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What Is an IT Compliance Policy and How Can You Create One?

September 12, 2023

Data breaches cost businesses an average of $4.45 million in losses.

No modern business operates without information technology. Through IT, businesses are able to increase streamline tasks and enhance efficiency. However, it’s far from the perfect system.

Doing business in the digital world exposes your operations to security risks. Without proper measures, threats can jeopardize your position in a competitive, technology-driven market. Your system can get abused, damaging your business reputation.

Ensure business safety by developing and incorporating an IT compliance policy within your organization. Read on to learn how to create an effective system that protects your employees and customers.

IT Compliance Policy

Before anything else, what is an IT compliance policy, and how do you create one that works? An IT compliance policy is a set of guidelines ensuring you operate within security and data requirements. It defines expectations that allow a business to meet legal requirements.

Many organizations incorporate practices into their systems, procedures, and tools. With their implementation, businesses reduce the risk of exposing their operations to cybercrimes. IT compliance prevents data breaches, data loss, and other technological issues from happening.

IT compliance does not revolve around avoiding penalties. Instead, it strives to protect the organization and its customers.

How to Create IT Compliance Policy

Despite IT solutions, businesses continue to face risks in their operations. Crafting a policy based on compliance can help reduce operational risks and safeguard company and customer data.

Consider the People, Process, and Technology

When people hear IT compliance, the first thing that comes to mind is technology. Many assume it only focuses on this aspect of the business. However, that is not the case.

Implementing IT compliance for technology can result in a downturn. Organizations that focused only on this aspect failed their final audits. This method can result in vulnerabilities and gaps that malicious actors can abuse.

Apart from technology, consider the people and processes involved.

In IT compliance, people refer to the stakeholders involved in maintaining information security. Practices refer to the processes observed. Technology pertains to the tools and solutions used.

Failure to recognize other aspects can result in complex compliance policies. Use the correct approach to automate controls and monitoring.

Adhere to Relevant Laws and Regulations

To guarantee the effectiveness of the policies, follow necessary laws and regulations. They direct IT compliance requirements in business policies. These regulations create uniformity that encourages businesses to compete on equal footing.

There are several laws and regulations observed in IT compliance, and they may differ depending on your industry. You must understand them first before you can begin your compliance process. Talk with your compliance team to verify if your new controls apply to the necessary laws and regulations.

Raise Awareness Among Employees

Allowing untrained employees to navigate your operations can damage your operations. 95% of data breaches result from human error.

Sometimes, these threats are not a result of mere ignorance. Some employees go for insecure data transfer methods for convenience. They use personal emails, instant messaging, and consumer-grade collaboration apps, which are ideal targets for cyber threat actors.

What do you do to keep your business safe from cyber-attacks? Creating and implementing a policy is useless if your staff is unaware. Raising awareness helps ensure your business does not fall victim to cybercrime.

Teach your staff about cyber threats. Help them understand the actions posing vulnerabilities to security. Providing proper education to employees shows the significance of IT compliance.

Align Your Policy With Your Values

Before raising awareness, ensure IT compliance aligns with your operations. You must understand your business’s culture to create appropriate policies. Does your business observe process-driven or ad-hoc methods to complete tasks?

If your business follows a process-driven method, use in-depth policies. If you use the ad-hoc method, incorporate detective and preventive controls. Regardless of the technique, they strive to address risks linked to your policy.

Understand the IT Environment

Are you aware that your IT environment can affect the design of your IT compliance policy? Learning about the environment your business belongs to is crucial. In the digital world, the common environment is homogenous and heterogeneous.

The homogenous environment focuses on IT deployments with standardized configurations, models, and vendors. The heterogeneous environment uses a broad range of technologies. It even uses different compliance and security apps.

Establish Accountability

No compliance policy will be effective if your business doesn’t practice accountability.

Accountability defines the roles and responsibilities determining the assets to protect. It identifies who holds the power to make decisions. In the business world, it begins from the top going to the frontline.

The best way to ensure involvement is by casting compliance programs. Doing so guarantees that you adhere to significant laws and regulations. Your IT providers can also fulfill various roles, including data and system owners and custodians.

The owner is part of the management team focusing on data usage and care. Your custodians carry out several duties. Some are system administration, legal counseling, and security analysis.

These responsibilities are crucial in IT compliance policy as it directs implementation.

Automate Audits

Technology will only continue to grow and evolve in the coming years. There is no difference between cyber threats because malicious actors will always make ways to attack your digital assets. To secure data today and in the future, automate your audits to catch holes in the policy.

With your IT system evolving, internal auditors can only assess a small amount of data. They can only review a few of the system configurations and user accounts. By automating the process, you can evaluate your IT policy more often.

IT Compliance Policy: Everything You Need to Know

With the progressing technology, businesses face new technological challenges. One common problem faced by organizations is data breaches. Creating and implementing an IT compliance policy can protect your business.

Facet Tech offers IT compliance solutions to help you step up your operations. We provide server and network support, cybersecurity, data backups, and more! If you want to create a policy that aligns with your business’s needs and values, contact our team here!

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