Differences Between IT Security and IT Compliance

Key Differences Between IT Security and IT Compliance

With more and more businesses going digital in recent times, the necessity for advanced cybersecurity measures and compliance frameworks is rapidly developing into the need of the hour. Remote work has opened up the corporate industry to a new set of challenges, with the average cost of breaches rising by $1.07 million where remote access was involved. 

Industry leaders know how important it is to monitor and control how companies share, store, send and receive information. But the biggest challenge they have to overcome before implementing a suitable cybersecurity program or compliance standard is to understand their requirements and assess their vulnerabilities to ensure the best security and regulation involving confidential data.

Simply put, being secure and compliant entails protecting information assets, preventing harm, and identifying theft. Cybersecurity teams follow these key tenets and directives as they create mostly technological frameworks to accomplish compliance. There is a lot of misunderstanding about IT security and IT compliance, two components of risk management.   

This is why we at Akitra decided to curate this blog for key decision-makers and IT development executives, to give you a comprehensive idea of what IT security and compliance are and how they differ. This informative article is aimed at helping you make the best choices in terms of programs and frameworks that can keep data secure at your company and enable the smooth functioning of your IT operations, compliant with global standards.

Let’s get started!

What is IT Security?

IT security refers to a set of policies and procedures used by a company to safeguard its resources, personnel, and clients from online threats. The organization’s network, assets, and data that the company stores are all under the responsibility of the IT department.

As you might expect, IT security has many facets and is as intricate as the range of risks a business could encounter. IT security must protect the company from a variety of threats, including malicious software, attacks that disrupt business operations, malicious actors who may harm or destroy the assets of the company or its clients, social engineering scams that target employees or clients, and hackers attempting to steal data from company servers, to name a few.

IT security is a field that is constantly evolving, just as cyber dangers are continually changing. The main goal of an organization’s IT security plan is to reduce risks by reducing both the likelihood of successful attacks and the damage they could cause.

A brick-and-mortar business that’s recently gone digital might, for instance, deploy best-practice password managers and implement two-factor authentication throughout its whole digital workplace and biometric access to its physically-existing facilities. The organization may also isolate its key systems simultaneously, add numerous redundancies to its servers, and design and implement a disaster recovery and business continuity strategy.

It’s critical to realize that IT security involves more than just technical issues; it involves more than just applying the most recent security updates and patches or continuously checking the network for unusual activities. It’s also important to have a strong cybersecurity culture within the company; this entails training staff members to recognize and counteract cybersecurity risks and motivating them to adhere to stringent security procedures.

What is IT Compliance?

As the name implies, IT compliance ensures that your IT policies and procedures adhere to the rules and guidelines established by your clients, the government, and the accrediting organizations. IT compliance is putting the standards established by a third party to demonstrate a minimum degree of IT security. In contrast, IT security is a collection of practices created by the IT department to keep the firm secure.

The IT compliance requirements include GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, ISO 27001, and any other conditions the clients may impose. As you can see, whereas ISO 27001 is developed by certifying bodies, some standards, like GDPR and HIPAA, are set and defined by governmental organizations. Furthermore, while some of these requirements are put in place to ensure the level of security, others are imposed by law.

Depending on the objective, several compliance requirements exist. For instance, GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, cares more about data security than HIPAA, which focuses more on patient information in healthcare businesses. Additionally, ISO 20000 is related to the level of service that an IT company provides. However, to put it simply, IT compliance aims to ensure quality control and to reassure a third party that your company is adhering to a set standard.

Documenting processes (evidence collection) are vital for IT compliance. Organizations must keep accurate records of who has accessed data sets, for instance, to comply with compliance criteria for data security. To ensure compliance, frequent audits of these documents will be conducted by outside parties (thus, the necessity of a software license compliance audit checklist).

Key Differences Between IT Security and IT Compliance

Your organization’s IT security and compliance procedures may have much in common. 

However, whereas IT security aims to safeguard the company’s customers and clients, IT compliance is more concerned with safeguarding the clients’ assets and data. Additionally, even within an industry, firms’ IT security strategies may differ, but an industry’s compliance standards generally remain the same.  

Key Differences Between IT Security and IT Compliance

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Here is a list of the significant differences between these two. 

Security is:

  • practiced for its purpose, not to appease the wants of others;
  • driven by the requirement to safeguard the resources of an organization from ongoing threats; and,
  • maintained and enhanced regularly because nothing is ever completely finished.

Compliance is:

  • used to meet criteria from outside sources and streamline business processes;
  • driven by commercial needs (rarely technical needs); and,
  • Implemented for the long run, with hardly any changes since regulatory bodies predetermine everything.

One should also remember that IT compliance errors could result in harsh fines from the relevant authorities. At best, the business may lose certifications; at worst, you could lose revenue and be subject to severe fines and other regulatory action. But IT security flaws can potentially disrupt a company’s business operations, harm the firm’s and its client’s assets, cause the loss of customer and company data, and even result in fines or other sanctions from the government.

How IT Security and IT Compliance can Work Together?

Everyone can agree that companies require a robust IT security program. Strict security rules and procedures allow your company to start putting its most essential assets under real-world protection rather than just checking the boxes.

Defense-in-depth, layered security systems, user awareness training, and routine testing by outside parties to ensure that these measures are functioning are concepts that can help with this. Businesses primarily concerned with complying with regulations that do not call for these essential operations leave themselves vulnerable to assault from criminals who target easy targets.

Although compliance is frequently thought of as simply accomplishing only the bare minimum, it has value on its own. Compliance is more than just a set of hurdles to clear for the company’s benefit. Adapting to a well-known industrial compliance standard (like the ISO 27001 or SOC 2) can:

  • Boost the standing of your business;
  • Bring you new clients who are security-conscious;
  • Help you discover any weaknesses in your current IT security program that might not have been discovered without the use of a compliance audit.

Additionally, compliance promotes a consistent security scheme for firms instead of one where controls are picked at the administrator’s discretion.

IT Security and IT Compliance with Akitra!

Security and compliance work hand in hand and are complementary in areas where one may fall short, as any observant security expert will observe. Compliance creates a thorough baseline for a company’s security posture, while careful security procedures build on that foundation to guarantee that the company is protected from all sides. A company will be able to not only meet the requirements of its market but also show that it goes above and beyond in its dedication to digital security if it emphasizes these two principles equally. This is why we at Akitra may be the perfect solution provider for all your IT cybersecurity and compliance needs.

Akitra offers an industry-leading, AI-powered Compliance Automation and Cybersecurity platform for SaaS companies. On the one hand, Andromeda Compliance uses automated evidence collection and continuous monitoring, together with a full suite of customizable policies and controls as a compliance foundation to help customers become certified for regulatory frameworks like SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPPA, GDPR, PCI DSS, and NIST 800-53. Our compliance and security experts will also provide the customized guidance you need to navigate the end-to-end compliance process confidently. 

On the other hand, Andromeda cybersecurity provides quad-layer protection against ransomware and other threats. We ensure that you find all IT and IoT assets (wherever they are located) and determine the best type of device. Operating system, software version, risk level, etc. you should use for your organization and obtain asset detail information from your current systems, including directory services, wireless LAN controllers, SNMP network management tools, and AWS (to increase the precision and level of detail in cataloging both physical and digital assets).

Our solutions’ benefits include enormous time, human resources, and money savings. Customers can stay safe from cybersecurity threats and unforeseen IT infrastructure breakdowns, achieve compliance certification fast and cost-effectively and stay continuously compliant as they grow. Additionally, they can become certified under additional frameworks using a single compliance automation platform and keep their operations and systems updated and running effectively in an automated manner with zero hassles.

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