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The Effect of Remote Work on IT Compliance Audits

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COVID-19 has changed everyone’s life. Companies are trying their best to control the pandemic situation. Most countries are already shut down. However, regulatory compliances are still applicable to every company. These compliances focus on information security. Most companies are using the internet for doing remote work. Thus, security compliances are still applicable to these companies.

Most employees have already embraced remote work. Regulators might be asking you for ISO certification, SOC report, and PCI ROC. If you are working in the healthcare sector, then HITRUST certification is important for you. It will be very difficult to obtain these certificates from third-party providers. However, many regulators are still asking these certificates from organizations. These certificates will ensure that your customer’s data is secured. Fortunately, the regulatory bodies already understand the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. They have been very proactive in dealing with this situation. Most regulatory bodies have already issued new guidelines for organizations. This will help auditors in completing their audits. In this article, we are going to discuss the effect of remote work on compliance audits.

The Age of Remote Work

Most employees are using remote work for completing their work. Thus, it is becoming more important with time. However, there are many concerns related to remote work. Companies need to ensure that everything is connected. Also, remote work might have some negative effects on your current projects. It is important to ensure that your employees can effectively communicate with each other.

There are many amazing tools available for remote workers in the market. Your employees can use tools like Teams, Slack, and Skype for communicating with each other. These tools will help your employees in collaborating with each other. Many companies were ignoring these technologies in the past. However, they can still learn about these tools. These tools will help you in improving the productivity of your employees. Thus, your employees can complete their work without coming to the office. The coronavirus pandemic is going to continue for some time. If your employees can complete their work remotely, then you should embrace remote work. This will help you in protecting your workforce from this pandemic.

Regulatory Organizations Response

Regulatory bodies understand the challenges of COVID-19. They know that it is hard to get certified due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, they have issued many guidelines for companies. These guidelines will help you in meeting compliance requirements during this pandemic.

  1. AICPA

The AICPA has already published guidance on its website. You can use this guide for conducting remote audits. This will ensure that companies can get certified during this pandemic. However, they have still not released any guidance for the SOC 2 reports. This report is important for many companies. If you are working in the financial report, then you need to follow the SOC compliance. However, you can use the same guidelines in performing the SOC audits. If you have a CPA firm, then you can also use an alternate method to complete the audit. You just need to document the effectiveness of your security controls.

  1. HITRUST

HITRUST has also released new guidelines on its website. You can follow these procedures for completing the remote audit. They have already removed the on-site assessments from their guidelines. This will ensure that you don’t need to worry about on-site assessments. However, they have already removed these guidelines for some time. You still need to provide sufficient evidence to the regulatory body. This will ensure that you are following all the compliance requirements. These guidelines are going to affect the on-site observation tests. For example, it will be difficult to observe physical protections. HITRUST has already given some examples on their website about the alternate procedures. Auditors can use these procedures for gaining sufficient evidence. They can check your camera footage and facility diagrams. Also, they will ask you for your access logs and maintenance records.

They have already released a Bridge Assessment for companies. This will help companies in maintaining their HITRUST certification during this crisis. Your certificate will be valid for three more months now. Thus, you don’t need to worry about immediately getting a new certification. This will give companies enough time to prepare for an audit.

  1. ISO

ISO has also released a statement on the current situation. All the ISO technical meetings will be held virtually now. If companies don’t have access to remote tools, then they should postpone these meetings. Most ISO accreditors were only allowing 30% remote audits in the past. However, they have changed their guidelines after the COVID-19 pandemic. They are allowing full remote audits without any special permission.

  1. PCI

PCI has also released guidance on its website. These guidelines will help you accreditors in completing the remote audits. They have been proactive in dealing with the current situation. The PCI SSC is already approving the remote audits. They have released guidelines related to these remote audits. Thus, these guidelines will help companies in preparing for a remote audit. These guidelines can be modified in the future. Most companies are still using external penetration tests. However, internal penetration tests are also possible now. There are many amazing processes available in the market that will help you in conducting these tests. The auditors don’t need to worry about visiting your office space. Thus, this is perfect for every company.

Conclusion

The current pandemic has increased the usage of remote tools. Most companies are relying on their IT infrastructure for completing their project. Thus, remote work is becoming more important with time. Regulators need to ensure that you are still following the security compliances. These compliances are necessary to ensure that you are protecting your customer’s data. It can be difficult to check the environmental and physical protections during this pandemic. Thus, regulators will use a different method to check your security level.

These things are not going to affect your business operations immediately. However, it is important to prepare for remote audits. If you are working with an MSP provider, then they will help you in preparing for these audits. These providers will help you in achieving your compliance needs. Thus, you should consider working with MSP providers. If you need more information regarding security audits, then you can contact Bleuwire.

Contact us today to learn about Bleuwire™  services and solutions in how we can help your business.

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