Compliance can be highly complex
Your organization's compliance can be highly complex. It’s not easy to determine how well you are meeting industry standards and how you can meet them better—especially in the cybersecurity and data management industry.
You may not even realize how complex compliance can be though. If your organization has no previous experience with SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, or other industry standards, you probably have no idea how much time and money the compliance process can take.
But do not be discouraged. When you aim to meet compliance, you can establish proper practices for your employees, protect your organization’s reputation, and minimize the possibility of expensive lawsuits. As complex as compliance can be, it is a worthwhile goal to aspire for.
You just might need a little help. So, you should consider using a compliance dashboard to guide you through your compliance process with understandable metrics that show your business’s compliance issues and how to resolve them.
But before we dive into compliance dashboards, we need to establish the compliance meaning.
Compliance has slightly different meanings in different industries. For example, there is a compliance meaning in business, which refers to the practice of adhering to the laws, regulations, and ethical standards applied to a business. Then, there is a compliance meaning in law—the practice of adhering to all applicable laws. There is even a different compliance meaning in banking, and it includes an entire department in the bank which ensures that the bank is following all financial standards and governmental laws.
With all these compliance meaning synonyms, it is important for us to define our compliance meaning in cybersecurity.
For us, compliance is meeting the requirements, laws, and controls imposed on businesses regarding cybersecurity and primarily data protection. These requirements can come from a variety of authorities, laws, and industry groups. Some controls come from CIS, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, and ISO 27001. Some controls are optional and simply build your reputation, while others are mandatory for proper data protection.
Your company’s compliance is measured by finding a specific point of data related to a compliance issue and logging that data in a centralized database. The compliance dashboard then reports those measurements in a simple format and gives action steps to meet compliance if certain controls are deficient or nonexistent.
That makes the compliance dashboard an invaluable help in tracking your organization’s compliance. But before you can use those dashboards effectively, you need to understand the compliance metrics and compliance KIPs that they display.
The compliance metrics meaning is basically measurements that indicate how well your compliance program is operating—ensuring that your business has the proper data protection controls and is actively meeting regulations.
When you understand the information that these regulatory metrics are displaying, you can take steps to help your business improve compliance. This is where a compliance metrics dashboard can be extremely helpful.
One compliance metric is the mean time to issue discovery. This metric shows how quickly your cyber security program can detect a lapse in compliance or a high-security risk. The goal is to have a relatively low number or quick issue discovery time. You would also want to see this time drop as you use the compliance dashboard and improve your overall compliance.
Another common metric is the mean time to issue resolution. After your compliance system has discovered a lapse in compliance, this metric shows you how long it takes for your business to resolve the issue. It is wise to get a compliance dashboard that displays separate resolution times for different types of issues. These separate times will show if you have one type of issue that takes much longer to resolve than another type. So, you will be able to discover the weaknesses in your system and improve them.
Thirdly, the compliance expense per issue metric shows how much of your compliance budget you spend on each compliance issue that arises. This metric can be helpful to show overall how much money is needed for compliance. It can also be broken down into individual issues, which should show what issues are most expensive to resolve. Your company can then determine ways to reduce the cost when solving similar issues in the future.
Those are just three common metrics that a thorough compliance dashboard will use to report your business’s compliance. There are many other more, in-depth metrics, but those three give you an idea of the sorts of things that compliance metrics measure.
Compliance metrics are one compliance measurement that you might see on a compliance dashboard. However, Compliance Key Performance Indicators (KIPs) could also display on a dashboard, so you need to understand those measures as well.
Much like compliance metrics, compliance KPIs are designed to measure your compliance. They measure the IT department’s ability to keep its organization in line with the policies, controls, and governmental regulations. Basically, they are compliance effectiveness metrics.
Compliance KPIs are similar to risk assessment tools as they detect possible compliance issues and direct the business on how to implement controls to meet the compliance. Your business can use a KPI for governance and compliance and for data storage and management compliance.
These KPIs you use should be implemented consistently across the organization. For successful compliance, each employee needs to work towards achieving the standards, and they will only be able to aim for this goal when they all are using the same KPIs and compliance standards.
KPIs also need to be clear and concise as they explain compliance risk and mitigation steps. You will not be able to keep compliance if the data and instructions are highly complicated. No one will be able to understand such directions, let alone attempt to follow them. Thus, it is critical to report the KPIs in an accessible and understandable format.
Finally, these KPIs must be from measurable data. You should not create or use a KPI that is based on subjective opinion. You need to have concrete data to measure your compliance and determine statical goals for your organization to reach.
With knowledge of compliance KIPS, your next question might be how to measure compliance performance and discover all these metrics? That is where a compliance dashboard comes in.
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What is compliance dashboard? A compliance dashboard is a tool that provides an overview of an organization’s compliance issues and initiatives. It will bring multiple data sources together into one display for a thorough description of the compliance program. The dashboard displays this information in a simple format designed for ease of use, and it often uses compliance metrics and compliance KPIs for this display, as we have already discussed.
Your business could use a compliance dashboard to gather and interpret your compliance data. It can also alert you to unordinary operations within your organization and help you resolve any non-compliance issues it may reveal.
To assess your business, consider using one of the many variations of the compliance dashboard. Excel has capabilities to support a compliance dashboard, so your organization could use excel to build a dashboard from the ground up.
You could also contract a company that provides compliance dashboards that are pre-built and programmed. This can save you valuable time. It can also ensure that you get the compliance information you need because the dashboard is designed by experts in compliance regulations.
Trava is one possible company that provides compliance guidance along with SOC 2 audit prep and risk assessments.
Another type of compliance dashboard is one that your company can make from a template. Using a compliance dashboard template means you do not have to build the entire dashboard from scratch. You can use the expertise of others who made the template. But you also can customize the template so it matches your organization’s structure and the compliance regulations you are trying to meet.
Looking for a compliance dashboard template? Excel offers many templates, most of which are free to use. Several other companies also offer their own excel templates for compliance dashboards. You can find a legal dashboard template, a sales dashboard temple, or a dashboard template for executives if you think a different template will help you achieve your compliance goals.
But as you begin your compliance journey, do not try to navigate it alone. You should at least find a compliance dashboard that can show you what areas of your company need improvement. However, your compliance journey will be much easier if you partner with a company that has expertise in compliance.
The experts at Trava would love to help you along your compliance journey. We will assess your unique cyber security needs because we recognize that each organization’s situation and goals are different. Then, we will walk you through exactly how to reach the compliance goals you desire.
With our help, you can improve your organization, meet industry standards, and build your reputation.
Don’t let the compliance standards stress you out any longer. Contact Trava and let us help. You can schedule a demo with us today to see how we can propel your business’s compliance journey.