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IT Security VS IT Compliance

Compliance and security are difficult to distinguish from one another. They can occasionally seem like a moving target. One of these urgent questions may have crossed your mind:
  • How can we develop thorough security programmes while adhering to compliance requirements?
  • Is simply checking the compliance box sufficient?
  • How does all of this help the firm run smoothly and advance?
  • These issues determine an organization’s course and eventually determine whether it will prosper or fail.
Let’s define the distinctions between IT security and IT compliance in this article.

What is IT security ?

Security officers follow industry best practices to secure their IT systems, especially at the organisational or enterprise level. Security professionals are constantly looking at how to:

  • Prevent damage to the company’s IT infrastructure and data.
  • Reduce the amount of harm caused by successful attacks.

In the past, network administrators would adopt a purely technical strategy and place a significant emphasis on systems and tools. But today, COVID has changed the way people work. Working modes such as hybrid and virtual, and more technology are being used, it is no doubt that more security is needed to prevent any damage.

Information security is perhaps the most important policy for any business, but there are many other areas as well, including architectural and infrastructure management, cybersecurity, testing, and notably information security.

IT Security is the practice of exerting due diligence and care to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity of vital corporate assets and availability, also known as the CIA Triad. Any IT security programme must take a comprehensive approach to the security requirements of a business and apply the appropriate physical, technical, and administrative controls to achieve those goals.

Organisations can develop efficient IT Security protocols by focusing on the three essential requirements of confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

The following three sections help you understand how IT Security has to be managed.

  • Confidentiality. Sensitive company information includes consumer details, confidential information, and future breakthroughs. IT security has a responsibility to safeguard this data. The key is to make sure that data can only be read, changed, and used by the authorised user(s) and system(s).
  • Integrity. Information that is stored must be accurate and updated on a timely basis, and the system in which the said information is contained in must be secure, right sized, and relevant to the requirements of the organization.
  • Accessibility. Systems and information requests need to be available and accessible when they are needed. If a system isn’t available, it can’t be relied on.

The state of IT security today

Traditionally, security professionals would rely on devices like firewalls and content filters along with network segmentation and restricted access. But as modern threat agents became more and more sophisticated, the tools that security analysts and officers have to use become more complex too.

Old-school technical controls cannot account for:

  • 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error.
  • Hacking accounts for 45% of attacks, with technically skilled threat actors leveraging vendor-created backdoors or running remote malware.

To combat harmful external threats, security professionals today require a The idea of IT security basically entails taking certain precautions to secure an organisation’s assets as effectively as feasible. The CIA trinity is the foundation of all effective IT security protocols.

What is IT compliance?

IT compliance is the process of meeting a third party’s requirements with the aim of enabling business operations in a particular market or aligning with laws or even with a particular customer.

Security and compliance can occasionally overlap, but compliance has a distinct goal in mind. It is focused on the demands of an outside party, like:

  • Industry standards
  • Government regulations
  • Security protocols
  • Contract terms for clients/customers

Often, these external rules ensure that a given organisation can deal with complex needs. Sometimes, compliance requires an organisation to go beyond what might be considered reasonably necessary. These objectives are critical to success because a lack of compliance will result in:

  • A decline in customer confidence and reputational harm.
  • Negative legal and financial repercussions that can be costly to your company or prevent it from operating in a particular region or market.

Compliance in the following areas is a top business concern:

  • Singapore Personal Data Protection Act and relevant legislation including the GDPR and other privacy legislation and their compliance globally
  • Specific rules relating to specific industries, including the Banking Act, and other privacy rules for industries such as healthcare, insurance, and even education.
  • Clients with high confidentiality standards

Almost often, a high degree of compliance is required in these areas. It’s significant to note that IT compliance is not limited to IT security. Compliance with contract requirements, for instance, may depend on how readily accessible or dependable your services are, rather than just how secure they are.

IT compliance & security comparison

Implementing efficient technology measures to safeguard corporate assets is known as security. Application of such approach to satisfy legal or contractual obligations to a third party is known as compliance.

Here is a list of the main distinctions between these two ideas. Security is:

  • Practised for its own purpose, not to appease the wants of others
  • Driven by the requirement to safeguard resources of an organisation from ongoing threats
  • Never truly finished and should be continuously maintained and improved

Compliance is:

  • Used to meet criteria from outside sources and streamline business processes
  • Business needs (rarely technical ones) are what drive the process, and it is “done” once the third party is satisfied

It’s obvious at first glance that an IT security strategy based solely on compliance is inadequate. This mentality, which emphasises performing only what is necessary to meet criteria, would swiftly result in major issues in an era of increasingly complicated viruses and cyberattacks

How security and compliance interact

Everyone can agree that companies require a strong IT security programme. Strong security rules and procedures allow your company to start putting its most important assets under real-world protection, rather than just checking the boxes.

Defence-in-depth, layered security systems, user awareness training, as well as routine testing by outside parties to make sure that these measures are functioning, are concepts that can help with strengthening your company’s security. Businesses that are primarily concerned with complying with regulations that do not call for these essential operations leave themselves vulnerable to assault from criminals who target easy targets.

Although compliance is frequently thought of simply accomplishing only the bare minimum, it has value on its own. Compliance is more than just a set of hurdles to clear for the benefit of the company. Adapting to a well-known industrial standard like ISO:27001 can:

  • Boost the standing of your business
  • Gain new clients who are security-conscious

Any weaknesses in your current IT security programme that might not have been discovered without the use of a compliance audit can also be found using compliance. Additionally, compliance promotes a consistent security scheme for firms as opposed to one where controls are picked at the administrator’s discretion.

In Conclusion

  • Both security and compliance are business-critical.
  • Security and compliance work hand in hand and are complementary in areas where one may fall short, as any observant security expert will observe.
  • Compliance creates a thorough baseline for a company’s security posture.
  • Careful security procedures build on that foundation to guarantee that the company is protected from all sides.
  • A company will be able to not only meet the requirements for its market, but also show that it goes above and beyond in its dedication to digital security, if it places equal emphasis on these two principles.