As digital security and data privacy become increasingly caustic issues, regulatory compliance is exceedingly challenging. Not only are various regions implementing unique standards, but industries, municipalities, and platforms are issuing new guidelines as well.
While CTOs have many solutions for ensuring system compliance, the human element remains more difficult to oversee, mandate, and manage. This is especially true in 2021 as many teams continue or even expand their hybrid formats, requiring companies to achieve compliance across many disparate locations.
The transition to remote work, made necessary by the recent pandemic, also prompted many companies to adopt employee monitoring software to oversee their off-site teams. Now, organizations can leverage that technology to support compliance standards, enabling them to be audit-ready in any environment.
Here are four ways that companies can leverage this technology and achieve compliance with employee monitoring software.
#1 Rules-Driven User Activity Monitoring
In many ways, regulatory compliance is just one more task on your security team’s already-full to-do list. A stunning number of these valuable cybersecurity professionals are overworked, stressed out, and ready to quit.
A 2019 survey of IT professionals – which obviously doesn’t incorporate the added pressure of the pandemic – found that 65% of respondents were considering quitting their jobs, and a similar number were ready to leave the industry altogether.
Employee monitor software relieves IT teams of some oversight responsibility. Rules-driven user activity monitoring can take over some of the work, including:
● Enforcing data silos that keep sensitive information available on a need-to-know basis
● Preventing unauthorized data movement, printing, or exfiltration
● Documenting workers’ digital behavior.
When implemented with an emphasis on user behavior, rules-driven activity monitoring can avoid highlighting false positives while effectively identifying potentially problematic behavior.
Most importantly, automation means that company data is always guarded, and real-time alerts can empower IT professionals to take action against potential violations before they escalate and become costly or catastrophic.
#2 Ongoing Employee Training
Data security and regulatory compliance concerns often emerge from a singular shortcoming: employees are not trained to follow compliance best practices and company expectations.
For example, it’s estimated that human error played a prominent role in more than 90% of all data breaches, making employee education one of the most practical and controllable elements of any compliance initiative.
While conference calls, Zoom meetings, and other training events can play an important role in the training process, employee monitoring software equips companies to provide real-time, ongoing education through alerts, on-screen prompts, and other techniques.
In this way, employee monitoring isn’t just for oversight or defense. It’s an active part of achieving regulatory compliance, especially in shifting operational environments that demand novel protocols and competencies.
#3 Whole Organization Accountability
Your company is more than just your in-house employees. Contractors and third-party vendors often have access to company data and IT systems, and they represent a data privacy, cybersecurity, and compliance risk.
That’s why employee monitoring isn’t just for general staff. When deployed across the entire organization, including trusted outsiders with IT access, it provides an accountability mechanism that deters, detects, and defends against compliance risks.
#4 Digital Forensics Capability
At some point, a compliance violation could occur. When it does, you need the capacity to quickly identify the cause and culprit. In addition to data derived from monitoring efforts, screen recordings give detailed and precise insights into a breach.
Armed with this information, companies can hold people accountable for misbehavior while also continually updating their compliance standards based on real-world user behavior.
Collectively, digital forensics capability empowers leaders to satisfy audit and breach reporting requirements without hassle, ensuring that they always have the insights and capacity to sustain compliance efforts, even when obstacles emerge.
A Final Thought
The past year posed several new challenges for organizations operating in new operational environments and more demanding standards. Even so, regulatory compliance is a mission-critical, bottom-line issue that can’t be ignored.
Failing to achieve compliance puts companies at risk. Not only are the financial costs increasingly severe, but the reputation damage associated with a compliance violation can make a recovery an especially arduous process.
Monitoring initiatives can’t achieve compliance alone, but they can play a prominent role in augmenting the process, making it more likely that companies will succeed at this important requirement.