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IT Security and Compliance

IT Security and ComplianceSecurity and compliance are often used interchangeably in IT, but that is actually a misnomer as they are not equivalent. So, just what are the differences between IT security and compliance?

Security and compliance are equally important but for varying reasons. Whereas security drivers are related to mitigating business risks, compliance drivers are regulatory or legal in nature. Compliance and security have similar objectives around managing risks and securing sensitive data and systems but have different processes and workflows to accomplish these goals.

Compliance involves applying regulatory standards to meet contractual or third-party regulatory requirements.  In contrast, security constitutes the implementation of adequate technical controls to protect digital assets from cyber threats.

 

IT Security and Compliance

Still, again, they are similar but not equal. So why is the distinction between security and compliance important? It is significant because implementing one without the other could lead to devastating consequences for your company.

Cybersecurity

Ask yourself, “Would it be a significant hardship if company assets are stolen, compromised, misused, or destroyed?” The answer is, “Of course.” That’s the motivation behind implementing cybersecurity—the desire to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of company assets through security controls and best practices.

IT security is unique to each organization—the measures set by one entity may be entirely different from those of another. Security focuses on comprehensively mitigating any risk that may threaten an organization’s data confidentiality, availability, and integrity—it relates to all the electronic and physical data of an organization and not just those covered by compliance.

We don’t walk around with our bank account or social security numbers on our foreheads—that would be reckless. Instead, we do our best to secure sensitive information from individuals who want to steal it because securing valuable data is a prudent action to reduce the associated risks of identity theft and drained bank accounts.

Cybersecurity acts the same way. Recognizing the risks, smart business leaders choose to secure assets to protect their business from harm and keep their business. The fallout from inadequately securing business assets can lead to loss of business revenue, costly lawsuits and settlements, theft of intellectual property and proprietary information, reputational loss, inability to operate, and business shutdown.

IT Compliance

The confusion between the two functions arises because the outcomes from implementing compliance measures often overlap with implementing security measures. However, the motivation behind organizational compliance is to ensure that obligations and requirements are satisfied to avoid negative consequences and ensure business viability.

These external compliance requirements and standards include a range of often intersecting and complicated networks of government, industry, financial, and even customer requirements. Cybersecurity is often a small part of a greater set of requirements. Examples include:

  • Self-regulatory organizations like PCI Security Council (PCI DSS) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • Governmental bodies like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Government regulations, including Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GBLA), FTC Safeguard Rule, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)
  • Privacy standards, including HIPAA/HITECH, GDPR, CCPA
  • Technical Standards and Certifications, including ISO27001, SOC2
  • Control frameworks, including NIST CSF, CIS Critical Security Controls
  • Client SLAs
  • Due Diligence requests (DDQ)
  • And more depending on your industry and other factors.

Looking at the worst possible outcomes, the legal and financial ramifications of non-compliance with these and other standards would lead to your organization paying hefty fines and penalties, facing costly lawsuits, being blocked from working in certain locations and industries, not being able to take payments, loss of financing and investors, not being able to acquire insurance, and more.

The Big Picture

The reality is that neither IT security nor compliance lives in a vacuum. Instead, they are complementary—symbiotic even. They successfully function from a mutually beneficial association that enhances and reinforces the benefits of each other. One without the other would be like trying to make water without oxygen or hydrogen.

Being compliant with a specific set of standards is not the same as having an effective and robust information security system. Compliance simply measures whether your security protocols meet a given set of one-size-fits-all security standards at a given point in time.

A robust security system makes it easier for an organization to meet compliance standards since most of the needed controls will already be in place. All that would remain, to attain compliance, would be documentation work and adhering to industry-specific policies.

It’s All About Managing Risk

The real question every business leader should be asking is how to leverage both security and compliance to reduce exposure and risk. Compliance establishes a comprehensive baseline for covering an organization’s overall posture. At the same time, security practices build on that baseline to ensure that the business is protected from every angle.

It’s all about risk. Or, more accurately, reducing risk. And security combined with compliance is the one-two punch every business needs to minimize risk and protect assets.

For companies of any size, Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) is about aligning cyber and information technology with business objectives, while managing risk and meeting regulatory compliance requirements. Therefore, an effective GRC strategy is essential because it pulls together the complexity of various risk, compliance, and governance functions into a single strategy.

Successful companies address cyber risk in a business context. From that point of view, avoiding fines and data breaches are preferable. In establishing and implementing compliance and security, smart leaders treat them as a risk-management concern and just not an “IT problem.” Integrating your security and compliance teams into your risk assessment program will lead to mutually assured success.

Additionally, certain industries, like financial services and life sciences, have overlapping requirements originating from a variety of sources which can make fore a complicated matrix to follow. Working with an IT vendor who specializes in your particular industry is ideal to ensure compliance across all regulations.

Choosing the right security and compliance solutions is also critical. Operating with a “checkbox” approach to either compliance or security will lead your organization towards a rocky future. Instead, focus on developing and adhering to robust policies and choosing the right solutions based on your industry needs, risk assessment, and business goals to satisfy and streamline your compliance and security activities.


JasonAbout Jason

Jason Martino is passionate about the intersection of security and compliance. He is responsible for Coretelligent’s internal cybersecurity programs, governance, risk, compliance activities, and educating staff and customers on an ever-evolving threat landscape.

Outsourced IT Solutions

Outsourced IT SolutionsEven with all of the available technology solutions, one of the biggest challenges you will continue to hear from technical teams is lack of time. Everything from upgrading current platforms to researching new solutions requires dedicated focus, and the ability to shut out all by-the-minute frustrations and do the work required to move your organization into the future. It’s not surprising to find that many business professionals feel as though they are being shut down by IT teams and attempt to “go rogue” — something that would be less likely to happen if IT teams are able to meet their needs more quickly. Outsourced IT solutions is a cost-effective and practical way to solve these challenges.

As the cost of cybercrime around the world rises into the trillions and companies look to IT for differentiation, it’s clear that something in the traditional business model that includes standalone internal IT teams simply must change. Working with a trusted and reliable outsourced IT provider offers a way for internal teams to retain control of their solutions while offering ways to expand the reach of technology to support new and unique business models.

  1. Help Team Members Focus on What Matters the Most

Time and resources are always a constraint for businesses, so how do you choose where to focus your efforts and attention? Technology is ever-changing, and it can be extremely difficult for small teams to find the time to keep new projects moving forward and support a complex IT infrastructure. When you work with an outsourced IT services provider, your internal teams suddenly gain hours each day — time that isn’t spent tracking down passwords, freeing up storage solutions, administering software and more. This helps boost the focus for your over-leveraged technical teams, allowing productivity to skyrocket on these critical innovations your business requires.

  1. Gain Access to Enterprise-Scale Solutions

It’s easy to envy enterprises with their near-unlimited resources, extensive IT budgets and expansive technology teams. Fortunately, IT managed services providers are able to provide you many of the same resources used by these larger companies without the upfront investment or ongoing costs that are usually required. Since an outsourced IT company works with many different clients, they can often afford to provide you with enterprise-scale solutions for network infrastructure, VoIP calls, data storage and cybersecurity. Plus, you’re not tasking internal teams with learning yet another software platform — instead, you are relying on a trusted partner to administer these solutions using ever-changing industry best practices.

  1. Enhance Your Cybersecurity Profile

Government technology leaders agree: cybersecurity is on the rise and your company has never been at greater risk. Companies of all sizes are vulnerable to these rising attacks, 2021 saw a year over year 17% increase in reported attacks . Without a robust and multi-layered approach to security, you are putting your company in a dangerous situation. Remediation after an attack is extremely costly, with companies citing losses of millions of dollars per data breach for remediation, customer notifications, lost revenue and more. Having access to the enterprise-scale tools and information you need to maintain business operations is a mission-critical endeavor for organizations — particularly those in the life sciences, financial services or other high-touch, fast-moving businesses.

  1. Empower Business Teams with Rapid Problem Resolution

When your business teams are confident that their problems can be quickly resolved, they are able to reduce their stress levels and the time spent on stressing over any technical issues. Having the least amount of uncertainty in your business processes can cause teams to fall into a low period in terms of activity, particularly in complex projects with many moving parts. Outsourcing your IT help desk support provides the peace of mind your teams need to know that any reported problems can be quickly resolved — allowing teams to maintain their forward momentum on important projects.

  1. Improve Your Customer Experience

Are your customers citing issues such as slow response times to customer service inquiries, the latency on your websites or other problems that can be tied back to your network operations or data storage solutions? Having a single point of contact for your IT infrastructure and help desk solutions helps aggregate these issues and allow them to bubble up for quick remediation. Your customers will appreciate the ability to rapidly access their information and your services, and reward your company with additional revenue and improved reviews. Customers are unwilling to wait for information or service answers for more than a few minutes. Don’t frustrate your clients and your staff with slow-moving networks that don’t offer the optimal experience.

Pulling together all of the various aspects of your IT solutions often requires working with several different service providers, but that’s not the case when you partner with Coretelligent. Our deep experience in a wide range of industries allows us to leverage cross-functional knowledge to provide the smooth and exceptional IT support that your company deserves.

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Data Governance Program?

Last month we shared the first in our series about the importance of having a data governance program. With this post, we go more in-depth about why data governance is the key to unlocking the power of your data to drive growth and avoid risk.

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Data Governance Program?

What is a Data Governance Program?

Data is the new currency in today’s business climate, and data governance ensures that your company has an organized system for managing this invaluable asset. A data governance program combines people, processes, and technology to guarantee reliable access to data so it can be effectively leveraged. To learn more about data governance basics, read The Future of Analytics is in Data Governance: Are You Prepared?.

How Does Data Governance Fit into Data Management?

Where data governance is a program for managing the roles, responsibilities, and processes of data assets, data management is the operation concerned with the quality and accessibility of data. Data management oversees all aspects of data— storing, maintaining, protecting—but data governance provides the raison d’être. If data management comprises the tactics, then data governance encompasses the strategy. One comes before the other.


Related Content → Best Practices for Good Enterprise Data Governance Guide


Why is a Good Data Governance Program Necessary?

There are two main forces behind establishing good data governance in an enterprise.

1. Improve Efficiencies, Reduce Costs, and Increase Revenue

A primary goal of data governance is to eliminate data silos that can occur in an organization. When data silos build up, they can inhibit the flow of information and make sharing knowledge difficult. Data governance is a collaborative process that recognizes the value of data and aims to break down barriers by harmonizing data within an organization through collaboration and coordination with the implementation of enterprise data architecture. Ideally, that will lead to competitive advantages and increased revenue and profits.

2. Increase Compliance and Reduce Risk

Another data governance goal is to ensure that data is compliance appropriate. That can be accomplished by creating uniform policies and procedures to monitor usage and include enforcement to eliminate risk from data loss and other issues. In addition, data governance can help to strike a balance between data collection practices and privacy mandates.

Data Solutions with Coretelligent

Coretelligent works with a variety of technology partners to provide next-generation cloud-based file sharing and collaboration. Building upon this foundation, Coretelligent adds its experience and support to offer powerful controls for data management. Our approach combines an effortless solution with maximum usability, so your enterprise can focus on what’s important—growing revenue.

Providing guidance and support is just part of what we at Coretelligent offer our clients. Our solutions include IT planning, 24/7/365 support, cloud computing, cybersecurity, disaster recovery readiness, and more. Reach out to learn about any of our technology solutions.

This article is the first in a series of posts in which we will share the ins and outs of data governance and why it’s even more important than ever in today’s business landscape. To that end, we are answering the question “What is data governance?” with this first post.

In the meantime, if you don’t want to wait for future posts, you can download and read our Best Practices for Good Data Governance Guide.

 

Good Data GovernanceWhat is Enterprise Data Governance?

In short, corporate data governance is how an organization manages, analyzes, and ultimately leverages data to make business decisions. At its core, business-led data governance combines people, processes, and technology to ensure that data within an organization is available, usable, consistent, reliable, and secure. A governance plan supports compliance and provides the tools for improved C-suite decision-making.

To support these goals, the governance team is responsible for managing user access and ensuring that enterprise stakeholders have what they need when they need it. In addition, the goal of a control program is for protecting data from loss, corruption, inaccuracies, and unauthorized access.

People, Processes, and Technology

People

It is critical to understand that data authority is not just the domain of IT. Ideally, people throughout an organization should be included in the data management plan, including executives, IT professionals, and various other stakeholders within the enterprise familiar with relevant data structures. Having the key people involved increases buy-in from end-users and increases the likelihood of leveraging the organization’s data.

Accordingly, some organizations include Chief Data Officers as part of the C-suite executives to play the lead advocate for their governance program. Organizations usually also staff data managers and other IT pros to execute hands-on implementation. Additionally, the people structure is likely to include a committee that includes representation from across the organization. It is through this body that enterprise collaboration comes into play.

  Process

In data governance, process is where the work happens. Thus, governance processes are the connective tissue within the practice of data governance. From establishing, implementing, and evaluating policies and procedures to measuring and reporting, the application of the governance protocol is a series of careful steps designed to support the organization’s mission and goals.

 Technology

Finally, if people are the who and process is the what, then technology is the how. Technology provides the tools and the infrastructure to support an organization’s data program through maintaining accessibility, security, reliability, quality and more.

 

Good Data Governance

Data Governance Simplified

On the whole, data governance is the practice of managing data, so an organization has the business intelligence needed to meet targets and fulfill business goals. A data-driven enterprise’s policies and governance principles should ensure all company information is under control and utilized effectively. If you are looking for more guidance on setting up a successful enterprise program, we have put together a guide that provides valuable insight on this subject.

Data Solutions

Coretelligent partners with a multitude of technology partners to provide next-gen cloud-based file sharing and collaboration. Building upon this foundation, Coretelligent adds its experience, know-how, and support to offer powerful controls for data managment. Our approach allows your enterprise to maintain simplicity and usability for your workforce.

Providing guidance and support is just part of what we at Coretelligent offer our clients. Our solutions include IT planning, 24/7/365 support, cloud computing, cybersecurity, disaster recovery readiness, and more. Reach out to learn about any of our technology solutions.