How to Build a Compliance Program and Its Advantages

SHANKAR TALUKDAR | January 28, 2022 | 50 views

Despite the fact that today's technological world is an ever-emerging landscape of complex network infrastructure, security measures, and state-of-the-art technological tools, we still cannot guarantee that a cyber-attack or a breach can be easily averted. The prime reason for such cyber breaches is the possession of complex and highly advanced attack mechanisms by hackers or attackers. Therefore, the only sustainable way to counter cyber-attacks is to implement a continuous monitoring system. A compliance program is an example of continuous monitoring where consistent adherence to a benchmark or compliance level is highly emphasized on a continual basis.

A compliance program is essential for ensuring data integrity, confidentiality, and availability. The three elements (integrity, confidentiality, and availability) form the backbone of any information security system. It is needed to increase the operational efficiency of organizations ranging from education, healthcare, financial institutions, and others. A compliance program equips company personnel with the resources necessary to develop confidence in their compliance efforts, allowing them to concentrate on running their organization.

In the subsequent paragraphs, we shall discuss the approach that should be used to build a robust compliance program.

The scope of the compliance program for which we will build is the first and most important step we take. The following procedures, which are listed below, may be included in the scope of the enterprise:
  • Access Management
  • Vulnerability and Patch Management
  • Asset and Configuration Management
  • Logging and Monitoring
  • Risk Management
  • Physical and Environmental Security
  • Privacy
  • Governance (Policies & Procedures & Awareness)
  • End Point Security
  • Change Management
  • Incident and Problem Management,
  • Capacity and Availability
  • Vendor Management
  • Application Security

Once the scope is identified, it is easier to move forward with the design of the compliance program. Now we define a benchmark for measuring the compliance level of each of these processes. For e.g., if we take end point security into consideration, the percentage of security patches deployed or implemented on the servers and workstations must comply with the benchmark or compliance level percentage formerly identified and agreed upon.

Then we analyze the data collection at a given point of time for each of these processes that provide us with the current posture. The data collection is to be done by various tech teams and can be in the form of reports, logs, or any raw form of data.

A thorough review and analysis of the data collected is done against the benchmark to identify the gaps. This is an important step and the most crucial one, as any lack here may result in a security breach. For example, if we take vulnerability management into consideration and we analyze that the remediation of vulnerabilities for a quarter is falling short of the benchmark percentage, then such un-remediated vulnerabilities in turn actually expose the servers and systems to serious security breaches, and hence effort must be taken to remediate such findings within the stipulated time.

"It is important to recommend solutions and a roadmap to close the gaps within a specified period. The roadmap to close the gaps in a compliance program is usually over a period of a number of years. This should sit in conformance with the various tech teams and must have their consent."


Finally, measure the compliance level (against a benchmark already identified) and come up with a compliance score for each of these processes at any given point in time. The compliance score can be depicted in the form of a dashboard showcasing the various graphs and charts and hence depicting the current security posture of the organization.

These components give the necessary foundation to set up a compliance program and begin protecting any highly regulated firm immediately. These components contribute to the establishment of an effective compliance and ethics program by detecting and preventing inappropriate conduct as well as encouraging adherence to the organization's legal and ethical responsibilities.

Why should Organizations have a Compliance Program?

Building a compliance program is neither a simple nor an inexpensive task. Since compliance departments do not generate income, it can be tempting to disregard compliance as a cost center. This would be a mistake. A compliance breach has the ability to do severe damage to a business, or in the worst-case situation, to completely destroy it (as famously happened to Enron Corporation). Listed below are a few of the advantages that a compliance program offers:
  • A compliance program indicates the organizations' dedication to ethical behavior
  • It minimizes the likelihood of violations, establishes a means for detecting violations sooner rather than later, and establishes a procedure for swiftly and efficiently responding to violations
  •  It will minimize the risk of severe consequences in the event of a violation
  • An effective compliance program in business operations reduces compliance risk and business drag

The importance and complexity of compliance programs have increased in recent years, as has the number of organizations using them. It has emerged as a critical component for employees, investors, regulators, and everyone else who is concerned with the operation, protection, and evaluation of a company.

Spotlight

Box

Founded in 2005, Box (NYSE: BOX) is transforming the way people and organizations work so they can achieve their greatest ambitions. As the world's leading enterprise content management and collaboration platform, Box helps businesses of all sizes in every industry securely access and manage their critical information in the cloud. Box is headquartered in Redwood City, CA, with offices across the United States, Europe and Asia.

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Illumio Introduces New Solution to Stop Endpoint Ransomware from Spreading Across the Hybrid Attack Surface

Illumio | September 29, 2022

Illumio, Inc., the Zero Trust Segmentation company, today announced Illumio Endpoint®, a reimagined way to prevent breaches from spreading to clouds and data centers from laptops. Hybrid work has expanded the attack surface, introducing new threats and making organizations more vulnerable, so it’s become increasingly important for employees to have secure access to applications and data wherever they are located. Unlike other Zero Trust Segmentation solutions, Illumio Endpoint lets your policy follow your teams’ laptops wherever they work, whether at home, in the office, or at a coffee shop. With Illumio Endpoint, the first device that gets infected will also be the last. Organizations are more interconnected and vulnerable in hybrid workplaces, and the attack surface is growing increasingly complex. Additionally, attacks on hybrid work environments are more expensive, costing an average of about $600K more than the global average. Even with endpoint detection and response tools in place, endpoints still get breached – according to ESG, 76 percent of organizations experienced a ransomware attack in the past two years alone. Illumio Endpoint includes: Extended visibility and segmentation policy controls for macOS and Windows devices, allowing organizations to see risk and stop attacks from spreading from laptops, workstations, and VDIs. A single, unified console to see and manage visibility and segmentation policy across endpoints, clouds, and data centers, making Zero Trust Segmentation easier, faster, and more efficient for security teams. Work from anywhere support with segmentation policy that follows the device, so organizations have the confidence that their networks are secure, and their employees can remain productive while working from anywhere. The ability to control application access so users can only reach the necessary applications from their device, not the entire data center and cloud, minimizing the organization's risk from vulnerable or compromised endpoints. "Before Illumio, we had only a slim idea of what kind of communications were running across our network. But with Illumio, we clearly see exactly what's connecting to individual endpoints. David Ault, VP of Information Security at Telhio Credit Union “The hybrid workforce is here to stay, which exposes organizations to a more complex attack surface and more risk, particularly on the endpoint,” said Mario Espinoza, Chief Product Officer at Illumio. “It’s important to have tools that can detect and respond to an identified breach, but unidentified attacks can spread throughout the organization to access critical data and assets when Zero Trust Segmentation is not in place to proactively contain the breach. With Illumio Endpoint, security leaders will gain the comprehensive protection needed to build resilience to attacks throughout their hybrid IT and as employees work from anywhere.” “Ransomware and other cyberattacks often involve end user devices somewhere in the attack chain, moving laterally on to other higher-value assets,” said Dave Gruber, Principal Analyst, ESG. “Because attackers continue to find ways in and move laterally fast, prevention, detection and response mechanisms can fall short stopping these fast-moving attacks. Containment strategies such as Zero Trust Segmentation across endpoint devices can proactively stop ransomware and other fast-moving attacks from spreading to critical infrastructure and assets, reducing risk.” About Illumio Illumio, the Zero Trust Segmentation company, stops breaches and ransomware from spreading across the hybrid attack surface. The Illumio ZTS Platform visualizes all traffic flows between workloads, devices and the internet, automatically sets granular segmentation policies to control communications, and isolates high-value assets and compromised systems proactively or in response to active attacks. Illumio protects organizations of all sizes, from Fortune 100 to small business, by stopping breaches and ransomware in minutes, saving millions of dollars in application downtime, and accelerating cloud and digital transformation projects.

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