Rethinking the Role of Compliance

Why the P&L Impact of Your Compliance Posture Will Be Greater This Year

Today, enterprises find themselves under increasingly complex compliance obligations, expending significant resources to achieve, maintain, and demonstrate adherence to continuously emerging standards, frameworks, and mandates. The complexities involved with showing compliance within an increasingly sophisticated enterprise technology environment make detection of non-compliance increasingly difficult. Even as regulatory bodies ratchet up fines and penalties, a cybersecurity strategy of “hoping to reach compliance” cannot meet the onslaught of threat management challenges that continue to get worse.

In the very near future, any control deficiencies identified during audits will no longer be allowed to persist indefinitely under extended mitigation timelines; concrete deadlines for closing known risk gaps will be established and enforced. As CMMC 2.0 becomes Federal law this spring, bringing increasing numbers of defense contracts within its scope, firms will begin to see their revenues directly impacted by their compliance posture – and that’s the point!

Organizations need to take an honest look at not just their last compliance report, but the organization, the people, the processes, and the technology employed to manage the entire effort. Cybersecurity teams expect to be able to monitor inbound threats in real time, and the same should hold true of compliance requirements. After all, security frameworks and standards aren’t just there to give compliance and audit staff something to do – they are designed to guide consistent and provable risk management practices across the enterprise. Monitoring controls in real-time, placing compliance on the same timetable with security operations, is finally within reach thanks to data-centric compliance automation. This shift to continuous control monitoring is more than just an emerging trend – it is now viewed as a de facto requirement – being driven by real-world experience and regulatory developments alike.

An enterprise that is unable to confidently monitor its cyber controls – meaning with real-time objective data i.e. technical evidence – will be ill-prepared to achieve, maintain and credibly demonstrate compliance. Private sector vendors and service providers will find themselves unable to work with the public sector, like the DoD supply chain, which can put millions, if not billions of dollars in revenue at risk.

The Qmulos Platform is used by some of the most security-conscious federal agencies, the DoD, and large commercial organizations to help ensure data-driven compliance and strengthen cybersecurity posture. Given the growing cadence of high profile lawsuits charging companies with false security posture claims is a reminder that hope is not a strategy, and neither are traditional, paper-based approaches.

Enterprise compliance-security-risk misalignment is costly.

Compliance has not been traditionally thought of as a business enabler, but rather an onerous and unwelcome intruder into existing business processes, not to mention a significant cost center and resource drain on mission-critical activities. This reputation wasn’t earned overnight, and compliance and audit professionals need to acknowledge the role that legacy paper-driven compliance models have played in establishing these perceptions.

In today’s hypercompetitive environment, most enterprises, including members of the Defense Industrial Base, increasingly find themselves under pressure to achieve higher efficiencies, lower costs, and find synergies in areas of long-tolerated redundancies. Compliance management, an area of significant spend, presents an attractive target for modernization and transformation in line with other digital transformation initiatives.

Legacy compliance models have relied on manual data collection, control validation, analytics, and reporting for far too long. Forward-looking organizations are beginning to recognize the hidden value of compliance programs that can be unlocked through the power of automation, enabling the business to realize additional ROI from existing security and compliance investments.

Leaders who embrace compliance modernization and automation are strongly positioned to shift the conversation from typical cost-center budget asks to truly mission-aligned, risk-centric, business-driven strategic investment opportunities, while delivering decisive advantages to the business:

  • Demonstrating their proactive stance on security and risk maturity through the lens of compliance, shortening sales cycles and procurement processes.
  • Automating data collection and reporting functions to alleviate a massive amount of manual overhead for internal teams – instead, resources can focus their energy on high-value work and actual risk management.
  • Reducing enterprise risk exposure timelines by continuously identifying control failures and streamlining prioritized control remediation at scale.

Real-time data collection and automated control analytics help organizations achieve accurate, traceable, and up-to-the-minute compliance, down to a single data point, protecting against revenue loss or non-compliance delays, even while frameworks like CMMC continue to evolve.

For more information on Qmulos’ flagship Q-Compliance platform, click here.

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