Ensuring Regulatory Compliance: A Guide with Cyber Security Advisory Services

In an era where digital transformation is accelerating across industries, ensuring regulatory compliance has become paramount for businesses navigating the complex landscape of cybersecurity. Regulatory frameworks, both global and industry-specific, are evolving to address the escalating threats in the digital realm. This guide explores the relationship between regulatory compliance and cybersecurity, shedding light on the pivotal role played by cybersecurity advisory services in helping organisations meet and exceed regulatory requirements.

Introduction to Cybersecurity Compliance

Cybersecurity compliance is the process of abiding by particular laws, guidelines, and standards to safeguard private data and guarantee the security of digital systems. Compliance frameworks offer instructions on how to put security controls in place, deal with data breaches, and protect client privacy within organisations.


For example, the general data protection regulation is one of the most fundamental, comprising a set of cyber security standards that all businesses and organisations must obey. GDPR declares that security incidents that happen at data processors can be held accountable by data controllers. Therefore, it is in their best interest to draft contracts that guarantee third parties have sufficient safeguards in place, lest they incur hefty fines.

Understanding Regulatory Framework

Global Regulatory Framework

The European Union’s GDPR sets a global standard for the protection of personal data. Non-compliance can result in substantial fines. Cybersecurity advisory services play a crucial role in implementing measures to secure personal data, conduct risk assessments, and develop incident response plans.


Focused on enhancing privacy rights for Californian residents, the CCPA emphasises transparency and control over personal information. Cybersecurity advisory services aid organisations in implementing data protection measures and ensuring compliance with the CCPA’s stringent requirements.


Key Cyber Security Compliance Requirements


The general data protection regulation is a law that governs how organisations process personal data. It is a far-reaching piece of legislation that contains multiple requirements for organisations. Although they can be described as requiring businesses to protect EU residents’ personal information more effectively and to give them a better chance at controlling the way their information is being used by organisations, to meet these requirements, organisations must implement and comply with a series of technical and organisational measures.


This can include the adoption of technology to prevent cyber attacks and data breaches, alongside policies and processes to ensure that suitable procedures are being followed at all times.

ISO 27001

ISO 27001 is an international standard that outlines the best practices for an information security management system. Organisations must develop a comprehensive and efficient system for managing the data they collect as well as the numerous threats they face as a result of its implementation.


Unlike the other sets of regulations and legislation mentioned, ISO 28001 is not a legal requirement by definition. Many organisations, however, will only work with ISO 27001-certified third parties.


PCI DSS, or payment card industry data security standard, is an information security standard that aims to reduce payment card fraud by tightening security controls on cardholder data.


All merchants and service providers that process, transmit, and/or store cardholder data must and should adhere to the PCI DSS guidelines and regulations.


The standard is the result of a collaborative effort between major payment brands such as American Express, Mastercard, Visa, and Discover, and is overseen by PCI SSC.


Organisations that provide third-party technical services and systems should be familiar with SOC 2.


To partner with or provide services to other companies, service organisations must typically achieve SOC 2 compliance. 


To achieve SOC 2 certification, organisations must implement controls for system monitoring, data breach changes, audit procedures, and digital forensics.


SWIFT, or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, provides the global messaging system used by financial institutions to securely transmit information and instructions.


A CSP, also known as a customer security programme, assists financial institutions in ensuring that their cyber security defences are adequate and up to date.


As part of the CSP, SWIFT established the CSCF, also known as the Customer Security Controls Framework, to assist financial services organisations in implementing a security baseline.


The SWIFT CSCF was last updated in July 2021 and consists of 21 mandatory and 10 advisory security controls for SWIFT users’ operating environments.

How to Build a Cyber Security Compliance Programme

The steps you need to take to fully comply with cyber security regulations will be determined by the requirements to which you are subject. However, many rules and regulations overlap significantly because there are generally accepted best practices for effective information security and data protection. 


Several organisations benefit from developing a cyber security compliance programme that considers all sets of requirements rather than examining each set of rules separately.


Following these five steps will help organisations develop a cyber security compliance programme.

A Cybersecurity Compliance Team

Your task is to form a team that will oversee all of your compliance projects. Establishing clear ownership of the project ensures that all relevant personnel understand their responsibilities and are authorised to take the necessary actions.


The team should include experts from various parts of your organisation. These should generally be managers or other high-level individuals, with representation from a variety of departments. 


Each team member should have a solid understanding of the organization’s compliance requirements. Enrolling them in training courses could help them better understand relevant regulations and requirements.

Outline your Cybersecurity Compliance Requirements

Now it is time to start planning your compliance programme, which begins with logging each requirement that must be met. 


You can accomplish this by creating a checklist for each set of rules that you must follow. A critical part of this process is identifying requirements from various regulations that are identical or similar. 


This reduces the amount of work required while also highlighting potential issues. If you implement controls to meet one requirement and then discover another, you may find yourself in hot water.


Writing out your compliance requirements is one of the more laborious and time-consuming aspects of the process, so you may want to seek assistance. Vigilant Software’s Compliance Manager provides a curated list of information security clauses from UK law to help speed up the process.

Establish a Risk Assessment Process

Many cybersecurity regulations require organisations to take reasonable steps to protect sensitive information. The only way to determine what controls are required is to conduct a risk assessment.


The process assists organisations in identifying areas of weakness and prioritising their efforts. It starts with identifying information assets, where sensitive information is stored, and how it is accessed.


You must then determine an appropriate level of risk, but you will soon find that there are too many to mitigate, so instead, set a threshold at which weaknesses must be addressed.


Once these steps are completed, it is your turn to complete the assessment. There are several approaches to conducting a risk assessment. For example, you could start with assets and determine how they could be compromised, or you could take each threat and track how it affects various areas of the organisation.


The assessment should take into account the risk impact, regardless of how you proceed. This is a method of assessing risks based on their likelihood of occurring and the damage they will cause. This allows you to not only compare risks but also determine which ones to prioritise.


Finally, determine the best course of action for each risk. You can treat the risk by implementing a security control; modify the risk to reduce its likelihood or probability; transfer liability, such as through cyber insurance; or tolerate the risk if it is unlikely to cause a significant problem.


Implement Relevant Controls

This is the point at which you take concrete steps to meet your compliance obligations. In some cases, the rules are prescriptive, specifying exactly what you must do. For example, you may be required to implement a specific technical control or develop a policy.


At other times, the outcome of your risk assessment may determine your next steps. In those cases, you must document the assessment’s findings, as well as a justification for your decisions.

Monitor and Respond

The compliance programme doesn’t stop once you have implemented your controls. Because your organisation and requirements are constantly changing with the introduction of new rules, technologies and potential threats, your priorities might change more often than they are stagnant.


The team must work together to monitor the controls they have implemented to ensure that they work as they originally intended and to identify any new ways to improve. They also need to try to stay ahead of the game, looking for different risks, like a new internet scam and so forth and any damaging changes in the regulatory environment.

Final Thoughts

The intricate dance between regulation and cybersecurity is no longer a choice but a necessity. By embracing compliance, you will unlock a future of enhanced security and peace of mind. Compliance seems more of a shield than a burden. Partner with the right advisors and build a safe and secure future, one regulation at a time.