacks, it is important that modern businesses protect valuable assets with advanced firewalls, antivirus solutions, multi-factor authentication, and 24/7 threat monitoring.
Additionally, setting up proactive threat monitoring solutions and re-evaluating your cybersecurity and compliance measures provides additional security for the long haul. A managed IT service provider can help you navigate the complex in bolstering your company’s cybersecurity posture.
Ready to take the next step? Contact us today and learn how we can help you strengthen your cybersecurity posture to ensure compliance and security.
Hear from Philipp Baumann, owner and founder of BoomTech: