10% of surveyed c-suite executives claimed that their businesses spent more than $1 million on GDPR compliance. When combined with the costs of remaining compliant to other regulations as well as internal corporate requirements, compliance costs can be a burden. Often, a business might have to juggle compliance with GDPR, SOC 2, PCI DSS, and the HIPAA. This requires them to invest in the right tools to achieve compliance, as well as creating ad hoc policies and procedures.
Sadly, all these efforts will be in vain as long as compliance isn’t part of your company’s culture. Since your workforce will aid in the day to day compliance of your business, it is ideal to have all hands on deck compliance-wise. Otherwise, you risk dire consequences, such as hefty non-compliance fines, losing corporate data, and high customer churn rates.
Here is how you should build a culture of compliance in your workforce:
Start From The Top Leadership
Organizational leaders set the tone for company culture. Employees are often more inclined to follow the lead of c-suite executives. For instance, SOC 2 requires you to follow the five trust service principles of upholding the highest levels of data availability, security, processing integrity, privacy, and confidentiality. If a leader is busy breaching the privacy of clients’ data, employees won’t feel that doing this is a big deal.
The chances of violating compliance requirements will be quite high. From another point of view, leaders are the decision-makers for the business. In case they do not buy into the need to purchase compliance equipment, or train employees, your business’ compliance needs might be ignored. Be sure to educate the top leadership of your business on compliance and urge them to walk the talk with your company’s compliance. They should also show employees that compliance isn’t a “necessary evil” but a necessity for doing business.
Train Your Employees Effectively
In some instances, non-compliance can arise from human error or employee ignorance. This is something training can help you do away with. Ideally, you should train employees on the current compliance requirements as well as the changes that come up with time.
Training doesn’t have to happen only when an employee is fully integrated into your business. New recruits should be taken through compliance training as part of their onboarding. However, look for ways to do the training as effective as possible. For instance, you can take them through micro-learning and gamification instead of using conventional spreadsheets during training, which can be boring at times.
Communicate Compliance Expectations
Sometimes, you might risk non-compliance through poor communication. Every employee needs to know the role they play in the entire compliance process. People also need to understand the deadlines they need to meet and how to do it. Great communication can also help avoid having two teams working under differing objectives.
Ideally, there should be an easy and seamless form of communication between the management and the staff. Employees shouldn’t have to find it hard to approach top leaders with their concerns. Also, you should communicate with partnering organizations on the best practices that will affect your compliance. Since some regulations also require you to work with compliant vendors, including compliance clauses in your contracts with vendors, is essential.
Document And Record Processes
In case you violate certain requirements, you might need to pay hefty fines, not to mention the risk of exposing your customers to a data breach. No one wants to have the same thing happen to them twice. That’s why you should document compliance processes. This will help you follow the document trail and identify areas that may have brought about the violation. In case the violation was from an employee’s ignorance, you can work on punitive measures.
In case some of the tools you have brought about the issue, you can update or replace them. Documentation also helps create a blueprint on how to best achieve compliance. Once you recruit new employees, they can easily refer back to these documents. Lastly, documentation also makes audits easy and seamless.
Instead of having to look for the information themselves, auditors will only need to access these already prepared documents. Since auditing can be a pretty invasive and time-consuming process, documentation ensures that auditors can be out of your hair soon.
Invest In The Right Tech
Compliance controls will typically require you to invest in state of the art technology. If you need to keep data safe, invest in tools like access control software, firewalls, and even VPNs. It might also pay to invest in tools that make compliance easier. For instance, compliance software removes the hassle of sending out email-based reminders for delayed workloads, while offering your compliance officer a holistic view of your entire compliance landscape.
When investing in the technology, also factor in whether employees will buy into it or not to avoid the shadow IT menace. Lastly, ensure that the tools you invest in are scalable enough to keep up with your business’ growth.
Compliance not only offers you a competitive advantage, but it also protects your business from the risks of a data breach, among other issues that come with non-compliance. As long as you have a compliance culture, employees will embrace their roles with open arms. Focus on the best practices above to keep your business compliant.
This is an article provided by our partners network. It does not reflect the views or opinions of our editorial team and management.
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