What Is A Compliance Managers Role?

Published February 27, 2018 by 4 min read

Compliance managers act as the C-3POs of the compliance landscape. Similar to C-3PO monitoring etiquette and protocol, compliance managers maintain a company’s legal and ethical integrity through policy planning and enforcement.

What is a compliance manager?

Your compliance manager, often referred to as a compliance officer, ensures your organization remains within the strict boundaries of regulatory requirements and meets all official standards governing your business.

In the same way that C-3PO continually monitored protocols for the Rebellion, your compliance manager oversees all of your risk management activities.

What is Compliance?

Compliance means following orders and directives. In supporting these directives, compliance managers fulfill five essential functions. After identifying business risks, they design and implement controls as part of your compliance program. With the program in effect, the continuously monitor the controls to report any weaknesses that they later resolve. Finally, they advise the rest of the c-suite and the Board of Directors to ensure ongoing compliance.

How Do You Define Compliance in the IT environment?

Compliance comes in several forms. Compliance managers, therefore, need to be well-versed in the multiple languages of compliance. Again, the analogy to C-3PO holds true. C-3PO bragged about his fluency in over six million forms of communication. Your compliance manager needs to be able to engage in the same type of linguistic flexibility.

Government Regulations

Today’s regulatory landscape requires understanding the often overlapping laws governing an organization. As such, compliance managers need to know how to implement a variety of controls foisted upon them by different agencies.

For example, HIPAA governs the healthcare industry. Despite the high incidence of non-profit healthcare providers, many must still comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). This overlap of regulations requires strict attention since both invoke monetary penalties for noncompliance.

Despite focusing on different information, both HIPAA and SOX standardize controls in the IT landscape. Thus, compliance managers need to navigate the similarities and differences in controls required.

Industry Standards

Unlike government regulations, industry standards do not always invoke penalties. Despite that, competitive businesses must meet the best practices these standards control.

For example, the Industrial Standards Organization (ISO) established the ISO-27001 standard to develop controls over the IT landscape. Although overlaps may exist, those businesses also accepting credit or debit card payments that need to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Despite not having the disciplinary authority of law, these standards represent information controls dictated by peers and required for ongoing business profitability.

Thus, once more, your compliance manager needs to not only understand another language but engage in the same type of protocol enforcement C-3PO did.

Internal policies

Once compliance managers determine the appropriate government regulations and industry standards for your business, they need to create a compliance program that incorporates ongoing governance, risk, and compliance.

For example, the director of corporate compliance fulfills the role of PCI compliance manager by determining whether the organization’s endpoint encryption and information segregation match the protocols listed in the Board approved policies that act as your organization’s compliance definition.

How Does a Compliance Director Assess Compliance Risk?

Any compliance officer job description will list risk and compliance together. The current model of governance, risk, and compliance requires marrying compliance jobs to risk management jobs.

Risk management acts as a foundation for any compliance management program. Before determining an organization’s control landscape, your corporate compliance officer needs to identify, in conjunction with the rest of the c-suite and Board of Directors, the risk tolerance for all data storage locations.

For example, information stored on a single, unconnected corporate desktop may present a lower risk than data stored on an employee’s device. Therefore, the controls in your security compliance policy will vary based on potential malicious or accidental access.

Consider compliance with the customs and risk management of the etiquette in the C-3PO scenario. Whether complying with a standard, regulation, or internal policy, a chief compliance officer must adhere to the customs set forth. These rules, however, should be done in a particular way as defined by your corporate risk tolerance, thus the etiquette.

How Does a Compliance Management System Simplify Compliance Manager Jobs?

Compliance officer jobs incorporate organizing a vast amount of information to protect businesses. Early business initiatives may require little compliance. However, scaling your organization for continued success requires an additional review of the standards, regulations, and policies needed to achieve profitability. Just as C-3PO needed R2D2 to complete missions, so do compliance managers need software that supports them.

In the beginning, your organization’s compliance management solution may have been spreadsheets. With only a few standards to follow, this made tracking daily activities cost-effective.

For example, many businesses start with just the original owner. As an individual manufacturing an RFID chip, you used a smartphone and Square to collect information. PCI DSS compliance never triggered your radar. With your chip becoming more popular, you hire employees to help manufacture and distribute it. Now, you not only collect customer information on your smartphone, but you also have employee information records for payroll purposes. You add a second spreadsheet to manage your information controls and track risk. Within another few years, you want to expand into the healthcare industry to help track IoT devices. Now, you’re adding a third compliance risk management requirement, but this one also comes with financial risk for noncompliance.

Scaling your business means tracking multiple standards and regulations within your corporate policies and procedures. Spreadsheets become unwieldy. The time your security compliance manager spends engaging in spreadsheet review costs you money.

With ZenGRC’s compliance management software, you can share information between stakeholders and set the appropriate role-based privileges to keep your controls accessible yet safe from tampering.

Moreover, with ZenGRC’s built-in mapping capabilities, your compliance director can more easily employ gap analysis to determine the additional controls needed to support your company’s growth.

Many companies assume adding the cost of a compliance management software on top of a compliance manager salary is redundant. However, with the varied duties involved in a compliance manager job description, a compliance system allows your employee to focus on compliance, meaning the organization’s protocols and policies, rather than spending time on tedious tasks like gathering information for audits. ZenGRC acts as a single source of truth streamlining the audit process.

For more information on providing your company’s C-3PO with an R2 unit to help maximize compliance efficiency, request a demo today.

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