7 Challenges of Being an IT Compliance Manager: Automation Makes You an American Ninja Warrior

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Published 10/10/2017
challenges of being an IT compliance manager

The challenges of being an IT compliance manager compare to those the American Ninja Warriors face. Competing against not only others but also themselves, American Ninja Warriors run increasingly demanding obstacle courses, hoping to win the ultimate prize by overcoming the final stage, Mount Midoriyama. The competition continually adds new challenges, causing many to fail. IT compliance managers face the same kinds of increasingly burdensome challenges in a constantly evolving information security landscape.

To advance to Mount Midoriyama, book a demo with one of our ninja warrior GRC experts today.  

Challenge 1: Information Silos

One of the biggest challenges of being an IT compliance manager lies in coordinating a program across multiple departments. Trying to manage all these different people often feels like herding squirrels. You send out group emails and get only a few responses. Then you have to track and organize all of the emails. You have folders of information divided by groups. Your spreadsheets have so many tabs, you can’t find anything anymore.

Compliance software provides a single location for tracking and communicating across different areas within your organization. You no longer have to keep lists of completed tasks because the software does it for you.

Challenge 2: Managing Vendors

Vendor management means being the captain of your team. Business partners help you succeed because they fill the gaps between your expertise and your customers’ needs. American Ninja Warriors do the same thing. Training together in groups, they come to the competition to support one another. Teams make the individuals stronger.

Similarly, you own your vendors’ risks. This means that you need to be sure that the documentation adequately supports the trust you’ve placed in them. GRC software helps you captain your team. When all your documentation is in one location, the information needed to manage risks is only a click away.

Challenge 3: Determining Compliance Metrics

Your success in running an obstacle course is quantified by the time elapsed or the number of obstacles completed. These metrics don’t always transfer over to compliance. Measuring compliance requires that you set your benchmarks first and then determine how well your organization meets them. Compiling the information necessary to prove your KPI gets overwhelming when your information is spread throughout spreadsheets, making consolidating your metrics seem like an insurmountable task.

ZenGRC allows you to bring all of your information to a single location where you can readily access it. View your assessment logs and related assessments to get quick insight into whether your controls are meeting your defined benchmarks. This visibility helps prove your program’s wins to the c-suite and your Board of Directors.

 

Challenge 4: Inefficiency

Inefficiency not only runs down your clock, but also leads your team to make rookie mistakes. When your information is scattered across spreadsheets, you waste valuable time that could be spent monitoring your systems. In addition, when your documentation is kept in multiple places for multiple standards, one change affects a multitude of different spreadsheets. One lonely spreadsheet can get lost in the shuffle and cause a compliance problem.

With an automated platform, you have a single location that maps each control to the multiple relevant standards. When you make a change to that control, the change is propagated across all the impacted standards. Greater efficiency in documentation allows for a more agile program since you no longer fear a documentation misstep.

Challenge 5: New Standards

The looming implementation of the GDPR is currently one of the biggest challenges faced by IT compliance managers. Every year, American Ninja Warrior adds a new obstacle to the course. Since many of the competitors come back from one season to the next, these new obstacles are intended to level the playing field.

New standards are the equivalent obstacles in information security. With breaches constantly in the news, the public’s attention increasingly turns towards information security issues, forcing governments to respond. The GDPR is only the first in a likely series of new regulations and standards.

With this in mind, automation provides a way to integrate new standards seamlessly into current compliance programs. With ZenGRC’s Program Onboarding wizard, you can build a system of records as easily as 1, 2, 3 by uploading your framework or using our seed content, scoping your objectives, and mapping your controls.

Challenge 6: Gaining Customer Trust

Just as you need to trust your partners, your customers need to trust you. This means that you are likely engaging in Type 2 or Type 3 SOC reporting. Managing this information can be difficult. When potential customers want to review your compliance, you need to be organized and ready to respond to inquiries.

Automated compliance tools enable you to rapidly share recent reports with your potential clients. If they need proof of compliance, ZenGRC has a one-step reporting function that lets you offer the right kind of visibility into your program. When potential customers can be satisfied quickly, you can close those deals faster and increase revenue.

Challenge 7: IT Skills Shortage

While risks are increasing, the number of people able to handle them are decreasing. This means that your IT security department will continue to feel the pressure of too much to do and too few people to do it.

Automating your compliance helps alleviate some of the stress. With ZenGRC, you can automate task management and scheduling so that you can spend more time working on what’s really important—your systems’ safety. Focus less on people management and more on security management so that you can more easily bridge the gap between skills and needs.

With the IT environment’s current obstacle course, you need someone to help you manage the challenges of being an IT compliance manager. To run up the Mount Midoriyama of compliance, use automation to strengthen yourself and your team.