Trends shaping the traditional compliance risk assessment in 2021

traditional compliance risk assessment in 2021

In today’s tumultuous global landscape and complex regulatory environment, compliance is the one reliable way organisations can make sure the wheels aren’t flying off.

What we’ve seen though is that our general approach to compliance risk assessments fail to create a more proactive spirit across our operations. With the disruptions caused by the pandemic, the insidious nature of modern cyberattacks, and the increase in cybersecurity investments—predicted to exceed $1 trillion by this year—compliance assessments need to go beyond their traditional scope to add real value to our strategies.

The question then is, how these evaluations are being shaped by the trends sweeping the security landscape.

While businesses are embracing more sophisticated technology, including machine learning-driven compliance automation, there are many more forces at play. Let’s take a look at what these are.

An increased focus on consolidation and collaboration

Traditional compliance risk assessments have a notorious reputation for being static and providing a point-in-time view of a company’s status.

Today, what we need is greater consolidation and correlation across the evaluations we’re conducting. While cybersecurity compliance is a distinct area of operations, it is affected by the work of other teams. 

Given this critical interdependence, it’s important that these streams come together—along with the relevant buy-in—to provide a complete picture of your compliance risks and overall status. 

In this process, connecting the dots is just as important. A rigid view of your adherence to security regulations may not provide an accurate picture of the backdrop against which your teams are operating.

Automated compliance for more on-the-go insights

Instead of viewing assessments as a periodic commitment, another trend we’re really excited about is that security compliance monitoring is becoming a living and breathing activity, so to speak.

With the growing sophistication of machine learning, automation-driven risk management platforms now allow businesses to keep tabs, constantly, on their compliance. 

This kind of continuous assessment naturally comes with plenty of benefits. To begin with, it allows you to make fixes and modify your security operations in real-time without waiting to conduct a traditional evaluation. 


Accordingly, the automatic report generation feature of this technology is one of the most exciting developments. It allows your teams to provide frequent updates on the state of compliance with top-level executives and relevant stakeholders, helping you maintain transparency and accountability across your security compliance operations.

A greater focus on preparedness and risk management

COVID-19 has taught security leaders one important thing: Even the best-laid plans can be misaligned in the face of unprecedented, global crises.

What this means for the industry is that our compliance strategies need to account for crisis preparedness and responses that address various scenarios and disasters. 

In response, our compliance assessments will also need to become flexible in a way that accounts for rapid changes in the regulatory landscape and the processes you have in place to manage these uncertainties.

Fortunately, modern compliance management systems support this level of flexibility. What’s important is that you replicate this approach across your strategy and ensure your assessments highlight gaps and risks that occur in these situations effectively.

Greater accountability across the compliance risk assessment process

With investors and other stakeholders becoming more involved in a business’ operations, keeping them satisfied that you’re on top of your game when it comes to security compliance is becoming more important.

With the increasing spate of risks we’re seeing emerge, there will need to be a clearer segmentation of duties and responsibilities, more comprehensive assessments, and powerful reporting tools to meet stakeholder expectations.

How this will affect compliance assessments is that it will force teams to dig deeper and commit to more thorough processes, leaving no stone unturned.

Compliance risk assessments are changing—and we need to change along with them

The security world is in constant flux and we can no longer afford to be caught on the back foot. Compliance risk assessments are a tried and tested way to stay ahead, but we can longer rely on the old way of doing things.

By keeping up with the latest trends and adapting our evaluations around these, it’s easier to be prepared for a more uncertain future; but one that poses plenty of potential for organisations ready to meet them too.

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