Compliance 101  /  Growth

The Top Security and Compliance Hires to Make in Your First Year

You’ve started your own business, and the sky is the limit. You have a great idea and an awesome team to start building your enterprise. While there are many exciting avenues for you to go down, there is one thing you need to ensure: you have your compliance and cybersecurity bases covered. Arming your startup with these 3 officers can lead to overwhelming success down the road. Let’s take a look at why hiring compliance and security officers is vital when your business is first starting out.

The Basics of Compliance

First, let’s start out by defining what exactly compliance is. Compliance is the act of adhering to any requirements, standards, or regulations that may come with a specific industry. Full compliance can be broken down into two different parts:

  • Regulatory compliance — the steps an organization takes to comply with external laws and industry guidelines
  • Corporate compliance — the internal practices and procedures an organization sets internally to uphold company standards while also following external industry guidelines.

Not following or neglecting to stay in compliance can lead to unethical practices, or having no set policies. This can lead to confusing policies and confusing practices for your employees.

This is where a compliance department can come in. A compliance department, committee, or chief compliance expert will make sure that your cooperation follows the rules and regulations set by your industry. This can include educating employees about regulations, monitoring employee behavior, and following through on any disciplinary actions. Compliance departments or officers will look different depending on the industry — in a startup, you may only have one compliance officer instead of a full team.

What does a compliance officer do?

It might be difficult to understand why you need a compliance officer if you don’t understand what they do, or what the difference is between them and a security officer. Compliance officers have the following responsibilities:

  1. Identify the potential risks an organization faces.
  2. Create and implement processes to protect against those risks.
  3. Monitor and assess the effectiveness of those risk-prevention processes.
  4. Resolve any compliance issues and keep industry and internal standards.
  5. Advise the organization on better ways to minimize risk and comply with laws and regulations.

Industry standards are constantly changing, so your ideal compliance officer should be aware of any updates to those laws and regulations. Additionally, they should be in the room when company policies are implemented to ensure that new internal regulations are following industry guidelines.

What does a cybersecurity officer do?

Now, let’s talk about cyber security. In contrast to a compliance officer, a cyber security officer focuses mainly on — you guessed it — cyber security. You may once again fall into the trap of thinking that your business won’t be affected, but 43% of all cyber attacks target small businesses. While an enterprise can absorb a multi-million dollar data breach, a big hacker hit could sink your startup before it’s gotten off the ground.

A cybersecurity officer should be focused on building out your organization’s security online, ensuring that they bring experience and expertise to the table when it comes to keeping your precious data protected.

What does an information security manager do?

An information security manager is a professional that oversees a company’s IT department as they work through various tasks and attend to various pieces of information. Information security managers are focused on ensuring the internal IT team is effectively addressing the security needs of the organization.

General responsibilities of an information security manager involve:

  1. Provide security training to staff
  2. Develop and implement security strategies
  3. Review and analyze budgets and costs
  4. Address security breaches
  5. Recommend and implement updates to the existing system

Information security managers are considered jack-of-all-trades with cybersecurity since it’s their duty to keep your internal IT team on task. While they are not directly in the cybersecurity space, they have the tools to empower your existing IT team to dismantle and prevent any cyberthreats.

Now that we’ve established what these three officer roles are, let’s discuss why you really need them.

Why are they important?

It’s a common pitfall to think when you’re just starting out that you won’t be a target of a hacker who has much bigger fish to fry or get noticed by the federal law if some of your operations aren’t quite up to standards yet. Legal requirements don’t begin when you’re big enough to matter. Any cooperation has to uphold industry standards regardless of size. This is why having a compliance officer is necessary.

With the rising awareness of digital footprints, cybersecurity leaders are in high demand, so it may be difficult to find one. This may lead you to think twice about hiring one but think about the potential risk that is at stake. Losing your data too early can be crushing for your business, so even though the position may be difficult to fill, you should be safer than sorry.

Empower Your Business with Laika

When you are building your own compliance department, you need the right software to back it up. Laika’s automated software and services help empower startups in their compliance journey. Our compliance experts are here to support you on your journey. Reach out to our team today to see how our platform can support you.