Rethinking the Role of Compliance

What CISOs Need to Know: Qmulos Shares Top 6 Insights From This Year’s Conferences

By: Igor Volovich, VP, Compliance Strategy

Technology and the threats and vulnerabilities that impact its resilience and trustworthiness keep cybersecurity professionals, especially CISOs, constantly vigilant. This year, the Qmulos team attended multiple conferences, namely the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit, the NLIT DOE Summit, and numerous customer meetings. We gathered insights from some of the brightest minds in the field, gaining an invaluable perspective on the most pressing challenges and priorities facing the public and private sectors. 

 

1. Embracing Automation to Enhance Risk Posture and Program Maturity

One of the most prominent pain points for CISOs is the overwhelming burden of manual work, resulting from a lack of automation in their processes. Companies and agencies are increasingly frustrated with legacy Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) systems that offer little value beyond mandatory reporting while demanding substantial time and resources. Consequently, this has sparked an industry trend focused on seeking automation solutions that can significantly improve risk posture and increase visibility in less time with less manual overhead. As 84% of CISOs report being overwhelmed, and overworked, the demand for risk management tools that can streamline control posture data collection, eliminate manual data calls, enhance efficiency, and provide a clearer picture of security resilience is here and only growing stronger.

 

2. The Infestation of Ransomware: Resilience is Key

With 1.7 million ransomware attacks daily (19 every second), ransomware is at the forefront of the threat landscape. What used to be a niche concern has become a pervasive and highly impactful issue. Ransomware attacks, often initiated through social engineering, are evolving into more complex hybrid attacks. As a result, companies are grappling with not only the immediate ransom demand, but also the potential for extended damage to their networks, their data, and their brand. Business leaders must come up with a plan to address these threats and proactively remediate deficient security controls. The key lesson here is that while the exact nature of the next ransomware attack may be unpredictable, the fact that its coming is a clearly certainty, making resilience against all potential threats paramount.

 

3. Voluntary Compliance Frameworks and Benchmarking for Increased Visibility

The concept of cross-sector cybersecurity performance goals is gaining traction and becoming a common narrative among operational tech providers. Organizations are looking for common models to assess their security resilience and benchmark their performance against competitors. This desire for quantifiable metrics stems from the need to increase visibility throughout operations and eventually, prove Return on Investment (ROI) for cybersecurity expenditures. Qmulos offers an alternative approach, providing companies with insights into financial impact, risk reduction, and performance metrics that go beyond the pass/fail dichotomy of traditional audits. As more and more companies face these risk visibility challenges, it’s clear we need a new approach.

 

4. Overcoming Compliance Automation Challenges

If automation is being talked about as a solution, why are businesses so hesitant? Historically, GRC has often been met with negative reactions due to the lackluster performance of monolithic programs. Companies have been slow to embrace compliance automation tools due to the complex, expensive, and often ineffective nature of previously available solutions. But the narrative is shifting, with more organizations recognizing the benefits of Continuous Control Monitoring (CCM) and Continuous Control Automation (CCA) solutions that emphasize flexibility, value, visibility, and meaningful end-to-end compliance lifecycle automation. Overcoming resistance to trust in automation and distinguishing effective solutions from the noise remains a challenge that must be solved.

 

5. Industry-Specific Compliance and Revenue Protection

In both the public and private sectors, compliance priorities are heavily influenced by specific industry requirements. Public sector entities are driven by frameworks mandated by executive orders and regulatory bodies. In contrast, the private sector focuses on revenue protection and reduction of financial losses. However, the one common factor across all compliance regimes is transparency and trust. Organizations across all sectors and industries are under increasing pressure to maintain a clean bill of health in the eyes of customers, regulators, and various stakeholders whose number grows daily as the recognition of the true scale of impact of cyber attacks keeps increasing. Compliance, in this context, is not just about adhering to regulations; it’s about safeguarding the bottom line and ensuring revenue flows seamlessly. Compliance, when employed as a true component of enterprise risk management as opposed to a historical reporting function, can be the decisive difference in creating a resilient business operating environment.

 

6. Increasing Focus on Executive Accountability for Cyber Risk Resilience

Regulatory bodies such as the FTC, SEC, FINRA, DHS, CISA, CMS, HHS, as well as the Pentagon and Federal prosecutors have all turned their attention to the issue of compliance reporting accuracy, focusing on executive accountability as a model for incentivizing more attention to the matter of cybersecurity and driving more responsible behaviors in organizations having responsibility for the nation’s critical infrastructure and national security missions. Recognizing the level of reliance on the private sector in supporting and 

 

The Bigger Picture: The Role of AI in Compliance

While addressing these challenges, the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly evident and can not be ignored. Integrating Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities and AI into compliance solutions is set to revolutionize how CISOs interact with and interpret data. AI-driven insights can enable more efficient risk assessment, automated reporting, and predictive analytics.

The insights gleaned from this year’s conferences reveal a landscape where automation, resilience against evolving threats, and industry-specific compliance solutions are paramount. Organizations are already attuned to these trends, seeking ways to enhance their risk posture, streamline compliance processes, and protect revenue streams. At Qmulos, we have the solutions to address these challenges, and enhance operational efficiency across the board. With the potential of widely embraced automation and visibility on the horizon, these innovative solutions will continue to reshape the cybersecurity landscape.

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