In 2023, organizations may face new and expanded cybersecurity and compliance mandates, which could vary from location to location and from one industry to the next. As a result, your organization may be looking to obtain a certification or will need to pass an audit for a specific set of standards or requirements.
While recognition for demonstration compliance or receiving certification is a great reason to celebrate, the process leading up to that is often time-consuming and sometimes dreaded, especially if you must undergo an audit first.
But audits don’t have to be as frustrating as they once were. With the right resources and tools, you can pass your next audit with ease. Here are five tips to help:
- Know your current program state. Don’t wait until the audit is underway to find out where you might have gaps or weaknesses. Go ahead and assess your current compliance state so you know what you need to address before your real assessment gets underway. Consider using a cybersecurity compliance platform that automates these assessments for you and look for a platform that gives you real-time compliance scoring, so you’re never caught off-guard if something isn’t functioning as you intended or you’ve overlooked an important control or other security measures.
- Document and evidence. You can do everything correctly and score 100 on your current assessment, but if you don’t have a document repository that puts everything you need right at your fingertips in one place, or if you can’t supply all the necessary proof and evidence an auditor may want, you likely won’t get credit for what you’re doing right. Put away those binders of dusty old printouts you haven’t looked at since your last audit. Instead, use a cybersecurity management platform to track and retain all of your evidence and documentation all in one place for easy, shareable access with your auditors.
- Put teamwork to work for you. Instead of chasing down who’s responsible for which compliance requirement and trying to understand what they’re doing and how well they’re doing it, use a compliance management platform to help you automate task assignments, track progress, send alerts when those tasks are complete, and assign new tasks as they pop up. A platform like Apptega can even externally alert your auditor when your team has completed an evidence request or other necessary task.
- Communicate across your organization. One of the challenges in building a compliance culture is often that program managers speak industry lingo and not the same language that people in different roles within the organization can understand and relate to their day-to-day responsibilities. Instead of scrolling through hundreds, maybe even thousands of rows of data to find what you need for your next compliance conversation, consider using a compliance management platform like Apptega that has a pre-built library of reports you can quickly draw on for your next engagement, whether that’s your C-suite, an auditor, or your tech team. Need a specific report for a specific purpose not covered in the library? No problem. Apptega makes creating custom reports a breeze.
- Don’t go at it alone. While you can meet all the requirements on an audit prep checklist, the reality is when you work on a program, it’s easy to overlook issues an outside eye might catch. Before your next audit, go beyond a self-assessment and consider working with an outside compliance consultant to take a closer look at your existing program and help you seek out and address issues before your auditor finds them.
Follow along in our 12 Days of Cybersecurity on our LinkedIn. Learn more about how Apptega can simplify day-to-day cybersecurity and compliance management and schedule a custom tour of the Apptega platform.