In a recent New Yorker cartoon, a cluster of medieval guards gather on the turreted roof of a castle, spears pointed to ward off the enemy who is preparing to breach the walls. However, they don’t see a visible form or physical force to attack; there’s only a bespectacled figure on the castle lawn, typing on a laptop. The caption reads: “Bad news, Your Majesty—it’s a cyberattack.”

That sketch, however amusing, underscores the vexing nature of a cyberattack or data breach. It’s invisible and insidious, arriving out of nowhere and difficult to defend against, or even contain, once it’s been unleashed. And even if all stakeholders swiftly agree on a shared need for damage control, the damage has already occurred: sensitive consumer data exposed, reputation badly burned, regulatory fines incurred and costly litigation in the cards.

What if stakeholders had locked arms earlier – before the cyberattack penetrated the castle walls?

For industries that handle sensitive data, such as health care organizations and financial institutions, cybersecurity programs are key to ensuring that companies comply with the growing number of regulations, whether contractual or governmental, that govern data security and privacy.

In today’s stifling regulatory climate, with its varying degrees of tolerance for and management of risk, it’s key to have executives, compliance professionals and information technology staff on the same page—with the ability to assess and measure both progress and performance. While establishing controls is an important first step, implementing and enforcing them are equally important to cybersecurity compliance. As the song goes, “you can’t have one without the other.” That two-pronged strategy underscores the importance of stakeholders remaining in touch and aligned with each other.

Connected compliance

When compliance becomes connected, rather than splintered and siloed, C-suite executives and compliance officers have a central resource to gather detailed and accurate information about cybersecurity; and to observe in real time how their organization is performing against requirements. That platform can highlight both successes and areas of improvement, such as substandard implementation of controls.

Aligning all stakeholders around a compliance program doesn’t just strengthen cybersecurity; it weaves compliance seamlessly into the culture of an organization. No longer does compliance need to manifest as a stumbling block, a fractured discussion or a hasty defense against a surprise attack.

Our CyMetric software provides a way to align your corporation around its proverbial castle.