May 17, 2019

[Blog] Addressing Compliance Issues with an Automation Solution

The continuous adjustment of regulatory compliance takes place along with the digitalization of the world. Growing in number cyber threats, data breaches, and versatile digital frauds demand more protection for the interaction of businesses and customers worldwide.

Compliance is not an option anymore, it is a must. We are governed, guided and regulated upside-down in every industry ranging from public services to aircraft or missile manufacture. The question is how businesses can get and keep compliant in the most efficient way.

Implementation, management, and control take a lot of effort and resources. Every business has more than one standard to comply with. For instance, ISO 27001, ISO 27002 for Information Security Management Systems are usually accompanied with some industry-specific standards like ASPICE or HIPAA. Thus, the task becomes rather hefty as well as unrealistic in terms of handling all compliance-related processes manually. Hence, automation is the key.

What can we gain?

Even for many technologically advanced companies, with paperless technologies and every possible automation in business administration in place, compliance management is still an issue. Needless to speak about non-tech, less technologically equipped companies. Some are still relying on standards publications, spreadsheets and text records kept and distributed manually. When a company grows in size and implements more standards to comply with, the difficulty of compliance management grows to a nightmare.

Today, technology offers a variety of automation solutions (e.g., Infopusle SCM). Compliance management applications include features ranging from simple workflow management tools to sophisticated systems engaging artificial intelligence (AI).

The core idea standing behind compliance automation is to consolidate all related processes under one control center. Running automatically, the apps provide a toolset for continuous status monitoring and audits, security self-assessments, risk analysis, etc. with no need for making occasional spot checks manually.

Compliance monitoring tools take control once the organization feeds appropriate requirements in accordance with its security policies into the system. Those can include any industrial regulations, standards, system configurations, IT asset inventories, procedures, etc. The software stores multiple requirements and related conditions to create a live knowledgebase, which is continuously updated. When monitoring feature is enabled, the system provides real-time indicators displaying the compliance and security status of separate divisions or organization as a whole.

Automated solutions not only replace manual work sparing resources but also leave no chance for human errors. It is especially important for organizations processing sensitive information. Modern legislation puts a large emphasis on the protection of personal data. Penalties for privacy breaches are severe. The new regulations like GDPR seriously affect every industry far beyond the EU. Given that regulatory requirements are prone to continuous change, automation of compliance processes is especially beneficial for financial, public, and healthcare service providers.

Benefits of Compliance Automation:

  • Saving time and cost for compliance implementation, which allows staff to focus on more strategic initiatives;
  • Monitoring compliance status through configurable dashboards;
  • Making decisions based on real-time risk assessments;
  • Establishing uniform compliance requirements and policies across the entire organization, regardless of the platforms or infrastructure types in use;
  • Providing all-encompassing control of the organization and third-party risks including alerts about potential vulnerabilities;
  • Eliminating manual operations bound for risks;
  • Minimizing compliance violations and data breaches;
  • Clearing away data inconsistencies and double entries;
  • Generating comprehensive compliance audit reports.

Anticipated Pitfalls

It is hard to imagine any downsides of automation at first glance. It is a great way to delegate redundant processes to machines, save cost and streamline compliance data management reducing the likelihood of human error. However, there are some unexpected implications. In areas like compliance, automated solutions cannot run 100% independent of human control.

A lot of effort is required at both the implementation and management stages to continuously verify that all tools and the related processes are running as expected. Because even the best software solutions still have the potential for error due to wrong input, personnel attention is required. The fact that every organization can have its own unique set of regulatory requirements, is a proof that we should not exclude the probability of an error.

Keep in mind these alerts while building your automated compliance system.

  • Regularly making sure that automated controls work properly;
  • Verifying that automated processes go exactly the way they were designed;
  • Having to collect and store much more data than an organization usually did;
  • Selecting proven vendors due to dependence on their service and timely updates, when the legislation changes.

Clearing the Path to Automated Compliance

No automated solution is completely infallible, but the benefits are obvious. By eliminating human interaction from compliance workflows, it saves costs, enhances efficiency, and mitigates risks.

Some solutions include sets of pre-integrated standards. In the first place, the ones related to information security and privacy, for instance, ISO 27K series and GDPR. Standards best suited for automation are regulations, which precisely outline data management processes with regard to how the data are to be collected, maintained, and utilized.

Modern applications can drastically improve and simplify compliance maintenance, streamline related processes and reduce operational cost, from implementation to certification.

Get advice from Infopulse experts on how to efficiently address compliance issues, relieve the pain points and bring up the entire system on a new level.

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