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The benefits and value of continuous compliance

continuous compliance

With organisations handling increasing amounts of data and facing evolving industry regulations it’s easy to fall foul of continuous compliance targets.

Recent research from Drata into the state of businesses’ compliance maturity shows that compliance remains a business challenge for many organisations, with IT and security professionals spending an average of 4,300 hours annually achieving or maintaining compliance.

From the ISO 27001 security certification to the European Union’s GDPR law, requirements for data protection are quickly becoming normalised. This is driving a trend for a more proactive concept of continuous compliance, which can establish digital trust and bridge the gap into cybersecurity capabilities. This digital trust is now a practical and commercial necessity for business success.

“There are many ways to view risk and compliance, but the direct link between a smart compliance business ethic and the bottom line cannot be ignored,” said Troy Fine, director risk and compliance, Drata. “Of organisations surveyed, 75 per cent who have achieved some level of continuous compliance feel their programme is a business accelerator, establishes trust, and bridges the gap into cybersecurity capabilities. 

“And according to the report, 100 per cent of organisations who have yet to achieve continuous compliance see value in the approach and have called out benefits such as increased internal trust from leadership and even as a competitive differentiator in sales opportunities. In fact, 68 per cent of respondents believe compliance opens new business opportunities or acts as a differentiator.”

The key benefit of continuous compliance is its ability to build and establish digital trust. More specifically, For those who already have continuous compliance automated processes, 67 per cent of organisations feel the concept enables them to more easily attract new customers. Similarly, the ability for constant verification of controls builds internal trust and even accelerates the business through revenue and market presence.

Additionally, 33 per cent of organisations were not only able to save time on getting and maintaining compliance, but are also able to shift more energy to accelerate the business. One of the more significant benefits of moving to a proactive state of compliance maturity (continuous compliance in particular) is what happens after the audit: continuous verification and transparency.

“Compliance is also a catalyst for elevating cybersecurity posture,” Fine continued. “Through automation, organisations are reducing blindspots through constant verification—which is the key to building trust—but more importantly, the time to respond to risk vulnerabilities and breaches in policy. In a world of Zero Trust, business leaders feel that continuous compliance can close deals and establish relationships.

“Aside from being manual and labour intensive – a drain on business resources – traditional compliance’s reactive nature can leave an organisation at risk and cause organisation blind spots to occur, slowing down sales and partnerships and impacting organisational trust. It’s a fast-track route to holding back sales and business momentum.

“However, in changing the mindset and approach right from the top of organisations, compliance can be a business accelerator. As the technology that enables continuous compliance is quickly advancing, it’s clear that organisations should align compliance as a business differentiator to increase revenue, build internal and external trust, and act as a strong foundation for cybersecurity. Taking the right continuous compliance approach can build the digital trust that boosts business success.”

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