Security and compliance can be complicated to manage, especially if you work in an industry that’s heavily regulated. So how can you keep things simpler while still performing all the functions your organization needs?
Choosing the Right Software
Your first responsibility is choosing the right cloud compliance software. There are dozens, if not hundreds of options available to your organization, some of which will be more relevant and more effective than others. Each platform is likely to have inherent strengths and weaknesses, which you’ll need to take into consideration when making your choice.
There are several features of cloud compliance software that could simplify your security and compliance, including:
- Built-in functions. There are many responsibilities and tasks you’ll need to execute in the realm of security and compliance. Ideally, your cloud compliance software will be able to help you with all of them. If you have to add many different tools to your organization to get the job done, you’ll add unnecessary complexity—and only make your job harder.
- UI and usability. Good compliance tools also have clever UIs and high usability; it’s easy for security experts to understand the functionality, manage their responsibilities, and track their efforts. The more time it takes to figure out how to use your software, the less time you can actually spend protecting the organization.
- Analysis and recommendations. Compliance software should also help you dynamically analyze your situation. In some cases, you may even get actionable recommendations for steps you can take to improve.
Advanced cloud compliance tools may be more expensive than their basic counterparts, and/or may take more time to integrate, but the reward is that your ongoing processes will be much simpler.
Visualize Activity When Possible
Even the most experienced security and compliance expert can have difficulty intuiting conclusions from raw data and numbers. If and when possible, it’s a good idea to incorporate more data visuals—charts, graphs, and other visual representations that can make it easier to notice anomalies, spikes in activity, and other important factors.
Data visuals are especially important when communicating complex security and compliance topics to a lay audience. They simplify the conversation while still allowing the core ideas to be transmitted.
If you’re running a small- to mid-sized business, you may feel like you can handle all your security and compliance needs with your current team. However, it’s almost always better to hire dedicated specialists. Security and compliance professionals are more experienced, better trained, and therefore better able to proactively detect and guard against threats. They’re also more efficient and more reliable at what they do—greatly simplifying your organizational needs.
Within your security team, rely on hiring, cross-training, and delegation to distribute responsibilities evenly. It can be tough to determine how many people are the “right” number to hire, but a security leader in your organization can help you figure that out.
Once hired, make sure everyone has a specific responsibility or a realm over which they have expertise. If coordinated under a leader with a vision and clear directives for the organization, this can immensely reduce your workload.
Security is much easier to manage if you have fewer points of vulnerability to worry about. If your organization could be attacked in 1,000 different ways, you’ll need to come up with 1,000 different strategies to protect yourself. If you only have 100 different vulnerabilities, you’ll be able to spend less time, money, and effort guarding them.
Reducing vulnerabilities is a core function of your security and compliance team, of course, but the downstream benefits are enormous enough that it’s worth some extra attention.
Integrate Security at All Levels
You may have a dedicated cybersecurity team, but it’s important for your organization to integrate security standards at every level. To some degree, every employee in your organization should be considered a security expert. This is because security threats can occur at all levels, thanks to phishing schemes, social engineering, weak passwords, and human errors that can eventually compromise your entire system.
Make sure all your employees—not just those in security or IT—are trained and educated on best practices. It will make everything much easier to manage.
Regularly Audit and Review
Come up with a system to regularly audit and review your past efforts. Ask your team leaders and employees to consider and recommend methods that can simplify your tasks while preserving your security and compliance standards. Then, make continuous adjustments to keep refining your approach and get closer to maximum efficiency.
Security and compliance are, to a degree, necessarily complex. However, there are many steps you can take to keep things simple in your organization without compromising these important areas of development.