Why Your Organization Needs an IT Compliance Program

Mary Oyerly

Cybersecurity risk is at an all-time high, and it's still rising. With the global cost of a data breach alone averaging at 4.35 million USD, organizations must ensure they're complying with security, training and data management requirements.

Compliance teams play a critical role in enforcing regulations and best practices organization-wide as they implement and monitor security policies across various departments and teams. Keeping the business up-to-date on the latest legal requirements and standards of ethics helps mitigate cybersecurity threats, operational risks and reputational risks before they occur.

As keeping up with regulations and protecting critical data and systems become more complex, compliance teams must rely on a strategic program to help them stay ahead of risk.


What Is an IT Compliance Program?

An effective IT compliance program helps organizations to manage legal responsibility and stay in line with applicable regulations. It's a system that streamlines operations and visibility by aligning compliance requirements, controls and monitoring into one platform.

IT compliance programs meet several key objectives:

  • Set organizational goals. Compliance programs help establish benchmarks and performance standards for the entire organization, whether that be for compliance training, security protocols or regulatory reviews
  • Enforce IT security practices.A strategic program enables visibility across the business and helps compliance teams ensure everyone is following proper security practices to better protect systems and data
  • Balance risk.The key capability IT compliance programs offer is to help businesses stay ahead of urgent risks and track evolving regulatory requirements


How an IT Compliance Program Can Benefit Your Business

A strategic program can offer multiple advantages for organizations. With a platform that enables improved visibility and efficient monitoring, compliance teams can leverage their IT compliance program to drive financial, operational and material advantages for the business.

Driving Improved Cost-Efficiency

Compliance programs can optimize costs, helping to prevent potentially huge expenses incurred for not staying compliant, as well as exposure to various security and financial risks. Fines, penalties and potential jail time are just a few of the possible ramifications.

Detecting and Preventing Unethical Conduct

A compliance program optimizes monitoring effectiveness and visibility across the organization. It can help detect serious compliance issues and serve as a deterrent. Additionally, it can offer a framework to help employees report issues more efficiently.

Centralizing Regulatory Requirements

An IT compliance framework allows compliance teams to maintain a centralized source to manage industry regulations, enabling them to stay ahead of changes and new requirements. Having a centralized source of information improves visibility and alignment on compliance management, so regulatory violations or security issues can be addressed before they escalate.

Optimizing Security Organization-Wide

Streamlining compliance enforcement and training allows compliance teams to ensure the company and third-parties are meeting security regulations, which in turn help to protect the organization from costly internal systems security breaches or sensitive client data exposures. It also helps protect from the legal and material repercussions of security breaches.


How to Move Toward an IT Compliance Program

To effectively implement an IT compliance solution, you'll need to follow several key best practices:

  • Win leadership buy-in: Clearly communicate with senior executives and stakeholders on the business value of an IT compliance solution. Cover both the material and financial advantages to be had
  • Ensure you have all necessary documentation: Gather all relevant procedures, policies and standards of conduct that cover compliance expectations across the business. Identify any gaps in policies and documentation
  • Establish oversight: Putting effective controls and oversight in place is crucial to ensuring you'll be able to maintain your compliance program and scale it alongside company growth
  • Implement continuous monitoring: Ensure you have a continuous monitoring and tracking system in place to manage requirements, pinpoint potential roadblocks or compliance violations, and mitigate risks


Leverage the Diligent IT Compliance Solution to Empower Your Compliance Management

With an intuitive platform that automates workflows for you, you can seamlessly establish an IT compliance program that fits your organization's unique needs.

The Diligent IT Compliance solution was designed to meet the fast-paced evolving requirements of today's regulatory landscape with centralized third-party monitoring, seamless internal policy training, and centralized regulatory management and data analytics. Learn more about how this technology can empower your team to stay ahead of risk and emerging requirements. Request a demo today. 

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Mary Oyerly
Mary Oyerly, Senior Specialist at Diligent, has experience working across the B2B and B2C SaaS sector and supporting the needs of corporate and not-for-profit business leaders. She has worked extensively with governance technologies and how they can drive improved visibility, efficiency and compliance across the business.