Most industries, especially those that deal with healthcare information, financial information, or other secure data, have compliance standards that must be met. Without meeting those compliance standards, your business can be subject to serious fines. In some cases, you might even be shut down. In the effort to reach compliance standards, you might overlook one key detail: compliance and security are two different things. If you want to be truly secure, it’s necessary to go above and beyond compliance standards.

Compliance standards represent the bare minimum.

They’re the bare minimum that the government requires to keep a business in your industry from offering an open door to hackers. They often rely on a bare minimum standard. Unfortunately, if that’s all you’re keeping up with, the odds are good that hackers will see your business as an excellent target.

Compliance standards don’t address the latest challenges in your industry. 

Changing compliance standards is a process, and it’s not one that most government officials undertake until there’s a real, present reason to make a change. In many cases, compliance standards may be entirely outdated.It will take time for them to catch up to the level at which hackers are now operating, and by the time they do, hackers will already have increased their strategies and found new loopholes and vulnerabilities.

Compliance standards are the work of by government officials, not industry specialists. 

In many cases, they may lack a full understanding of what is really needed to create true security within a business. In some cases, they may have only the most basic working knowledge of current compliance standards and a few changes that need to be made based on threats that have recently made big waves. Industry specialists have a better idea of what is necessary to truly secure your business. By going beyond compliance and taking the recommendations of those qualified security professionals, you can better protect the confidential data stored on your network.

Risk management is an ongoing process.

Today’s compliance, or even security, may be tomorrow’s wide open door, especially if you’re working in a fast-paced industry with a range of software. Zero day exploits, or exploits that have recently been uncovered and have not yet been patched, can leave your business scrambling to close a security hole, especially if your security standards meet only the at bare minimum compliance. If you’re treating security as a compliance issue, and not as a constant risk management process, you may find yourself leaving gaping holes in your security until time for next year’s evaluation rolls around.

Compliance doesn’t pay attention to the latest details of security.

Just like new exploits come out on a regular basis, many security companies are working overtime to create new ways to protect your data and your customers. Host Identity Protocol (HIP) technology, for example, allows you to create a trusted cryptographic identity for each endpoint, better protecting each of your users and ensuring that you have the best possible protections for all of your users. This technology is PCI compliant, but it’s not required to keep your compliance standards in spite of the fact that it offers a greater level of security to your users and your business.

Maintaining compliance standards are great. In fact, compliance standards are a great starting point for ensuring that your business is as well-protected as it should be. In many cases, however, compliance standards are merely that: a starting point. By working with a qualified network security company, you’ll quickly find that there’s a big difference between maintaining normal industry compliance and making your business as secure as possible. If you’re ready to take your security to the next level, it’s time to find a great security team that can make a big difference for your company.