Compliance regulations aim to protect individuals and their private data, including health related data, financial data, and personally identifiable information (PII). Organisations adhere to compliance regulations for storing and accessing data and safeguarding private data to avoid fines for violations. These regulations place responsibility on the organisation to ensure that best practices are used when customers entrust them with their PII. Compliance risks lie in how organisations deploy security tools and carry out best practices to preserve data integrity and privacy.
Compliance helps lay out a roadmap for organisations to determine how they will store and safeguard data. It also helps determine authorisation rules and defines who should have access to data. Smaller organisations may be unfamiliar with best practices for data integrity and protection and need help with effective safeguarding procedures.
Risk factors are used to quantify threats and bad actors that target valuable data. Compliance risks are the factors that affect a company’s current compliance status. Risk is often quantified numerically and monetarily to determine potential loss should a threat actor penetrate infrastructure defences and obtain private data. If the organisation is non-compliant, they could face large fines.
Common types of compliance risk include:
- Human error: phishing and social engineering
- Improper storage: sensitive or valuable data should be stored in encrypted form and behind authorisation and authentication rules
- Misconfigurations: security controls not configured correctly, and infrastructure is not set up to safeguard data
- No monitoring to identify ongoing threats or provide alerts during a data breach
- Failure to audit access: every time someone accesses sensitive data, it should be logged in an audit trail.