Compliance needs are mission critical in 2023. As Forbes reported a few months ago, compliance is a top business priority. This year, five states — California, Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia — will enact new or updated state data privacy laws on top of industry regulations and national laws like GDPR. Companies that don’t take data privacy and other compliance laws into account face significant fines and potential damage to their reputation and bottom line. We’ll go over the top trends in compliance for 2023, the related challenges, and how software solutions can alleviate these issues.
Trend 1: Cybercrime Is Increasing
Cybercrime was a $200 billion industry in 2022 and is projected to be $500 billion by 2030. It’s no longer a matter of if, but when — plus how often and how much — each company will be impacted by cybercrime. The field has become professionalized, with Cybercrime-as-a-Service capabilities, tools, and knowledge being sold and enabling more threat actors to commit crimes. Demonstrating security compliance is essential to running a business in today’s world. Implementing common compliance and security frameworks becomes important, as it standardizes and documents the security measures that give customers the confidence to do business with you.
Increasing cybercrimes demand that teams uncover risks faster. Challenges in this area most commonly relate to scaling compliance programs. This can be a time-consuming activity without the right software in place to standardize processes. In addition, as new frameworks are introduced, you need a clear picture of how you can leverage your current program while simultaneously outlining gaps. As you adopt multiple frameworks, the idea of “assessing once and complying with many” should apply to evidence collection, which is often a largely administrative process that leads to stakeholder fatigue and inefficient processes. A streamlined compliance assessment workflow improves collaboration and reduces duplication, eliminating tedious, manual tasks.
Trend 2: Digital Transformation and Reliance on Third Parties are Accelerating
Digital transformation is accelerating at an unprecedented pace, forcing companies to change how they operate and manage a broader risk landscape. The landscape grew quickly over the past few years, with the global pandemic forcing businesses to find new ways of working and employing digital solutions. According to McKinsey, COVID caused digital transformations to evolve in six months what would have otherwise likely been achieved over a period of five to ten years. While creating more opportunities and efficiencies, such a volatile risk landscape can change and expand an organization’s attack surface — making it even more difficult to ensure confidential data is adequately protected. Additionally, the use of third parties has become business as usual, meaning data is no longer solely in company control. Organizations have to enhance internally deployed protections and significantly improve third-party risk management efforts.
Challenges in this area require that companies remain agile in the evolving landscape. The right software solution helps businesses scale their program by creating a centralized inventory, building enhanced controls management, enabling continuous monitoring, and improving third-party risk assessments. With continuous monitoring of controls across different assets, you’ll be able to learn about issues faster for improved reaction times.
Trend 3: Cybersecurity Expectations Are Increasing
With ever-higher expectations from customers, regulators, and industry standards, cybersecurity is a critical enabler of business growth. Customers require businesses to comply with a growing list of standard frameworks, while regulators and standard setters are trying to keep up with the changing environment. In the last year alone, PCI was updated to a new version, as were ISO 27001 and 27002. Managing compliance programs alongside different, overlapping frameworks with multiple versions is incredibly complex.
Maintaining compliance with framework requirements is integral for companies looking to retain or expand their customer base. With such a huge business impact, senior management and boards have become more involved, demanding more visibility into programs and more comprehensive reporting. Companies must ensure an effective control environment, and compliance management software makes new framework adoption easier than ever with automated framework mapping and streamlined gap assessments.
Trend 4: The Battle for Talent
The importance of cybersecurity and compliance is being elevated, causing the battle for talent to rage. The job market for security professionals has expanded drastically over the past decade to become very competitive, with many unfilled positions and not enough talent to address today’s needs despite a looming recession. As Fortune reported, companies are desperate for cybersecurity workers and there are more than 700,000 positions in the field yet to be filled. Insufficient staffing causes teams to operate in limited capacities even as the number of requirements prospective employees must meet increases. Against this backdrop, security compliance teams must increase efficiency, devoting their time and attention to those activities that really matter while leveraging technology for manual and tedious tasks.
Information security is a key priority for board members, and cybersecurity is no longer a back-office activity. As a strategically critical function, security and compliance can no longer support a manual process. The right software solution streamlines evidence collection with improved workflows, automated evidence collection, and place-of-work integrations. Equipped with best-in-class solutions, teams are able to focus on creating strategic business value and making meaningful impacts.
Compliance Solutions for Your Organization
Organizations planning for the future will look beyond compliance minimums and build internal solutions to protect their data and improve their processes. Reducing manual efforts, improving evidence-gathering workflows, streamlining framework adoption efforts, and mapping controls are all game-changers that position companies to strengthen their security, improve collaboration, create reliable single sources of data with automated dashboards, and reduce talent gap issues. To make sure your business is ready for all of the compliance trends coming in 2023, learn more about AuditBoard’s comprehensive compliance management solution.