Security and Compliance 101: Staying On Top of Information Security

The stress to keep up with security and compliance regulations can haunt even the staunchest IT professionals in their nightmares. Compliance with several different security standards can be time-consuming, expensive, and an overall hassle to keep up with.

A 2015 article on ITWorld found that compliance is the single biggest concern for large companies considering cloud adoption. Many companies may implement and follow some or all of the following security standards, as determined by their specific industry:

PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard): consumer payment protection
● SOX (Sarbanes Oxley): protection against accounting fraud
● HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act): protects personal information within healthcare
● NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology): industry supervision
● NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation): energy industry standards

Failure to follow compliance and security regulations can cause an even greater nuisance, potentially resulting in harsh fines, lawsuits, or, worse, loss of business.

Here are three helpful hints to ease the security and compliance load without reducing productivity.

Compliance Training

A common misconception amongst data protection is that once a compliance policy is implemented, the work is done. While every business is required to have specific security policies set in place by law, a company should stitch those standards into the fabric of their organization, making it a real part of business rather than just a bland set of rules to follow. Training also increases data security by educating employees on how to spot suspicious activity in the network.

Reduce the Scope

Reducing the size of the playing field is a key part of making compliance easier to deal with. The old saying, “less is more” couldn’t ring truer, especially when it comes to data security protection. Storing sensitive data in fewer places reduces the volume of damage a breach can potentially cause. Scoping the surface can also reduce the amount of risks, costs, and work.

According to a CSO article on security testing , Rodolphe Simonetti, Verizon’s Managing Director for Governance Risk and Compliance Consulting Services, reported that companies still have a lot of work to do in terms of narrowing the focus of compliance regulations.

"Working on scoping before checking on the actual compliance is critical," said Simonetti. “In addition, every system that can be taken out of scope is one less system that needs to be validated for compliance, which reduces both the amount of work required, and its cost.”

Conduct Regular Audits

The threat to system security is relentless. Securing information networks is all about being attentive and detecting threats before they develop into full-blown attacks.

According to a recent TechTarget article, one of the best strategic ways to defend critical network systems is to conduct third-party IT security audits. Over the years, this best practice has gone overlooked and many organizations that hold private customer data don’t even have an audit preparation strategy in place. Negligence to auditing could lead to data protection vulnerabilities and can cause breaches in the system and compliance violations.

Explore Security Strategy with Centre Technologies

Do you have a security and compliance strategy for your business? For more information about how we can help you implement a plan for data protection and compliance, contact Centre Technologies today.

Originally published on August 24, 2015

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Centre Technologies is a full-service IT consulting and managed services provider headquartered in Texas, with a focus on mid-sized businesses. As a trusted IT partner for well over a decade, Centre is recognized for its local experience and enterprise-grade cloud and cybersecurity solutions. Centre is committed to helping organizations harness the power of technology to maximize their operational efficiency and exceed their business goals. Learn more about Centre Technologies »

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