Cybersecurity as a Compliance Strategy: What Businesses Need to Know

Cybersecurity compliance is critical in our digital world. Failure to adhere to rules and regulations can land you in hot legal water, undermine your long-term growth, and damage your brand reputation. 

Failure to comply with cybersecurity compliance regulations can expose your business to malicious actors, too. This is a serious issue, as data breaches set firms back an average of $4.45 million

You don’t necessarily need to hire a fleet of cybersecurity specialists to firm up your compliance strategy, either. Instead, focus on re-educating your staff and consider outsourcing your compliance needs to reputable RegTech firms. 

Importance of a Compliance Strategy 

Adhering to compliance regulations can save you money and help you avoid lengthy legal battles. Complying with cybersecurity regulations is particularly important if you work for a small to medium-sized business (SMB).

Hackers and malicious actors specifically target SMBs, as smaller firms tend to lack robust cybersecurity policies. 

This is underscored by recent research published by the Cyber Readiness Institute which found that only 33% of small businesses provide any kind of cybersecurity training.

Common Network Security Threats

This leaves businesses vulnerable to a number of common network security threats, including: 

  • Malware Attacks: Someone unknowingly downloads a program including spyware that captures and transfers data from a given network. Malware can also contain viruses. 

  • Ransomware: Hackers use malware to encrypt files on a website or network that renders the entire network unusable. They then promise to decrypt the site after payment.

  • DOS: Attackers overload your network from the outside and generate so much traffic that legitimate users cannot proceed. 

  • Phishing: Malicious actors target your employees by posing as a trusted source. They typically ask employees to log in on their behalf, share private information, or make a payment on their behalf. 

A robust cybersecurity compliance strategy can protect your business against these common attacks. Even simple changes, like two-factor authentication, can deter malicious actors and give your employees a chance to reconsider requests for sensitive information.

A clear strategy raises awareness about common cybersecurity threats, too, which may prove pivotal when your firm is targeted by a hacker, phisher, or malicious actors.  

Key Compliance Regulations

Staying up to date with the latest trends in cybersecurity can keep you one step ahead of malicious actors. Keeping up to date with regulations is also key if you want to avoid legal trouble.

This is particularly important if you work in a vulnerable industry like finance, where regulators levy hefty fees against firms that fail to comply. At a minimum, make sure you stay up-to-date with essential cybersecurity regulations like: 

  • GDPR: If you do business in the EU, you must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Failing to comply with the GDPR can result in fines over $10 million.

  • PCI SSC: The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) is designed to address credit card fraud. Adhering to the PCI SSC usually means you’ll need to utilize antivirus software, firewalls, password protection, and multi-factor authentication.

  • SOX: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) protects publicly traded companies from corporate fraud. They ensure that you have taken relevant steps to safeguard your data and are able to detect breaches. 

Adhering to these regulations can help you build an effective cybersecurity compliance strategy. They also ensure that your firm isn’t fined for exposing the public’s private information to malicious actors. However, if you really want to keep your company safe, you’ll need to go above and beyond the bare minimum.  

Creating a Strategy 

Staying up to date with changes in the compliance world is a positive first step towards creating a robust compliance strategy. However, if you want to firm up your current strategy, you’ll need to lean on industry experts for help. 

The cybersecurity industry has expanded rapidly in the past decade. Ten years ago, companies were still reliant on Intrusion Detection Systems and Intrusion Prevention Systems run by human analysts. Today, firms can use AI and machine learning to detect threats and identify risks.

Leaders in the cybersecurity world also use quantum encryption and blockchain-based security solutions to keep accounts safe and protect against unauthorized access. 

How to Search for a RegTech Firm

When searching for a firm to take care of your cybersecurity compliance, look for companies that specialize in your industry. There are hundreds of regulatory technology firms to choose from, each of which has a unique set of strengths and specialities.

Outsourcing to a firm that suits your budget and knows the key compliance regulations in your industry can strengthen your strategy and help you stay up to date with changes in your field. 

Try to instill a culture of cybersecurity by talking about compliance and threats regularly. This may sound like banal advice, but many staff simply forget about the threats they face.

Invest in protection and touch on cybersecurity at least once a week when meeting with peers and make cybersecurity part of your employee evaluation. This increases the importance of cybersecurity at your company and brings compliance regulations to the forefront of employees’ minds. 

Use RegTech to Secure Long-Term Success

Cybersecurity compliance can protect you against malicious actors and help you dodge hefty fines. However, putting together a strategy can be tough if you don’t have a fleet of internal specialists at your disposal.

Lean on leaders in regulatory tech and find a firm that understands your field. They can help you instill a culture of cybersecurity and secure your long-term success.

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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