A Guide to Understanding Security Compliance Standards
Nowadays, almost every business finds it difficult to comply with compliance-related requirements due to their complexity, size, number of employees, and IT assets. A crucial part of modern business is compliance. If businesses want to avoid incurring ever-increasing fines and penalties, it must be regularly maintained.
While there are numerous checklists and frameworks, a methodical approach to resolving all of the aforementioned issues and providing actionable, concrete recommendations that not only satisfy the auditor and board of directors but also provide peace of mind to the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or Chief Risk Officer (CRO) is ultimately more effective. Vulnerability scanners, data discovery, identity and access management, and other IT infrastructure data feeds must be gathered and monitored by them. This is very important for businesses that need to quickly get into compliance with a number of standards, including ISO 27001 compliance and regulations and NIST, PCI DSS, HIPAA, HITrust, and COBIT.
The NIST compliance standards is for handling and securing data within government organizations and any organizations that contract with the US Federal government.
How does the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) work?
Instructions on how to manage and reduce IT infrastructure's security risk can be found in the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF). The CSF comprises of rules, mandates, and systems that can be applied to stop, perceive, and respond to cyberattacks.
The NIST Cybersecurity Framework offers the following advantages:
- Possibility of long-term risk management and cybersecurity.
- Bridging the gap between technical and business stakeholders
- The Framework's adaptability to abide by existing and forthcoming regulations
What exactly is the NIST Risk Management Framework (RMF)?
Organizations can manage information security and privacy risks in a step-by-step manner with the help of the NIST Risk Management Framework. Any organization is welcome to use this procedure because it is based on established guidelines and standards.
The NIST Risk Management Framework (RMF) has the following advantages:
- Management of Reputation
- Intellectual Property Protection
- Competitor Evaluation
PCI DSS Compliance
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of guidelines that card companies use to ensure that transactions are safe. The standard's primary objective is to lessen the likelihood of identity theft and fraud. The PCI DSS's operational and technical requirements always aim to safeguard cardholder information. For commercial and service businesses that accept credit cards as payment, there are four levels of PCI DSS compliance.
An audit to verify a company's compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is known as a PCI assessment. PCI DSS compliance assessment is the process of comparing an organization's security policies, procedures, and network configurations to each applicable control in the standard. This standard establishes guidelines for the security of merchants that accept, process, store, or transmit card information. During the evaluation, a PCI Qualified Security Evaluator (QSA) must determine whether merchants meet PCI DSS 12 requirements directly or through a control that meets PCI DSS requirements.
Benefits of the PCI DSS
Companies must adhere to PCI standards to safeguard their financial information. The advantages of PCI DSS compliance are as follows:
- Increases customer confidence • Prevents data breaches
- Aids you in meeting global standards
- Serves as a foundation for other regulations
Sarbanes Oxley Compliance
Companies use SOX security controls to find and fix financial reporting errors or inaccuracies, whether they were made intentionally or not. All business cycles and operations based on revenue growth or financial reporting require the implementation of these controls. Internal Control Report: Under SOX, a report proving management is in charge of the internal control framework for financial records is required. Companies that manage financial reports must record, test, maintain, and frequently evaluate controls. Any issues must be brought to the attention of upper management right away in order to maintain transparency.
Security measures for data
Businesses are required to maintain a formal data security policy that provides adequate protection for the use and storage of financial data in accordance with SOX. The SOX data policy should be communicated to all employees and followed by them.
Businesses are required by SOX regulations to maintain a record of compliance documentation, make it accessible to auditors as required, carry out routine SOX testing, and monitor and evaluate SOX compliance objectives.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law in the United States that required the creation of national standards to prevent the disclosure of sensitive patient health information without the patient's consent or knowledge. In order to safeguard health information at all costs, it requires relevant entities to have data privacy and security controls in place.
Understanding the fundamental terms used in HIPAA's Protected Health Information (PHI). This covers things like names, addresses, dates of birth, account numbers, and medical record numbers. which can be used as a common way to identify a person.
In HIPAA, there are 18 identifiers, some of which include full-face photographic images, vehicle identifiers, IP addresses, biometric elements, and certificate/license numbers.
To safeguard electronically stored patient protected health information (ePHI), the Security Rule mandates the implementation of administrative, physical, and technical safeguards.
The Enforcement Rule defines the establishment of mandatory federal privacy and security breach reporting requirements, as well as the fines and penalties enforced. The Breach Notification Rule clarifies the definition of a breach and specifies breach notification requirements for applicable covered entities and business associates.
HiTrust CSF Compliance
The HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) was developed by a standards development organization to provide an objective and measurable method for managing the security risks associated with handling healthcare information and other sensitive data. It incorporates a risk-based approach to assist organizations in addressing security challenges through prescriptive and scalable privacy controls.
The majority of businesses that create, access, store, or exchange Protected Health Information (PHI) must comply with HITRUST. This includes healthcare providers, insurance companies, and hospitals. The SF contains 14 control categories, each consisting of 49 control objectives and 156 control specifications that are related to security and privacy. Following HITRUST regulations ensures that an organization complies with multiple regulations and implements the highest security standards for its data and systems. Control objectives are statements of the desired outcome, whereas specifications specify the specific actions that information security teams must take to achieve the objective. These specifications can be administrative, technical, managerial, or legal in nature and can be policies, procedures, guidelines, practices, or organizational structures. The 19 control domains in the HITRUST CFA correspond to common IT process areas and are high-level subject areas.
Compliance with COBIT
The original meaning of the COBIT acronym was "Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology," The COBIT framework provides a set of best-practice controls around information technology, allowing businesses to add value through IT decisions while mitigating potential risks. The framework was initially developed by ISACA in 1996 and focused specifically on financial auditing in IT environments. A company can use the metrics, maturity models, and best practices provided by COBIT to evaluate the success and coordination of objectives and processes.
COBIT 2019's overall structure includes:
- Methodology and Introduction: The fundamental COBIT principles and the framework as a whole are discussed in this section.
- Goals of Governance and Management: The 40 governance and management objectives of the COBIT core model are the subject of discussion in this section.
- Design Manual: How to create a governance strategy that meets an organization's specific requirements is covered in detail in this section.
- Guide for Implementation: Best practices for putting a business's particular strategy into action are provided in this section.
The COBIT framework's ultimate goal is to ensure that IT investments are prioritized so that businesses can achieve their goals without increasing IT risk. COBIT focuses on the following ideas to accomplish this:
- Business decisions should be supported by reliable data. IT governance frameworks connect an organization's needs to IT processes.
- Businesses benefit from process-focused specifications which are always results-oriented.
- For approval of IT measures, as well as for assigning responsibility, a business requires a set of tools. Metrics provided by COBIT enable proper performance evaluation.
- Measurement of a company's processes' capability using COBIT maturity models enables management to assess their progress and prioritize areas for improvement.
March 17, 2023
March 07, 2023