What is a good compliance program?

March 7, 2023

All businesses must demonstrate that they protect their customers’ information. For many small businesses, that means using a reputable payment management system. For large enterprises, tech companies, and software developers which capture data and information, the standards of privacy, security, and compliance rise to a much higher standard. So, what is good compliance? What is not? How can you tell the difference?  

Compliance as a professional field  

Compliance means adhering to a set of rules, such as a policy, standard, specification or law. It establishes the governance of an organization. Compliance officers are responsible for overseeing and managing regulatory compliance issues within an organization. They develop compliance programs, internal audits, review company policies and advise on potential threats and risks to an organization, explains Joelle King, CorporateCompliance Officer for Movius. Furthermore, a Compliance Officer is responsible for ensuring that each department within an organization is adhering to regulatory requirements, client contractual obligations as well as internal procedures. A Compliance Officer is responsible for driving compliance management throughout the business and leading the charge regarding External, Client and Regulatory audits. They help an organization reach their goals regarding certifications and lead the programs which guide these efforts.

Although the specific standards which a compliance officer must enforce vary based on the function and contracts of the organization, the process of compliance follows the same general principle: if you say that you meet a technical standard, you must define, test, monitor and regularly report the results to demonstrate that you meet this standard.  

Standards can either be public or private. On the public side, the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) and ITI drafted the “Standards as a Tool for Achieving Public Policy and Regulatory Goals (SPUR)” and consolidated a list of commonly used international standards for cybersecurity, privacy, AI, IoT and biometrics. The most proliferate members of this cybersecurity list are ISO certifications, discussed below.  

ISO and SOC  

It is common for enterprises, tech companies, and software developers to be ISO or SOC (Service Organization Control) certified. These certifications ensure that your quality management system follows all best practices and cover all necessary areas including evidencing regulatory activities. “It’s a fact check that we do what we say we do. For example, if we state, we complete testing monthly, the Auditor will review reporting to ensure it is completed on a monthly basis,” explains Joelle King, the Corporate Compliance Officer at Movius.  

 At Movius, we are ISO27001 and SOC 2 Type 2 Certified.

The International Organization for Standardization, ISO, is a non-governmental, international organization that stipulates standards to ensure the safety, legitimacy, quality, and efficiency of products, services, and systems. ISO certifications apply to many different areas of industry.[1] 

“ISO 27001 Certification is a business differentiator and demonstrates to other business [that] they can trust your organization to manage valuable third party information assets/data and intellectual property; this fosters a wealth of new opportunities whilst protecting your business from exposure to risk.” [2] Among other things, a company needs to be able to provide a risk treatment plan and a List of Security Objectives. A organization must have: organizational controls, people controls, physical controls, and technological controls in order to ensure that all divisions of compliance are considered. That is why the company Movius prides itself on being ISO 27001 certified.  

We explained about SOC reports in detail last week in A Simple Explanation of SOC 2 and SOC 3 Reports.

 Between ISO and SOC certifications, most companies will have policies in place such as: data security and privacy controls including – encryption of sensitive information, payment security, firewalls, training their employees on phishing emails, and establishing procedures for data sharing and transfer.  

Contractual obligations  

“In addition to our Certifications, Movius is diligent in the pursuit of maintaining all Client contractual obligations as well. This is another critical portion of its Compliance activities. “It is our priority and our passion to be a fully committed partner. We continuously improve together. As the industry changes and as new regulations are implemented, we pursue these efforts together, working towards a higher level of excellence every step of the way” explains Joelle King, as she leads Movius to greater achievements. 

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