The importance of compliance in your organisation
Building an effective cybersecurity infrastructure is an integral part of protecting the future of your organisation, but it will fall down if that infrastructure is not consistently compliant.
Lack of compliance could compromise the ability of your organisation to continue serving your customers and trading effectively. Fulfilling compliance obligations not only helps to confirm the security and credibility to your customers and employees, but it also refers to established, proven protocols to give you confidence that your cybersecurity posture is fit for purpose in a rapidly changing cybersecurity landscape.
What is compliance in cybersecurity?
Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus is probably the most widely followed set of guidelines for cybersecurity compliance.
A government-backed certification, its purpose is to provide reliable, expert-informed advice to businesses on what to look out for, and how to proceed, when building their cybersecurity infrastructure. Through a series of self-assessed benchmarks, Cyber Essentials will help you gauge how advanced your organisation is within the five core technical controls, identifying shortfalls and providing suggestions on how to improve where necessary. These, following, five core controls form the cornerstones for most cybersecurity compliance guidelines:
An integral part of every organisation. The first ‘gatekeeper’ – these are designed to prevent attackers from getting access to your systems, by identifying who has permission to enter your system and blocking those that don’t.
For both web server and application servers, which ensures your servers only share the minimum amount of information about themselves by keeping them focusing solely on the task they were designed to do. Correct configuration prevents unauthorised action, or exploitation, from being carried out without your knowledge.
User access control
One of the simplest, and most important aspects of security to focus on. Limiting access to your servers and crucial data to only trusted administrators prevents your business from given open access to any hackers that come looking. Only user accounts that possess special authorisation should be able to access the necessary data. Particular attention needs to be focused on updates and maintaining accurate user lists as well as deleting individuals who are no longer relevant.
Essentially an arms race. Keeping your software up to date with current threats as they emerge, to create an active shield around your important files and protect against malicious software designed to steal information or hold your business to ransom by interrupting business processes. A major consideration for any business, and one that demands constant vigilance.
Frequently updating and fixing any detected vulnerabilities maintains optimal security performance and protection.
Cyber Essentials will help ensure IT Management are able to recognize the key steps to drive full and appropriate utilisation of the five technical controls they need to guarantee cybersecurity compliance.
Also take a look at Cyber Essentials Plus which takes compliance advice one step further by recommending independent auditors and setting out conditions for implementing the safest information security management systems (ISMS).
What are the benefits of meeting compliance goals?
Showcasing your compliance certifications is an excellent way to build trust between your organisation and both clients and prospects. Reassuring your current clients is an important way of ensuring consistent and trusted partnership with them.
For new prospects exploring your organisation for the first time, they’ll want to know that you can protect both your own data and theirs before they even consider further investigating your services. Proving yourself as cyber compliant from the get-go is a great way of improving your standing in their eyes, before even starting a conversation with them. And whilst some contracts require proof of a compliance certification, it will always remain the best way to analyse and provide a clear image of the level of your organisation’s cybersecurity, allowing for consistent improvements.