What is Information Security Governance, and why should businesses be Aware of it?

Buzzwords such as “information security governance,” “cyber security organizational structure,” and “CMMC government contracting” may seem hip but have no real practical application. A governance framework for information security, then, what is that? And how do governance and compliance differ from one another?

An organization’s daily operations involve managing its employees, goals, and corporate strategy. A company’s governance model establishes how it will be administered. An information security administration system is how security is handled and managed within a company regarding your information security strategy.

Compliance can be viewed as the “what” – the obligations or goals you are working toward. The “how-to” of meeting industry requirements for cybersecurity and IT accountability frameworks can be envisioned as an information security governance framework. Defining a company’s regulations, rules, and practices to consider a variety of the organization’s IT compliance needs is the goal of a competent information security governance framework.

What Justifies Information Security Governance?

Priorities and goals in business conflict. Customer happiness, profit ratios, and sales and revenue should be an organization’s primary priority. However, suppose information security is not incorporated into every part of your business, entrenched in every discussion, and seen as a critical component of your company’s and product’s strategy. In that case, you risk each of those values in today’s environment of greater reliance on information technology. 

If for no other motive than to reduce the danger of becoming the subject of a subsequent security breach, you must have an information security management structure to compete in today’s technologically driven world.

Businesses frequently have conflicting compliance responsibilities on top of their duties to maintain the lights on. As more businesses outsource services and technology, there is a greater demand for compliance and evidence of compliance. Although there are many standards, HIPAA, HITRUST, and GDPR frequently top the list.

What Advantages Does Information Security Governance Offer?

Information security governance has the advantages of assisting with priority alignment, removing duplication, and lowering inefficiencies. When properly implemented, an information security governance framework considers a company’s strategy, operations, and compliance needs. It offers a structure to manage the goals of each in a balanced and systematic way.

What Are Frameworks for Compliance?

The well-known IT regulatory standards are probably already recognizable to you. Does the list of regulations ever end, including SOC 1 and 2, HIPAA, HITRUST, FEDRAMP, NIST, NIST CSF, CMMC compliance, PCI, ISO 27001, GDPR, and CCPA? Several IT compliance frameworks are regarded as setting the bar for the industry. Navigating through it can be stressful and overwhelming. Each was created with various but related goals in mind.

As an illustration, SOC 2 was created as a way for service businesses to show they have safeguards to reduce risks to their services. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants created the SOC 2 criteria (AICPA). However, HIPAA was established mainly to offer national guidelines for preserving the confidentiality and anonymity of electronic health records. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services implements federal law as the foundation for HIPAA’s regulations (HHS).

The norms and criteria are customized to fit the given compliance framework based on the specified aim. CMMC report can serve as a great starting point for the controls that must be in place to prove compliance with the DFARS Security Rule in the DFARS Vs CMMC example because both frameworks address data security risks. However, other controls should be taken into account specifically for CMMC.