Richard Stevenson, Head of Cybersecurity Risk Management and Compliance at Drata
Automation transforms the audit experience. What was once a burden becomes a competitive advantage that allows your business to maximize every opportunity.
Streamlining the audit process is not the only benefit of compliance automation. From increased productivity to a stronger security posture, automation enhances your compliance program.
What is Compliance Automation?
Security breaches can occur at any time given the complexity of modern IT systems and the pervasive threat environment. These violations can result in operational disruptions, lost revenue, customer dissatisfaction, and legal or regulatory action.
Businesses simply cannot afford non-compliance.
At the same time, manual processes cannot keep up. People are spending more and more time checking systems and filling out spreadsheets. Compliance officers should map this evidence to internal policies and external compliance frameworks.
At audit time, these snapshots may not be sufficient. To keep auditors happy, compliance teams need to step up a gear to update the company’s compliance status.
Compliance automation replaces these manual, spreadsheet-based processes with software solutions that:
- Continuously monitor security checks 24/7.
- Cover all on-premises systems, cloud service providers and SaaS providers.
- Automatically resolve minor compliance issues.
- Generate alerts for issues requiring staff attention.
- Produce reports to document ongoing compliance.
Why you should aim for automation
Automation streamlines the audit process. At the same time, automation improves your compliance and security posture as well as the productivity of your compliance program.
Companies that manually monitor compliance dread audit requests. They scramble to collect evidence, reconcile spreadsheets, and solve resulting problems. Missing or inaccurate data in the final report could compromise the report and present inaccurate data to your customers and prospects.
Compliance automation simplifies the audit process. Through continuous monitoring and evidence gathering, all the necessary information is already in one place.
Certifying compliance continuously rather than at a time gives customers greater confidence in your company’s ability to maintain compliance and puts you ahead of your competition.
Enhanced compliance and security posture
Automation is the only way to continuously monitor all systems. With limited staff time, manual processes require prioritizing high-risk systems. Leaving others unattended for a period of time allows compliance gaps to persist. The software can monitor all systems all the time.
Automation also makes compliance monitoring more accurate. Manual, spreadsheet-based processes are prone to human error. Mundane and repetitive spreadsheet work naturally leads to transcription errors and omissions. Letting compliance automation software handle this low-value work eliminates these mistakes.
With all evidence of compliance collected automatically, your staff gain visibility into your on-premises and cloud systems. Dashboards give you quick summaries of compliance status. At the same time, you have the tools to drill down into issues and gain insight into compliance performance across the organization.
Continuous, error-free monitoring and increased visibility combine to improve your company’s compliance and security. Compliance systems can automatically identify and resolve minor issues. Larger issues are quickly escalated to compliance officers for immediate action.
Employees and contractors spend too much time collecting evidence in spreadsheets. This daily work wastes the expensive talents for which these people were hired. Compliance automation frees people to focus on the meaningful, high-value work that bolsters your compliance efforts.
Things to Look for in a Compliance Partner
Given the importance of compliance to the business, you should carefully evaluate potential compliance partners. Some things to consider include the following:
Focus on the audit process
Compliance is an ever-evolving field that can challenge even the largest companies. You can complement your company’s internal compliance talent by choosing partners with strong compliance expertise.
Another challenge companies face is finding independent auditors who understand compliance frameworks as well as the company’s compliance platform. Look for partners who give you access to networks of approved independent auditors.
Every business has a unique combination of IT infrastructure, risk tolerance, and compliance requirements. Look for adaptable and scalable automation solutions that offer the variety of controls you need. This gives you the flexibility you need in an ever-changing risk environment.
Support for compliance frameworks
Solutions that support a variety of frameworks make compliance programs more robust. Rather than running redundant processes, automated evidence collection can simultaneously support ISO27001, GDPR, HIPAAand other checks.
Native integrations and open APIs
To maximize the benefits of compliance automation, look for partners who offer a wide variety of integrations up and down the technology stack. They should offer secure and reliable native integrations rather than plugins.
Since no partner can cover all possibilities, see if they offer an open API so your developers can quickly integrate additional systems.
User-friendly compliance journeys
Compliance automation solutions should simplify compliance monitoring. Developers benefit from easy-to-use integrations and APIs, while operations benefit from accessible dashboards and alerts.
Your audit experience: a glimpse of the before and after
Before automating your compliance processes, audits are monumental challenges. Your staff take on heavier workloads because they:
- Make sure the evidence is up to date.
- Update, consolidate and reconcile spreadsheets.
- Fix newly discovered compliance gaps.
- Generate, review and correct reports.
In the end, all this work may be for naught. Manual processes increase the risk of failed audits and missed opportunities.
Automating evidence collection and control monitoring lets you go from point-in-time to continuous compliance. Your team can proactively resolve compliance gaps and streamline the audit process to respond quickly, accurately, and completely to any request.
Drata’s Compliance Automation Platform will help you turn the operational burden of your audit experience into a competitive advantage. We provide everything our customers want in a compliance partner, including:
- 75+ integrations.
- A library of over 500 commands in your tech stack.
- User-friendly dashboards, alerts and reports.
- A pre-approved directory of independent auditors.
Across industries, companies of all sizes rank Drata among the best. We have earned this reputation by understanding the audit experience and bringing that expertise to every client engagement.
Schedule a demo to see how Drata can transform your audit experience.
Sponsored and written by Drata