How can you mitigate compliance risks?

jastw, 4/22/2021

The key to mitigating compliance risks is by acquiring a deep understanding of those risks, by taking a step back and analyzing the weak links in both your operations and supply chain.

In today's ever-changing world of complex regulations, having a deep understanding of compliance issues is more essential than ever. 74% of companies and other organizations consider compliance standards something that should be a top priority, according to the Nasdaq 2020 Global Compliance Survey report. Yet much needs to be done to help organizations, especially in the realm of compliance risk management.

The problem of managing compliance risks gets even more complex when it comes to cloud service. Companies are in charge of keeping the personal data of their clients and employees secure no matter if it's stored in the cloud or on-premises, and if they don't properly understand their cloud solutions, IT companies run the risk of experiencing serious security consequences and, with that, serious issues with compliance.

Though cloud service providers typically offer stronger security than businesses would be able to provide on their own, there is still a great degree of trust involved. Being held at an outside firm, confidential data is unavoidably exposed in ways you cannot control, and securing that data is totally at the helm of the outside firm. It's not surprising then that 55% of the companies who were surveyed by Deloitte claimed that they still felt they were entirely responsible for the protection of their data.

How can businesses efficiently manage compliance risks themselves?

Best Practices

Efficient risk mitigation necessitates a careful, systematic approach to finding and dealing with compliance risks your company experiences on an on-going basis. What follows are some of the best ways to approach mitigating those risks.

A Risk-First Approach

In order to properly manage compliance risks, you need to have a good understanding of what those risks are. To do this and avoid having your efforts go to waste, it's best to start with a comprehensive risk assessment.

Considering Third-Party Risks

So in what area of risk management should you start? A comprehensive appraisal of all third parties working with your company is a good way to avoid associated compliance risks. Some of the biggest risks an organization faces are related to third parties, which is why a due diligence process is a fundamental part of managing compliance risks.

It's important to ensure the due diligence process is as straightforward yet efficient as possible. This can be achieved by utilizing due diligence software which can categorize and screen all third parties for you.

Keeping up-to-date with Regulations

Successful compliance risk assessment necessitates a thorough and up-to-date understanding of the relevant laws and regulation policies.

71% of those who participated in the Deloitte study Accelerating agility with Xaas agreed that they've had to re-consider how they've been handling data due to recent changes to privacy regulations.

Although companies had already gotten used to major regulations, the switch to remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic created new risks, meaning companies must adapt to stricter regulations.

Using Software for Automation

Though compliance risk management is a long, complicated process involving a great number of stakeholders, there are also many mundane tasks such as getting employee signatures or retrieving records from different locations, all of which would otherwise take up valuable time.

Automated email archiving software which assists in retrieving email records from a secure, centralized location, is helpful when handing eDiscovery requests. Automated archiving and searchable record base creation is much easier, especially due to the fact that you don't have to concern yourself with backups or manual archiving every day. 

And, of course, using Policies and Procedures Management Software is a key part of communicating the policies that are critical to meeting compliance and regulatory requirements efficiently and securely.

Automating processes like this saves time and eliminates the tediousness of manual processes, encouraging your employees to more easily comply with the policies that are in place.

Rebuilding Your Company Culture

It's easy to get wrapped up in managing complicated issues and striving to meet the most recent enforcement policies when trying to manage compliance risks.

Although it's easy for compliance policy to be seen as a only a routine, building a culture of ethics and compliance in the workplace will be a lot more sustainable long-term. 

In order to successfully achieve this culture, those in positions of leadership within the company should be clear about the compliance and ethics expected from everyone. This should be communicated both verbally and by example.

Employees should have easy access to engaging, memorable compliance training in order for the message to stick with them, otherwise your compliance risk management efforts will be wasted. A valuable tool would be to incorporate a Learning Management System in this process, or even a simpler, more focused tool such as StaffWiki's Quiz feature that help with quizzing your staff on policy understanding.

Continuously Updating Your Compliance Policy

Just as with enforcement policies, it's important to stay up to date on internal changes within your company and stay on the look-out for new compliance risks which may come with those changes.

Compliance policy should never be treated as an occasional endeavor, or it could lead to expensive security breaches and other serious compliance consequences. Rather, make sure to examine your policies constantly and make changes when necessary, on an on-going basis

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