Best Practices for Compliance Management

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Since new regulations and updated industry regulations are now governing many businesses, compliance management is now the focus for all industries. In most cases, the compliance requisites involve a thorough inspection of spreadsheets and certification – ISN certification being an example for contractor safety. Renowned cybersecurity specialists recommend you review your data environment and ensure there is control effectiveness. This will assist you to alleviate any possible data breach. Making compliance part of the business is important.

Nevertheless, if your data remains sealed in various departments, maintaining accurate and updated data might be hard.

Tips to create an effective corporate compliance program

Having a business compliance program entails creating a team dedicated to overarching legal and industry necessities. In the past, the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or the Chief Information Officer used to work with your compliance to create a corporate compliance program. However, things are taking a different turn.

Your business must build cross-departmental communications. Your business will incorporate more software as a service (SaaS) to facilitate operations. So, you will need to organize more internal shareholder discussions.

For instance, the human resource department might opt to use several SaaS platforms to allow them to conduct various task efficiently. These platforms include billing medium for paying workers and a platform for tracking hours. Also, your marketing department could be using a social media scheduling platform and contact database platform. All these SaaS enabling platforms play a role in increasing your compliance risk.

For this reason, your corporate compliance program should comprise an interdepartmental team for you to log all assets.

Creating an effective risk management program

It is the work of the team you created to come together and evaluate the risks that their assets bring. To have an effective risk management program, you must determine the type of data that is venerable to breaching and how it will affect the business.

First, you need to create a catalog of all digital data assets. This will include all data from systems and networks, applications and software.

Then, you will review the data stored in those assets, transmit and process. Note that the type of data where your digital assets interact can alter the level of risk involved.

Information that needs to be secured tends to change depending on various things.

This includes:

  • Who is using it
  • How they are interacting with it
  • What it is
  • Where it is stored
  • How it is transmitted
  • Ways to manage vendor risk

Currently, the use of SaaS platform is increasing at a first rate. For this reason, managing vendor risks have been a deeper predicament. Most regulatory compliance requirements pay attention to obtaining supply chain security monitoring.

Overseeing your vendors increases the pile of paperwork needed to create an effective compliance program. Therefore, make sure that you catalog your vendors, humans, and digital while ensuring they uphold security controls.

  • Ensure that your in-house shareholders know their roles for monitoring their vendors
  • Record vendor access and authorization to your network, systems, and software
  • Have an up-to-date list that proves effective monitoring over vendors control
  • Ensure you review their security controls, record their feedback and examine any internal or external audit completed
  • All this work should have documentation from every vendor that you store in various locations

What makes spreadsheets an effective compliance management tool?

Most compliance management system began using a spreadsheet since it is easy to use, and cheap. It also lets you document your controls with ease. Cloud drivers offered an easy way to share and edit a document. So, people found a better way to establish internal shareholder accountability without spending more money.

Due to some factors, the spreadsheet increased as the business scaled. As the number of vendors increased, more tabs were added to the spreadsheets.

Furthermore, tracing some errors was hard since cloud drivers saved the most recent information you added. Comparing different document records was overwhelming since you couldn’t know if the parties managed their reviews well.

Updates to controls like security patches were difficult to document adequately.

This work was hard and time-consuming such that it brought a potential compliance risk.

How can you lessen the Compliance Management Burden?

There are products in the market that allows you to get peace of mind when monitoring your compliance management program.

They come with a simple to use a system that lets you establish role-based access to documents. So, your internal shareholders will only get the data they require. You create access to documents by linking them to job duties and functions. This allows the HR to make modifications to their vendors and marketing department will have access to theirs. This helps the compliance executive to track changes effectively while ensuring proper documentation.

Also, it offers workflow and management prowess that lets you allocate roles to people and track their progress. You don’t have to send email updates and request.

Since the system is a source of truth for any audit documentation, you will save time giving feedback on audit requests and save money on the auditing process.

Author Bio

Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT.  Learn more about at

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