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Achieving a competitive advantage and high ROI through security compliance

November 2, 2016 Article 3 min read
Tim Bowling
Want to move beyond meeting regulations and strategically leverage IT security compliance to generate revenue, boost ROI, and differentiate your business? Here are four areas to consider.

Information security is often feared as a nebulous issue that only the IT department has to deal with. The reality is, you should be concerned with complying with information security from a regulatory standpoint and leveraging compliance from a strategic point of view. With smart marketing and consulting from industry experts, investment in IT security compliance can generate a return on investment like no other compliance initiative in business today.

Generating revenue via IT certifications and third-party evaluations

Regulations and IT general control frameworks are meant to improve information security while non-compliance can result in severe fines. It may be difficult to understand which laws apply and which ones don’t because many different sets of laws can apply to one company and not another. The list of regulations grows annually with many crossing over industry sectors. For example, government agencies are increasing enforcement actions of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA). And the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) affects any company that does business with credit cards.

With the right type of evaluations, you can turn IT security compliance into a means of generating revenue, rather than a cost of doing business. 

Your clients may require that you demonstrate compliance with regulations by providing credentials, like Service Organization Control (SOC) reports, HITRUST Assessments, or ISO certifications. These are third-party internal control evaluations address IT security risk. With the right type of certifications and evaluations, you can turn IT security compliance into a means of generating revenue, rather than a cost of doing business.

Achieving a competitive advantage in the healthcare sector

Healthcare support occupations, and healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are projected to be the two fastest growing occupational groups through 2024. These groups are projected to contribute the most new jobs, with a combined increase of 2.3 million in employment, representing about one in four new jobs.

Due to this economic focus on the healthcare sector, it’s foreseeable that new technologies will create efficiencies and volume, and access to healthcare data and records will explode. A HITRUST Assessment evaluates your firm’s internal control over information systems that warehouse protected health information. It leverages an information security framework focused on the needs of organizations in the healthcare value chain and is the closest thing there is to a “HIPAA audit”. With increasing enforcement actions and heightened awareness of security breaches, leading firms in the healthcare sector are strengthening their IT security. If you’re actively supporting and deriving revenue from the healthcare sector, you can market this HITRUST Assessment and IT security compliance to create a competitive advantage in this fast growing, yet highly fragmented, market.

Alleviating customer concerns with SOC 2 reports

Many technology companies are riding high in the cloud and taking advantage of the outsourcing movement occurring in IT. Today, software rarely resides within the confines of a company’s domain but rather firms are taking advantage of the expertise, cost, ease, and elasticity of the cloud to deploy software tools. But — with all of those benefits comes risk. SOC 2 reports are extremely valuable as they demonstrate strong IT security controls and alleviate IT security concerns of potential customers. SOC 2 reports can benefit a variety of industries, whether your Software as a Service is marketed to financial services firms or manufacturing companies.

Don’t fall behind — act now

Enterprising firms recognize the value of information security frameworks as protective measures, but also leverage and market their compliance to grow revenue and demonstrate a competitive advantage over peers. To keep pace, and even get ahead of the game, it’s vital you look beyond simply complying with regulations to strategically grow your business and increase revenue.

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