Demystifying Regulatory Compliance: A Holistic View

Demystifying regulatory compliance

It’s a fact that modern businesses are under more pressure than ever to improve their IT infrastructures in order to save on costs, boost efficiency, and stay ahead of their competitors. 

However, the bigger the business is, the more difficult it is for them to keep abreast of the many IT regulations they might face such as the most commonly known GDPR in the EU. This is especially true when the enterprise operates in a number of different regions around the world, all of which boast separate regulations and legislations. This pressure is heightened due to the potential fines and penalties that companies can incur — not to mention the damage non-compliance can do to a firm’s PR.

So, with this in mind, what kind of challenges do businesses face when it comes to their IT compliance? How can these organisations rebuild their IT networks while remaining compliant? And what kind of help is out there for organisations that might be struggling? This article will discuss all of these issues in detail below. Read on to learn more. 


Challenges of Regulatory Requirements

We know that compliance is a major concern for key IT stakeholders across multiple industries, especially when it comes to potential knowledge gaps, or the ways in which companies have to adapt to changing rules and circumstances.

So, let’s consider what compliance challenges enterprises face when building or rebuilding a modern IT infrastructure.


Shifting Goalposts

Regulations across the world can often change very rapidly as new technologies are developed and introduced into wider society. Because of this, companies have to be extremely agile when upgrading their IT, ensuring that they are future-proofing their infrastructure while also keeping a lookout at the tech landscape and tech governance to determine whether things have changed significantly. For example, the international ISO certification for information security management (ISO 27001) is in the process of changing from :2013 to :2022. This adds more weight to controls such as threat intelligence, web filtering and configuration management, all of which  have a bearing on the network.


Data Protection

Data protection is a key concern for any professional organisation, as legislation such as the UK and EU’s GDPR has made it imperative for companies to protect the private data of clients, customers, and end users. 

Furthermore, data protection rules can vary by region, so something that’s acceptable in one country might be illegal in another. This means that larger, more international enterprises may have to take more care over their compliance, since their business practices cross many borders and potentially infringe upon a number of contradictory regulations. 

And, of course, the penalties for international non-compliance can be steep. For example, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) fined Meta a whopping €1.2 billion in 2023., after it was discovered that the social media giant continued to transfer personal data from the EU/EEA to the USA following the delivery of the CJEU’s judgement in Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland Limited and Maximillian Schrems


Remote Work and IoT

Another issue to consider is that remote work has become more popular in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only that, but an increase in the IoT has meant that even more devices are being connected to networks. However, this interconnectivity means that IT infrastructure has many more points of entry. 

Thus, to ensure genuine compliance, companies need to be able to keep track of everyone  and everything that has access to their network and the devices used to access their network.


Short-Term Costs

Ensuring compliance can seem daunting in the short term to businesses, who can often baulk at the expense. This is particularly true for SMEs and startups — who might lack the capital to invest in compliance as much as they might want to. After all, according to some estimates, the average cost of compliance came in at $5.47 million. On the other hand, it’s important to remember that the average cost of non-compliance was $14.82 million, which clearly indicates that the short-term expenses are more than worth it.


Reading The Room 

To discover more about the issues companies have with their IT infrastructures, Opticore conducted a survey of over 500 executives across a variety of sectors. When touching upon the issue of compliance, 52% of participants claimed that they needed guidance from external partners when it came to legal/regulatory matters, while 12% said that their teams had significant knowledge gaps and required a large amount of support.

Of the industries surveyed, arts and culture, architecture and engineering, and travel seemed to need the most help. Meanwhile, executives in the legal industries and in IT seemed to have the least gaps in their knowledge and consequently required less help. 

However, interestingly enough, the size of the companies surveyed didn’t seem to affect their knowledge/experience gaps in compliance and regulation at all; with SMEs to large-scale businesses all reporting approximately the same percentages of certainty and uncertainty. 

The above data seems to suggest that those who already have a background in the law and in compliance, as well as those with a preexisting knowledge of IT, feel the most confident, while organisations in other sectors with less experience might need some help. 


How Opticore Delivers With Compliance 

With all this in mind, is there a way for companies to access some compliance backup when it comes to their IT infrastructure?

Working with trusted third parties is a viable strategy to help organisations from any industry sector upgrade their IT infrastructure without worrying about compliance. Opticore aims to help firms get the most out of their technology. We have the connections, expertise, and the talent to help guide companies in their digital transformation, from strategy right through to implementation. Our role is to help firms foster the right connections. We can deliver network security solutions in line with your compliance requirements to help you achieve those critical goals.  


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