The Role of Compliance in Cybersecurity

The overall technology landscape is evolving at a breakneck pace. While these changes are meant to improve the quality of life, the unfortunate flip side is an increase in cyberthreats. This is why global cybersecurity spending increased from nearly $40 billion in 2019 to $54 billion in 2021.1 Unfortunately, due to a lack of spending on personnel or technology, SMBs are most likely to be targeted by threat actors.

Many organizations fall victim to cybercrime because compliance and security are not a high priority for them. For your organization to run smoothly, both compliance and security are critical. While compliance ensures that your organization stays within the bounds of industry or government laws/regulations, security ensures that your organization’s integrity and vital data are safeguarded.

Know These Benefits

The following are the reasons why adhering to industry compliance regulations is so important from a cybersecurity perspective:

  • Encourages trust
    Customers usually put their trust in an organization while sharing their personal information, but unfortunately, personally identifiable information (PII) gets exposed in around 80% of security breaches.2 Following regulatory standards demonstrates that the organization cares about its customers and wants to protect sensitive data.
  • Improves security posture
    Regulatory compliance helps improve an organization’s overall security posture by establishing a consistent baseline of minimum security requirements.
  • Reduces loss
    Data breaches are less likely to take place when security is improved. This lowers the cost of data loss, which can skyrocket when you factor in lost revenue, restoration costs, legal penalties, and compensation.
  • Increases control
    Improved security leads to increased control over the IT infrastructure. This can help prevent data loss/corruption and reduce the amount of time spent fighting cyberattacks.

Industries and Regulations

While each industry has its own set of cybersecurity issues, some overlap. Phishing, for example, is a threat that almost all industries face. To combat these challenges, each sector has its own set of compliance and regulatory standards with specific provisions for security and privacy.

Some regulations apply to multiple industries as well. Note that compliance regulations change from one country to the next and sometimes even within the same country. Let’s take a look at some of the industries and their associated regulations:


In the healthcare industry, shared data is highly sensitive. Cybercriminals who steal protected health information (PHI) usually fetch a high price for it on the dark web. Therefore, there are regulations in place, like the ones mentioned below, to ensure the secure handling of data:

  • In the United States, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prohibits the disclosure of PHI without the patient’s consent.
  • In the European Union (EU), generic data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), regulate the handling of health-related data.


Finance is often the most regulated sector because a big chunk of data revolves around payments and financial transfers. Some of the most popular regulations in this industry are listed below.

  • The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) is an information security standard aimed at reducing payment card fraud for organizations that deal with branded payment cards. The scope of this regulation goes beyond the financial industry.
  • In Japan, the Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI) regulates the commercial usage of personal data.
  • The EU’s Payment Services Directive (PSD2) governs data transfer during end-to-end payments.


There are strict regulations in the defense sector since a breach could result in the disclosure of national secrets.

  • The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) governs the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) in the United States.
  • In Australia, the Defense Industry Security Program (DISP) assists organizations in understanding and meeting their security duties when working on defense projects, contracts, and tenders.

Upgrading the compliance and security posture of your business is no more an option but rather a necessary undertaking. However, it takes significant time and effort. Our expertise and knowledge can take a considerable load off your shoulders as you factor compliance into your organization’s cybersecurity posture. Contact ITNS Consulting to schedule a compliance assessment or consultation.


  1. Statista
  2. IBM CDBR 2020

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