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The Importance of a Comprehensive Compliance Management System Framework

compliance management system

A compliance management system ensures that your organization adheres to internal standards and external regulations. It helps minimize non-compliance risks and can even save your business money in the long run.

A comprehensive compliance management system framework, designed with guidance from a cybersecurity compliance services advisor, can help your organization secure its customer data year-round. The following are a few of the most essential steps to creating such a system:

Risk Assessment

With global regulations proliferating and increasing stakeholder expectations, organizations face more compliance risk than ever. Therefore, they must have a comprehensive compliance management system framework that focuses on managing ESG, cyber, third-party risk management, and other risks end-to-end.

Risk assessments are the starting point for risk mitigation efforts, and they should focus on finding possible dangers that could impact corporate assets. To do so, it's vital to identify and assess risks as they emerge. These include IT systems, physical infrastructure, business operations, and a company's reputation.

A risk assessment should also consider how much time or money the company stands to lose if the identified risks are allowed to materialize. This metric helps to determine whether a risk is significant or not. Institutions with robust CMS typically conduct comprehensive risk assessments regularly, and the frequency of these assessments increases as an institution grows in complexity and size. The results of these assessments are used for operational planning and monitoring. The risk assessment process should be an ongoing, dynamic effort involving the Board, senior management, and internal audit.

Monitoring

As the risk environment grows more complex and compliance directives become more demanding, businesses recognize that more than pre-existing compliance management operations will be required to meet increasing regulatory requirements. While many companies are rushing to adopt new technology and reshape their internal structures, a holistic approach to managing risk is necessary to ensure success.

A vital element of any effective compliance management system is the monitoring process, which includes condition monitoring. It is the function that verifies that an organization is adhering to all of its internal and external regulations and ensures the health of critical assets. A robust monitoring program, including condition monitoring techniques, will self-identify and correct deficiencies and will be designed to ensure compliance with all relevant standards while proactively identifying potential risks and addressing them promptly.

Companies that collect, process, transmit, or store credit card data must comply with other industry standards to minimize the risk of security breaches that could result in hefty fines from banks or payment processors. In these instances, it is critical that all of an organization’s employees are fully capable, qualified, and adequately motivated to manage and mitigate these risks. In addition, senior compliance staff should be given the appropriate authority and independence from business line managers to perform their functions effectively.

Reporting

Keeping up to date on regulatory changes can take time and effort. A system that enables you to streamline compliance processes and integrate them into your business operations can help alleviate this burden. A comprehensive GRC tool can also help you to create automated reporting and alerts that make monitoring easier.

Ensure you have a system to communicate with employees and encourage two-way communication regularly. This includes providing a mechanism for employees to report compliance issues, unethical behavior, or fraud without fear of retaliation. The more your employees understand the importance of compliance management, the more engaged they will be.

Investing in a comprehensive compliance management system framework helps you stay on the right side of regulatory bodies, have stable financial departments, and build a solid reputation for your company. In addition, non-compliance with regulations may result in hefty fines, penalties, and legal fees. Avoid these costs by having a system that monitors and tracks your risk levels, compliance status, and threats. This way, you will always be ready for an examination or target review.

Training

Any organization needs to have a comprehensive compliance management system. A complete framework helps ensure that policies are followed and that the company is not at risk of a data breach or other violations. This is especially true as the digital wave brings new risks that must be addressed and accounted for.

For a business to have an effective compliance management system, it should include leadership from different departments and areas of the company. Then, these leaders should ensure that the policy is being implemented and enforced. This includes training that goes over the requirements of the policies and ensures the team is up to speed on any policy changes.

Regulatory compliance standards are becoming more complex and strict. Failure to comply can lead to legal penalties, financial losses, and a tarnished reputation. Comprehensive compliance systems ensure that a company is always up-to-date with industry standards and can address potential problems before they become full-blown threats.

Remediation

A comprehensive compliance management system framework includes a remediation component to correct violations and weaknesses identified through monitoring and auditing. A robust CMS will encourage two-way communication with employees, allowing them to report questions or concerns without fear of retaliation.

This helps prevent a “silo mentality” in which specific departments do not communicate effectively or follow protocol for reporting issues, which may contribute to violations and regulatory risks. A good CMS will also monitor consumer complaints to identify the problems of potential consumer harm or other compliance risk management deficiencies or violations and then take appropriate remedial action.

Effectively managing multiple regulatory compliances and corporate policies and procedures in a coordinated manner is challenging for organizations. A centralized, automated incident compliance management solution can provide one point of reference for monitoring and tracking incidents across the organization. This provides a more holistic view of your enterprise compliance, eliminating siloed processes and making it easier for the Board to demonstrate adherence to regulatory and reliability standards. This can help you avoid costly penalties and legal actions.

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