Compliance is no longer the check-in-the-box activity that it was before. With the looming deadline of May 25, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is getting a lot of attention. As technology becomes pervasive, regulators across the globe are making security and compliance regulations stringent — and the cost of noncompliance unbearable.

For the first time, compliance is on the boardroom agenda, but has this changed the reality on the ground?

A significant number of compliance programs still fall into the initial stages of the compliance maturity curve — working with spreadsheets and manual processes with low-risk visibility while the businesses leapfrog to artificial intelligence and machine learning.

As digital transformation disrupts established models, business leaders are rapidly adopting new technologies without waiting for security and compliance leaders to figure out the implications. This is only widening the gap between technology adoption and security transformation as compliance programs play catch-up.

What Ails Security and Compliance Programs?

Most compliance programs suffer from common pain points, including:

  • Lack of standardized processes and controls across geographies and business units, coupled with manual processes that increase costs and slow down response times; and
  • The multiplicity of tools used for security and risk management, with many of them being legacy without integration, which limits the ability to aggregate security risk and compliance data and creates scalability challenges.

Many organizations fall into the trap of adopting a project approach to compliance to meet the requirements of certain audits or certifications. Their controls often fail to sustain over time, exposing them to risks in between project cycles. A successful compliance program requires continuous monitoring of security risks and controls with real-time reporting and response.

Ride the GDPR Wave Toward Continuous Compliance

While tools are available to address many of these challenges, technology alone cannot help you achieve continuous compliance. It takes a comprehensive and methodical approach that brings elements of people, process and technology together to help you make your compliance program future-ready.

As you prepare to ride the GDPR wave, use it as an opportunity to transform your approach to security compliance — and go beyond simple check-box methods.

This topic is precisely what I intend to cover in my session, “Maintaining Continuous Compliance for More Effective Risk Management,” at Think 2018. I will walk you through how you can move up the maturity curve by adopting IBM’s common control framework, implementing IT risk automation and moving into the future with cognitive security.

You might choose to take your compliance efforts one step at a time or all at once, depending on your readiness level and appetite for transformation. No matter where you are along your compliance journey, we can help you determine what works best for you at Think 2018.

Notice: Clients are responsible for ensuring their own compliance with various laws and regulations, including GDPR. IBM does not provide legal advice and does not represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that clients are in compliance with any law or regulation. Learn more about IBM’s own GDPR readiness journey and our GDPR capabilities and offerings to support your compliance journey here.

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