IT compliance affects all business processes. With increasing demands on security, availability, protection and storage of sensitive data, the importance of IT compliance is also growing.
Increasing digitalisation makes IT compliance a success factor.
Compliance means sticking to or being in conformity with rules. If a company has defined all the requirements relating to IT and is verifiably complying with them, it is it-compliant.
IT compliance includes laws, contracts with customers and partners, internal agreements such as IT guidelines and external agreements such as IT norms or industry standards. IT security, along with areas such as finance, data protection and environmental management, is an important component of corporate compliance.
With the introduction of a compliance system, a company ensures that all employees are aware of and adhere to the guidelines laid down for their area of work. They also know who they can turn to in case of questions or wrongdoings.
Effective security measures are often inconvenient
Time and again we read that cyber criminals use sophisticated methods to gain access to sensitive data and profit from it. Preventing this is one of the most important issues in IT. Compliance-oriented behaviour of all employees helps to protect data. Depending on the industry and the security risk, certain guidelines apply in most companies. In addition to defined storage locations, the length and composition of passwords as well as their change frequency, for example, are also concrete regulations.
Many measures are considered inconvenient because they are perceived as cumbersome or bureaucratic. Nevertheless, they are immensely important because they increase IT security and reduce risks when handling sensitive data. In addition to stolen data, system failures and damage to the company’s image, legal steps such as compensation payments can also be threatened in the event of a security incident.
Who is responsible?
The overall responsibility for corporate compliance (and thus also for IT compliance) lies with the company management. Depending on the size of the company, compliance officers are appointed for different divisions of the company who work together with a central interface.
What does IT compliance do?
IT compliance helps companies avoid breaches and fines, build a positive corporate reputation and improve data management. Standardisation of processes is one of the means used to achieve this, for example when applying for digital certificates. Certificate management tools such as our essendi xc can be used to individually define application forms and authorisations. This speeds up the application process and minimises the risk of obtaining the wrong certificates. This reduces IT costs. At the same time, the value contribution of IT increases.
Rules and regulations as a basis
Frameworks such as ITIL and COBIT support the implementation of IT compliance measures. Both concepts provide suggestions for regulating and improving IT performance. It is important to check whether the defined measures are being adhered to and further developed. So-called audits take place regularly for this purpose.