Organizations must stay agile and ready to adapt to evolving cybersecurity threats throughout the year, even when your systems are not being audited. Ensuring proper monitoring and updates of your cybersecurity controls on an ongoing basis will ease the compliance reporting process and help your business stay secure.
Maintaining System Security and Compliance Standards
Maintaining compliance is a year-round endeavor, but there are a few key things you can do to build a culture of awareness around cybersecurity compliance within your organization.
- Secure software development is a key cornerstone of a strong data security program. Developing a framework for your software development life cycle will help your organization define the necessary tasks that must be performed during each part of the process. This will help your organization maintain a secure environment.
- When it comes to encrypted data, it is important to evaluate the data in your environment and determine if it is truly needed for your day-to-day business practices. Only storing or processing the data that is absolutely necessary will help reduce your organization’s risk. Your encryption key management program will need to be documented and protected. Encryption keys will need to be secure and replaced when suspected to be weakened or compromised.
- Ensuring that your systems are properly patched in a timely manner is an important part of maintaining compliance. A comprehensive patch management program should include clearly defined policies and procedures on update deployment, the frequency of reviews, testing requirements, and more. Your policy should also consider any tools that will be used to identify vulnerabilities and ongoing training for employees to address identified issues, monitoring, and reviews.
- Maintaining a secure security environment is more important than just meeting the requirements for compliance. It is important to review your firewall and router system holistically. Your organization will need to review the physical security of related devices, operating system security, and any applicable traffic rules.
Adapting to changes in the security environment and new ongoing threats is key to maintaining compliance throughout the year. Putting consistent practices in place and creating a culture of cybersecurity awareness can help ease the burden of future compliance reporting engagements.
Helpful Practices for Maintaining Compliance
Maintaining compliance is a year-round effort. Just because your examination period has ended, it doesn’t mean that compliance practices can fall by the wayside. Building a consistent and comprehensive cybersecurity program
- Ease the burden of collecting evidence across your organization with a dedicated GRC tool. Leverage support from across your teams such as engineering, operations, and security to support the delivery of audit evidence from key stakeholders in a more streamlined process. Your auditor will be able to use the information collected by your GRC program to expedite the audit process.
- Define processes for ongoing monitoring. Having a baseline for normal activity in your cloud environment will help you be able to determine what abnormal activity looks like. Your organization must have a predefined process for monitoring unusual activity and user access. A continuous monitoring practice will allow your organization to identify internal and external threats.
- There isn’t a question of if a security incident will happen, but when it will happen. As part of your compliance practices, demonstrating proper alerting procedures allows your organization to show that you can respond to a timely manner in the event of an incident.
- Ensure your audit trails are as detailed as possible and provide the required context to make decisions about how to respond to incidents. The more information that you have available, the more insight you’ll have into the modification of key system components, the better you’ll be able to understand the impact of a security incident and respond accordingly.
Your Partner for Cybersecurity Compliance
Developing a strong security position takes time, but protecting your organization from unseen threats is worth the effort. Auditwerx is here to be your independent compliance auditor, but our advisors are here to support your compliance efforts even after the assessment period ends. Contact Auditwerx today.