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Continuous compliance monitoring best practices 


As organizations respond to an ever-evolving set of security threats, network teams are scrambling to find new ways to keep up with numerous standards and regulations to dodge their next compliance audit violation. Can this nightmare be avoided? Yes, and it’s not as complex as one might think if you take a “compliance first” approach 

It may not come as a surprise to many, but the number of cyber attacks is increasing every year and with it the risk to companies’ financial, organizational, and reputational standing.  

What’s at stake? 

The stakes are high when it comes to cyber security compliance. A single data breach can result in massive financial losses, damage to a company’s reputation, and even jail time for executives.  

  • Data breaches: Data breaches are expensive and becoming even more so by the day. According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report , the average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million.  
  • Fraud: Identity fraud is one of the most pressing cybersecurity threats today. In large organizations, the scale of fraud is also usually large, resulting in huge losses causing depletion of profitability. In a recent survey done by PwC, nearly one in five organizations said that their most disruptive incident cost over $50 million*. 
  • Theft: Identity theft is on the rise and can be the first step towards compromising a business. According a study from Javelin Strategy & Research found that identity fraud costs US businesses an estimated total of $56 billion* in 2021. 

What’s the potential impact? 

The potential impact of non-compliance can be devastating to an organization. Financial penalties, loss of customers, and damage to reputation are just a few of the possible consequences. To avoid these risks, organizations must make compliance a priority and take steps to ensure that they are meeting all relevant requirements. 

  • Legal impact: Regulatory or legal action brought against the organization or its employees that could result in fines, penalties, imprisonment, product seizures, or debarment.  
  • Financial impact: Negative impacts with regard to the organization’s bottom line, share price, potential future earnings, or loss of investor confidence.  
  • Business impact: Adverse events, such as embargos or plant shutdowns, could significantly disrupt the organization’s ability to operate.  
  • Reputational impact: Damage to the organization’s reputation or brand—for example, bad press or social-media discussion, loss of customer trust, or decreased employee morale.  

How can this be avoided?  

In order to stay ahead of the ever-expanding regulatory requirements, organizations must adopt a “compliance first” approach to cyber security. This means enforcing strict compliance criteria and taking immediate action to address any violations to ensure data is protected.  Some of these measures include the following: 

  • Risk assessment: Conduct ongoing monitoring of compliance posture (risk assessment) and conduct regular internal audits (ensuring adherence with regulatory and legislative requirements (HIPAA, GDPR, PCI DSS, SOX, etc.) 
  • Documentation: Enforce continuous tracking of changes and intent 
  • Annual audits: Commission 3rd party annual audits to ensure adherence with regulatory and legislative requirements (HIPAA, GDPR, PCI DSS, SOX, etc.) 

Conclusion and next steps 

Compliance violations are no laughing matter. They can result in fines, business loss, and even jail time in extreme cases. They can be difficult to avoid unless you take the right steps to avoid them. You have a complex set of rules and regulations to follow as well as numerous procedures, processes, and policies. And if you don’t stay on top of things, you can end up with a compliance violation mess that is difficult to untangle. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the risk of being blindsided by a compliance violation mess with your organization. 

Now that you know the risks and what needs to be done, here are six best practices for achieving it. 

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