I’m sure you’re familiar with those neat images that can look like multiple things at once - there’s the one with two faces that is somehow also a vase, the rabbit that is also a duck, and many other examples. Sometimes, our technology can seem to be the same way - take IT security and IT compliance. While these two considerations are definitely related, as they both contribute to risk mitigation, they are not the same thing.
Let’s explore what makes them different, and how understanding this can help to optimize your business’ computing environment.
As your IT security ties more directly into your ability to maintain your business’ operations, let’s focus on that aspect first. At its core, IT security is meant to mitigate the many risks that are out there. These risks include things like downtime, system corruption and unauthorized access, and internal threats to your network infrastructure.
These risks will typically inform what must be done through the severity of the risk itself. After all, reacting to whatever threat is present after the fact is hardly a sustainable strategy. This means that you will need to be much more stringent than even the most particular compliance standards command in order to properly isolate and insulate your network against these threats.
While also intended to minimize a business’ risk, compliance is more about subscribing to an authority’s guidelines and standards than it is about securing your data and systems. Many governing bodies, contracts, and security frameworks demand very specific benchmarks to be met, giving a network administrator a roadmap to follow to compliance.
It is by establishing rules that “compliance” works to protect data security - some barring behaviors that would leave data vulnerable, others setting minimum requirements on what data and systems are to be protected, and how. These vary based on which regulation is being considered - some regulations only demand that compliant hardware is utilized.
Your industry is generally going to be what dictates which compliance standards you need to abide by, as different industries typically use sensitive information in different ways. On another note, your business will also need a dedicated plan to protect all of its assets as a part of a comprehensive security strategy. This is especially important, as most breaches today leverage the end user to gain access.
Keep in mind, regardless of how compliant you are to your applicable guidelines, it may not guarantee that your business is sufficiently secure. This is why it is crucial for there to be an effort to ensure both your compliance to accepted standards, and your business’ overall security awareness, preparedness, and training.
Strata Information Technology can help. With our team of compliance and security experts supporting your business, we can provide you with the infrastructure you need to operate, along with the policies and protection to ensure it is both compliant to regulations and secure against threats. To learn more about what we have to offer, call 888.678.7282.
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