What Exactly Is Compliance Management and How Do You Begin?
Software developers today have a seemingly endless amount of regulatory protocols to follow. This makes it increasingly difficult to bring products to market safely and efficiently with any sense of urgency.
Just when you think your company is up to date with the latest requirements, something comes along that forces you to change your approach. Any way you look at it, this can be a real hassle.
That said, meeting regulatory compliance is critical for success. Therefore, engineering and governance teams need to have a framework in place that makes compliance seamless across all touchpoints.
What Is Compliance Management and Why Is It Necessary?
Compliance management is the process of centralizing and regulating the delivery of software in order to ensure that each product adheres to specific regulatory protocols.
While compliance management is a broad term that encompasses a variety of functions, it is primarily concerned with the creation, management, and governance of data. Additionally, it pertains to the location, documentation, management, and security of infrastructure.
Significant Regulations You Should Be Aware Of
Regulations frequently differ significantly between regions and industries. With that in mind, the following is a breakdown of some of the most prevalent regulations that software companies must comply with today.
GDPR The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union (EU) law that protects European citizens’ privacy. GDPR is widely regarded as the most stringent and far-reaching security and privacy law in the world. It affects all organizations, regardless of their vertical or geographic location. GDPR violations carry fines of up to approximately $22 million or 4% of annual global revenue from the preceding financial year, whichever is greater.
CCPA – Currently, the United States lacks federal data protection regulation. California, on the other hand, has enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which places restrictions on how businesses can use private data. Colorado and Virginia have also enacted state-specific data privacy laws, and additional state regulations could be implemented in 2022.
ISO 9001:2000 – ISO 9000 is a comprehensive set of product quality standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO 9001, ISO 9002, and ISO 9003 are all commonly used ISO standards in the software industry. Simply put, ISO certification verifies that software meets a predetermined standard of design, production, and development.
PCI Data Security Standard – The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements for payment card processors regarding information security. The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council is the PCI DSS’s governing body. PCI DSS is applicable to all businesses that process, transmit, or store credit card data. To ensure compliance, developers must adhere to specific PCI DSS guidelines when developing software.
STAR OF THE CANADA – The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) promotes the STAR registry for Security, Trust, Assurance, and Risk. It is a freely accessible database that contains information about cloud privacy and security controls. The CSA STAR certification is not required. Rather than that, it serves as an assurance framework for cloud service providers, allowing them to demonstrate that their software is secure and compliant with industry standards.
HIPAA – To protect consumer healthcare data, healthcare organizations must now adhere to stringent Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards. There is also the HITECH Act within HIPAA, which encourages healthcare providers to implement electronic health records and security safeguards.
What Is the Importance of Compliance Management?
Today’s businesses are increasingly digital and data-driven. Government agencies, watchdog organizations, and consumers are requiring businesses to manage personal information more responsibly in response.
To this end, businesses are now subject to a plethora of regulations, each of which carries stiff fines and penalties for violators. Simultaneously, businesses are increasingly demanding proof and documentation when conducting due diligence on software vendors and partners.
Simply put, software providers that can demonstrate compliance with a broad range of regulations stand a better chance of demonstrating proficiency and generating sales.
How to Begin Compliance Management
Today, the majority of organizations lack the resources necessary to manage regulatory compliance on an in-house basis. This is especially true for multinational corporations with a global footprint spanning multiple regions and industries. Outsourcing regulatory complications to a third-party software value stream manager that specializes in compliance management is the most efficient way to streamline regulatory complications.
What To Look For in a Compliance Management Solution
Selecting a compliance management solution can be a difficult task as there are several providers that offer similar solutions. While there are many things to look for in a compliance management platform, the following features should be top of mind.
Software development needs to move at a fast and efficient pace. The best way to ensure this is to select a platform that integrates data governance and compliance directly into various development workflows. This can guarantee continuous compliance. To illustrate, developers shouldn’t have to question data compliance when building software testing and production models. The platform should recognize specific data requirements in advance and supply developers with the information they need to move forward with confidence.
Regulatory protocols change often, and they can be difficult to interpret and understand. Therefore, it’s critical to partner with a provider that has a pulse on the ever-changing regulatory landscape. Take this seriously when vetting different vendors. Ultimately, your company could be responsible for vendor negligence. If the vendor doesn’t provide accurate information updates, your organization may pay the price in significant financial and reputational harm.
Visibility and traceability are both important when tracking regulatory compliance. The vendor you work with should make it easy to quickly identify the root cause of non-compliance and instantly trace issues back to specific sources for prompt remediation. Companies often waste large amounts of time manually digging through systems and databases attempting to get to the root cause of noncompliance. In addition to being an inefficient approach, this increases the likelihood of further problems occurring during production.