IT compliance in an increasingly globalized world can present many challenges, but these three key issues are ones that can really derail an organization if not managed correctly.
IT compliance is a complex and multifaceted process that encompasses both internal IT compliance guidelines and external guidelines from government and regulatory organizations. And because cyber security threats are constantly changing, IT compliance is ever-changing as well.
This can make it difficult to organize and manage, especially when you're dealing with thousands of employees across multiple departments and offices spread across the globe.
While there are plenty of issues that can crop up when managing IT compliance, these three problems are especially important to look out for in the upcoming year.
1. Varying Compliance Standards Across Multiple Global Regions
These days nearly every enterprise organization has gone global. Whether they're selling to companies abroad or partnering with other international organizations, global partnerships are now the norm.
Operating in multiple countries is great for business expansion, but it does create quite a bit of complications when it comes to IT compliance. Because governments and regulatory organization compliance requirements can vary widely from one place to another, and these laws can change frequently from year to year, it's incredibly important to ensure that IT compliance is looked at from multiple perspectives and includes multiple compliance teams from each region where an organization is engaged in business.
2. Partner Organization Compliance Adoption
Partnering with other companies and service providers can open up a number of great business opportunities, but one thing that companies may overlook is that partnering with other organizations means that you're both responsible for IT compliance, especially when it comes to managing customer or client data.
If a partner organization doesn't adhere to standard IT compliance requirements, both companies could be held responsible. It's important for both companies to discuss how IT compliance requirements will be met, along with how data will be managed and how IT infrastructure will be updated and maintained.
3. Employee Device Policies and Compliance Adoption
Employee compliance is one of the biggest challenges facing corporate IT compliance. A 2016 Data Security Incident Response Report from Baker Hostetler found that 37% of data breaches were caused by human error.
Large, distributed workforces; BYOD policies; and the increase of mobile devices that allow workers to connect to company systems anywhere and at any time have significantly increased the possibility for human error in violating IT compliance. There's no easy solution for this one. It's just a matter of continually enforcing employees' IT compliance and simplifying IT security policies so that they're easier for employees to understand and adopt.
It's also a matter of ensuring that employees have the right tools for their work to minimize the likelihood that they'll install "shadow IT" or unauthorized programs that lack proper security.
By being proactive about these types of IT compliance issues and finding ways to minimize potential complications, enterprise organizations can start the new year prepared to minimize security risks and potential data breaches.