laptop on workspace with red keybaord

Operating a business without protecting sensitive customer and employee data is similar to locking your doors at night, but leaving the windows wide open. 

When it comes to data security, the old saying “you can’t be too safe” is true. Businesses of all sizes need to take measures to protect their customers’ and employees’ data from cybercriminals. While compliance with regulations and standards is important, it is only one piece of the puzzle. Achieving and maintaining a healthy security posture is essential to keeping data safe from attackers.

At the end of the day, the difference between security compliance and security posture comes down to this: security compliance is about following rules, while security posture is about being safe. Compliance is important, but it cannot be used as a replacement for security.

Security Compliance vs. Security Posture

Security compliance deals with the following:

– Compliance with laws like PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) 

– Regulations like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) in healthcare or GLBA (Gramm Leach Bliley Act) in financial services 

– Standards set by organizations like the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)

Security posture, on the other hand, is a measure of the organization’s overall security. It includes things like: 

– The effectiveness of security controls 

– The maturity of an organization’s incident response plan 

– The effectiveness of its risk management and mitigation processes

Security compliance and security posture go hand-in-hand; compliance is about following the rules, and security posture is about making smart choices. While compliance can be a good measure of whether an organization has taken the right steps to keep data safe, it should not replace security measures or serve as a replacement for security posture assessment. The best way for businesses to protect themselves against cybercriminals is by ensuring their security posture is as strong as possible.

A Healthy Security Posture

Without proper security posturing, compliance can serve as window dressing rather than a true protective measure. Conversely, without the necessary policies and procedures in place, staying up to date with security regulations can be just another arduous task on an ever-growing to-do list. 

Having a healthy security posture includes, but is not limited to: 

– Proactively identifying threats and vulnerabilities 

– Minimizing the attack surface through defense in depth 

– Continuously monitoring the environment for changes in security controls, configurations, and data protection status 

– Testing individual elements in isolation before putting them all together 

– Upgrading security systems when necessary to avoid vulnerabilities 

– Keeping access controls up to date and in line with the organization’s risk tolerance levels

The challenge of maintaining a healthy security posture is that it involves many different factors, which are constantly changing. Being able to stay ahead of cybercriminals can be difficult without the help of a competent security partner. At the same time, it is important for businesses to ensure that their compliance efforts are not just check-the-box exercises, but rather integral parts of an overall security strategy.

Partner with a Managed Security Services Provider

When choosing a security partner, it is important to look for one that has a well-rounded approach to security and can help your organization achieve and maintain both compliance and a healthy security posture.

For more information on this topic, including expert knowledge on the difference between security compliance and security posture, get in touch with Axiom. Our team of security experts and advisors is always happy to answer questions and offer helpful advice.