How Technology Helps You Better Manage CompliancePublished October 16, 2018 by Karen Walsh • 4 min read
Wheter you’re looking to implement artificial intelligence, bid data, machine learning, or simply find an easy-to-navigate Software-as-a-Service platform to streamline your information security monitoring efforts, compliance technology is the newest trend in enabling businesses to maintain a strong cybersecurity risk, compliance, and governance program. Understanding the different ways to use technology is the best way to help you find the right risk management solution for your organization.
Technology For Compliance
What does Compliance Technology do?
As a phrase, compliance technology can mean a variety of services you use to help stay up-to-date with standard and regulatory requirements. Compliance technology began as nothing more than a large data storage location for documentation. However, increasingly, compliance technology platforms offer a variety of services enabling better compliance program management. Particularly in the IT security arena, regulatory requirements update nearly continuously.
In the last twelve months, two new cybersecurity regulations went into effect – the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the New York Department of Financial Services Cybersecurity Regulations (NYDFS 3 NYCRR Part 500). Additionally, California passed its Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 which may herald a groundbreaking change in how United States businesses collect and use data.
Moreover, 2018 brought updates to standards set out by the Internationals Standards Organization (ISO), the Commitee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), and the Payment Card Industries Security Standards Council (PCI SSC).
Between updates and new requirements, you need to have one location where you can monitor and manage your compliance.
What is automated compliance technology?
Automation is a software or hardware that handles a process or task without you needing to help it. You define the actions or tasks, and the computer does the rest.
An example of automation is scheduling recurring events. In compliance, automation enables workflows and regular reviews. Rather than having to manually input the same data multiple times, you can assign a task to an individual, set a time frame for recurrence, and manage reminders.
Automation as a compliance technology removes the time-consuming administrative tasks associated with audit documentation collection and review scheduling.
How does Big Data help manage compliance?
Big data allows you to incorporate a review of otherwise overwhelming amounts of information across your enterprise as well as the internet. In the case of information security compliance, many tools enable you to review security concerns facing your organization.
For example, new, previously undisclosed vulnerabilities, also known as “zero-day attacks,” can compromise your organization, even if you’ve incorporated a security first approach to compliance. Big data allows you to track these threats as they occur.
In other cases, big data enables you to review the relationships you have with your third-party business partners to determine threats to your data environment and ecosystem. You not only place your data at risk by threats to your environment, but your vendors put your data at risk when they don’t protect their own environment.
What is artificial intelligence based compliance technology?
Artificial intelligence (AI) based compliance technology comes in a variety of forms. Artificial intelligence uses machines to carry out mundane, time-consuming tasks. Traditional notions of AI focus on using machines to do “intelligent” tasks such as seeing, using tools, reasoning, and formulating plans and objectives.
For example, AI can review information across the internet to help consolidate compliance requirements. By reviewing the information available, it can search for words that help keep you up-to-date on changes to regulations so that you maintain a continuous compliance approach.
In other ways, it helps review compliance risks. You can program computers to assign risk levels to certain threats based on the liklihood of the event and the criticality of the information.
Finally, when bringing together a variety of requirements and controls, you can use artificial intelligence, in the traditional sense, to find the similarities across frameworks then help provide a gap analysis.
Where does machine learning fit into compliance technology solutions?
Machine learning is the newest iteration of artificial intelligence. Machine learning uses big data to teach computers to take in data, analyze it, and make predictions.
For example, machine learning processes can review current ransomware threats, review the actions they make a computer perform, and then predict whether you’ve been hit with a ransomware attack based on your device’s program activities.
Rather than simply completing a task, machine learning takes that task and extends using information available across the internet to predict what might happen next.
How to choose the right compliance technology to monitor security risks
Creating a security first approach to compliance requires continuous control monitoring. Malicious actors never stop trying to find new vulnerabilities which means that the controls that protect your data today may not work tomorrow.
Compliance technology tools can enable you to review the threats to your data environment and ecosystem when deployed meaningfully. For example, a technology that reviews software updates released can ensure that you patch security flaws more rapidly, thus mitigating the chance of a data breach.
Choosing the appropriate compliance technology to manage your cyber security risks means asking questions about your company’s maturity level, future business objectives, and desire to scale.
When choosing a compliance technology, you want to ask:
- How large is my organization?
- How many critical systems, networks, and software assets do I have?
- Where am I now?
- Where do I want to be in five years?
- How many additional compliance requirements will I be adding to get from where I am to where I want to be?
- How many people need to be involved in the compliance process?
- How much information do I need to collect?
- How big is my data environment?
- How many vendors do I need to monitor?
- Do I have the right compliance technology to manage requirements for risk analysis, risk management, control creation, threat monitoring, business continuity, disaster recovery, and incident response?
How ZenGRC’s Compliance Technology Streamlines the Process
ZenGRC provides task prioritization that help let you track compliance activities that reduce vulnerabilities by scheduling reviews and monitoring their completion dates.
As a single-source-of-information, the platform stores and supports remediation activities to prove your continuous compliance and continuous auditing approach to information security.
By using our intuitive interface, you can easily upload frameworks, objectives, and controls while also managing changes to those controls across a variety of frameworks.
For more information on how ZenGRC can enable your compliance efforts, contact us for a demo.