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How to Use Strategic Cybersecurity Compliance for a Competitive Advantage 

As cyberattacks continue to grow and evolve, cybersecurity has become a top concern for organizations of all sizes and industries. One way that organizations can protect themselves and demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity is by establishing and maintaining robust compliance programs. 

Compliance with recognized cybersecurity frameworks and standards can help organizations build trust with existing and potential customers and partners by demonstrating that they have implemented effective security controls to protect sensitive data and systems. 

In this blog, we will share statistics from A-LIGN’s 2023 Compliance Benchmark Report that demonstrate the benefits of using cybersecurity compliance as a competitive advantage. Read on for tips that will help you leverage compliance as a way to win new business. 

The Benefits of Cybersecurity Compliance 

One of the primary benefits of cybersecurity compliance is that it can help organizations improve their overall security posture. Compliance with cybersecurity frameworks can help organizations identify and address security weaknesses and vulnerabilities, reducing the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches. With the right assessments and certifications, organizations can establish effective security policies and procedures that can help prevent cyber incidents before they happen. 

Many industries are subject to legal and regulatory requirements related to cybersecurity. In these cases, compliance isn’t a nice-to-have, it is an obligation. Maintaining compliance helps organizations avoid potential legal or regulatory penalities or reputational damage resutling from non-compliance. 

Beyond regulatory requirements and basic security, compliance can also provide organizations with a competitive advantage in the marketplace. By demonstrating that they have implemented effective security controls, organizations can differentiate themselves from competitors who may not have implemented similar controls or who have experienced cybersecurity breaches in the past.  

With the right certifications and controls and a strategic plan for highlighting the value of compliance, organizations can win new business and expand their customer base. If two organizations are competing for a customer’s business, the one with a more robust compliance program is often viewed as the more trustworthy option. 

According A-LIGN’s research, the majority of organizations (72%) have conducted an audit or assessment to help win new business. Conversely, 29% of organizations have lost a new business deal because they were missing a compliance certification. This demonstrates that audits and assessments are an important aspect of the sales process since they can validate the effectiveness of an organization’s cybersecurity controls. 

Tips for Leveraging Cybersecurity Compliance as a Competitive Advantage 

There are numerous cybersecurity frameworks and standards to choose from, each with its own set of requirements and controls. It’s important for organizations to choose the framework that best aligns with their business needs and risk profile. Organizations should also consider the compliance requirements of their customers and partners. The A-LIGN 2023 Compliance Benchmark Report includes benchmarking data that can help organizations select the cybersecurity framework that is best suited for their industry. 

Cybersecurity compliance requires organizations to implement effective security controls. It’s important for organizations to take a risk-based approach to control implementation, focusing on the controls that are most critical to their business and risk profile. Organizations should also ensure that controls are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure their ongoing effectiveness. 

Most importantly, organizations should adopt strategic compliance initiatives, such as consolidating audits and auditors to save time and money. Implementing audit technology solutions, such as A-LIGN’s automated compliance management platform, A-SCEND, enables organizations to automate evidence collection and continuously monitor compliance to discover and remediate compliance risks. 

Cybersecurity compliance has become such a competitive advantage that the C-suite has taken notice. According to A-LIGN’s survey results, when asked about the driving force behind their compliance program, there was an even split between the desire to increase revenue/win new clients and a mandate from the board-level or C-suite. These results suggest that even at the highest level, organizations recognize that cybersecurity compliance is a competitive advantage. 

To learn more about the competitive advantages of strategic compliance, read A-LIGN’s 2023 Compliance Benchmark Report.