A black and white drawing of a rock formation.
A browser with a compliance management system interface

Compliance management is the ongoing process of implementing control requirements and processes to comply with standards and regulations applicable to your organization, including ongoing monitoring of your operations. The purpose of compliance management is to ensure that your organization maintains its compliance with the regulations and standards it has committed to and to close any compliance gaps that may arise.

Why is compliance management important?

There are severe consequences that come with ignoring your compliance gaps — including steep fines and penalties, loss of business, loss of client trust, and more. If these gaps result in a data breach or another severe incident, the damage and cost to your business could be even more costly. 

Managing your compliance manually, such as through documents and spreadsheets, can be time-consuming, inefficient, and error-prone. This method can also make it difficult to scale your organization as you add new frameworks to your compliance program. An automated compliance management program makes identifying and mitigating compliance gaps easy, helping you control operations and monitor activities in a streamlined and scalable way. 

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Implementing a compliance management program

Follow these steps to set up a compliance management program:

  1. Define your compliance needs: Create a list of the standards and regulations your organization has committed to. Examples include legal regulations based on the markets you serve such as GDPR and HIPAA, as well as industry-expected standards for security such as SOC 2, ISO 27001, and others.
  2. Establish roles and responsibilities: Build a multidisciplinary team that’s responsible for your organization’s compliance management. This could include a compliance manager, a member of leadership, compliance specialists, and representatives from various departments.
  3. Assess where you currently stand: Which aspects of your current compliance program are working well? Which aspects could be improved? Which manual tasks could be automated? Where do most of your compliance gaps come from?
  4. Use compliance management policies: Establish and enforce policies for your organization to follow, including functional and technical requirements for systems and people. These will apply to all employees performing control operations tasks.
  5. Look for automation opportunities: Automation can be a powerful asset for a compliance management program because it provides advanced efficiency and scalability while reducing human error. Identify aspects of your current processes that could be automated.
  6. Integrate into existing workflows: For compliance to be sustainable, it needs to be integrated into the organization’s day-to-day operations. Work with the department representatives of your compliance team to develop processes that ensure each department is aligned to the overall compliance strategy. 
  7. Set up continuous monitoring: To get to a place of continuous compliance, your business needs to closely monitor its compliance status. Implement compliance software tools that can continuously monitor your compliance to alert you of any gaps.
  8. Enable stakeholders: Ensure everyone knows how to operate the tools you use, which data to track, and understands their roles in the compliance program.

Tips and best practices for effective compliance management 

Consider these tips and best practices to increase effectiveness and efficiency of your compliance management program: 

  • Invest in an automated compliance platform: A well-designed compliance tool can automate many of your manual compliance processes, offers continuous monitoring, and provides a single pane of glass for stakeholders to get real-time insights into the organization's compliance program.
  • Build repeatable processes: Build your compliance program around repeatable and consistent processes, rather than one-off tasks. This will help you streamline your program and further the impact on your automations. Look for ways to turn ad-hoc tasks into ongoing, repeatable processes.
  • Integrate where possible: Siloed teams, tools, and processes can slow down your compliance program. Aim to integrate your tools and processes into a single compliance tool so your program can run more efficiently and improve collaboration with your cross-functional partners.
  • Account for future changes: Build your compliance management program so that it can adapt to changes in regulations and standards. Ensure you can identify updates as they occur and adapt your controls and practices to those changes as needed. 

It’s important to choose the right tools to help you manage your compliance program. These tools should make managing your program easier and more sustainable as your business grows. 

Vanta’s trust management platform allows you to streamline your compliance program as you scale your business. With Vanta, you can automate your compliance across multiple frameworks, centralize your risk management, and streamline your security reviews. Schedule a demo with our team to see if adding trust management to your compliance program is right for you. 

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Compliance

What is compliance management?

A black and white drawing of a rock formation.
A browser with a compliance management system interface

Compliance management is the ongoing process of implementing control requirements and processes to comply with standards and regulations applicable to your organization, including ongoing monitoring of your operations. The purpose of compliance management is to ensure that your organization maintains its compliance with the regulations and standards it has committed to and to close any compliance gaps that may arise.

Why is compliance management important?

There are severe consequences that come with ignoring your compliance gaps — including steep fines and penalties, loss of business, loss of client trust, and more. If these gaps result in a data breach or another severe incident, the damage and cost to your business could be even more costly. 

Managing your compliance manually, such as through documents and spreadsheets, can be time-consuming, inefficient, and error-prone. This method can also make it difficult to scale your organization as you add new frameworks to your compliance program. An automated compliance management program makes identifying and mitigating compliance gaps easy, helping you control operations and monitor activities in a streamlined and scalable way. 

{{cta_withimage1}}

Implementing a compliance management program

Follow these steps to set up a compliance management program:

  1. Define your compliance needs: Create a list of the standards and regulations your organization has committed to. Examples include legal regulations based on the markets you serve such as GDPR and HIPAA, as well as industry-expected standards for security such as SOC 2, ISO 27001, and others.
  2. Establish roles and responsibilities: Build a multidisciplinary team that’s responsible for your organization’s compliance management. This could include a compliance manager, a member of leadership, compliance specialists, and representatives from various departments.
  3. Assess where you currently stand: Which aspects of your current compliance program are working well? Which aspects could be improved? Which manual tasks could be automated? Where do most of your compliance gaps come from?
  4. Use compliance management policies: Establish and enforce policies for your organization to follow, including functional and technical requirements for systems and people. These will apply to all employees performing control operations tasks.
  5. Look for automation opportunities: Automation can be a powerful asset for a compliance management program because it provides advanced efficiency and scalability while reducing human error. Identify aspects of your current processes that could be automated.
  6. Integrate into existing workflows: For compliance to be sustainable, it needs to be integrated into the organization’s day-to-day operations. Work with the department representatives of your compliance team to develop processes that ensure each department is aligned to the overall compliance strategy. 
  7. Set up continuous monitoring: To get to a place of continuous compliance, your business needs to closely monitor its compliance status. Implement compliance software tools that can continuously monitor your compliance to alert you of any gaps.
  8. Enable stakeholders: Ensure everyone knows how to operate the tools you use, which data to track, and understands their roles in the compliance program.

Tips and best practices for effective compliance management 

Consider these tips and best practices to increase effectiveness and efficiency of your compliance management program: 

  • Invest in an automated compliance platform: A well-designed compliance tool can automate many of your manual compliance processes, offers continuous monitoring, and provides a single pane of glass for stakeholders to get real-time insights into the organization's compliance program.
  • Build repeatable processes: Build your compliance program around repeatable and consistent processes, rather than one-off tasks. This will help you streamline your program and further the impact on your automations. Look for ways to turn ad-hoc tasks into ongoing, repeatable processes.
  • Integrate where possible: Siloed teams, tools, and processes can slow down your compliance program. Aim to integrate your tools and processes into a single compliance tool so your program can run more efficiently and improve collaboration with your cross-functional partners.
  • Account for future changes: Build your compliance management program so that it can adapt to changes in regulations and standards. Ensure you can identify updates as they occur and adapt your controls and practices to those changes as needed. 

It’s important to choose the right tools to help you manage your compliance program. These tools should make managing your program easier and more sustainable as your business grows. 

Vanta’s trust management platform allows you to streamline your compliance program as you scale your business. With Vanta, you can automate your compliance across multiple frameworks, centralize your risk management, and streamline your security reviews. Schedule a demo with our team to see if adding trust management to your compliance program is right for you. 

{{cta_testimonial2}}

Scaling your compliance doesn't have to SOC 2 much.

Learn how to add new frameworks to your compliance program without adding to your workload.

Scaling your compliance doesn't have to SOC 2 much.

Learn how to add new frameworks to your compliance program without adding to your workload.

Scaling your compliance doesn't have to SOC 2 much.

Learn how to add new frameworks to your compliance program without adding to your workload.

Without Vanta, we’d be looking at hiring another person to handle all the work that an audit and its preparation creates.”

Willem Riehl, Director of Information Security and Acting CISO | CoachHub

Role:GRC responsibilities:
Board of directors
Central to the overarching GRC strategy, this group sets the direction for the compliance strategy. They determine which standards and regulations are necessary for compliance and align the GRC strategy with business objectives.
Chief financial officerPrimary responsibility for the success of the GRC program and for reporting results to the board.
Operations managers from relevant departmentsThis group owns processes. They are responsible for the success and direction of risk management and compliance within their departments.
Representatives from relevant departments
These are the activity owners. These team members are responsible for carrying out specific compliance and risk management tasks within their departments and for integrating these tasks into their workflows.
Contract managers from relevant department
These team members are responsible for managing interactions with vendors and other third parties in their department to ensure all risk management and compliance measures are being taken.
Chief information security officer (CISO)Defines the organization’s information security policy, designs risk and vulnerability assessments, and develops information security policies.
Data protection officer (DPO) or legal counselDevelops goals for data privacy based on legal regulations and other compliance needs, designs and implements privacy policies and practices, and assesses these practices for effectiveness.
GRC leadResponsible for overseeing the execution of the GRC program in collaboration with the executive team as well as maintaining the organization’s library of security controls.
Cybersecurity analyst(s)Implements and monitors cybersecurity measures that are in line with the GRC program and business objectives.
Compliance analyst(s)Monitors the organization’s compliance with all regulations and standards necessary, identifies any compliance gaps, and works to mitigate them.
Risk analyst(s)Carries out the risk management program for the organization and serves as a resource for risk management across various departments, including identifying, mitigating, and monitoring risks.
IT security specialist(s)Implements security controls within the IT system in coordination with the cybersecurity analyst(s).

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