How Do Integrations And Automation Help You In Building A Robust Security Program?

June 7, 2022

When it comes to compliance, the best way to complete your compliance readiness and to seamlessly sail through audits is by using automation. This is probably not the first time you have heard this since automation, along with concepts like AI, machine learning, continuous compliance and SaaS integrations, are the buzzwords of IT compliance today.

Compliance with frameworks such as SOC 2, ISO 27001 and HIPAA is a basic requirement today for SaaS companies to command the trust of prospects and customers. However, if the compliance process is dependent on manual evidence collection, there are high chances of major gaps in security, privacy protection and the other facets of compliance.

Using technology, you can instead automate your compliance processes and ensure continuous compliance. 

Explaining Continuous Compliance

Continuous compliance is required to ensure robust compliance. It is also required to pass the audit for any framework such as SOC 2 Type 2 that requires more than just point-in-time compliance. Achieving continuous compliance requires continuous monitoring of assets, such as SaaS services, data stores, and employee workstations. Continuous monitoring is the only way to quickly identify and remedy security gaps such as unauthorized user access, missing workstation security tools such as anti-virus and password manager applications, and publicly exposed confidential data.

From the point of view of the auditor, continuous compliance is verified by being able to take a random sample of evidence over a given time period to confirm that a particular control is actually being implemented. 

Continuous compliance therefore requires 24/7 monitoring and evidence collection, so the auditor can verify the evidence of properly implemented controls. For example: In Q3, were all production releases of the company’s SaaS application tested and authorized by the QA organization prior to release? Were all employees properly onboarded in completing security awareness training and acknowledging the company’s Code of Conduct?

Why Set Up Integrations to Automate Compliance?

Integrations enable a compliance solution provider to monitor cloud platform services and SaaS applications – AWS, Azure, GCP, Github, Jira, Google Workspace, Jamf … –  and collect evidence for the auditor to eventually verify. 

Absent an automated mechanism of this kind, compliance teams must manually hunt for Jira tickets, take screenshots, run reports, and then painstaking associate that evidence with the correct controls. Manual is painful.

For automated monitoring to provide significant benefit, a compliance automation platform must of course offer integration with all the many cloud platforms and applications used by customers. In Akitra’s case, these integrations total over 95.

How do Integrations and Continuous Automated Monitoring Help Reduce the Compliance Overhead Burden?

Compliance has traditionally been a time-consuming process, requiring lots of time, resources and often heavy spending on outside consultants. Continuous monitoring and collection of audit evidence via API integrations, however, lend themselves well to an automated method. This type of automation typically greatly shortens the schedule for compliance readiness and audit, and requires fewer IT staff. The quality of compliance is typically also significantly improved, given that automation ensures that monitoring and evidence gathering is completed consistently, accurately and on schedule.

The result can be significantly better ROI from compliance. Successful certification can be completed in weeks not months, and the cost of outside vendors such as security consultants and auditors is typically cut by well over 50% in most cases, versus traditional manual compliance methods.

Akitra’s Andromeda Compliance Manages the Start-to-Finish Compliance Journey

Using Akitra’s native integrations and automated monitoring, your company can benefit from the following:

  1. Automate Monitoring, Send Alerts – Around the Clock

Avoid security mishaps caused by control failures that go unreported. Akitra monitors compliance 24/7, quickly identifies control gaps, sends prioritized alerts to the compliance team, and provides playbooks detailing how to resolve problems promptly.

  1. Automate the Evidence Collection Process

On a regular or on-demand basis, you can collect evidence from dozens of cloud-based apps and services. Backup settings, encryption settings, access control, user lists, software release management evidence, and more are all examples of types of evidence you may automatically collect. All proof includes meta-data, such as where it came from, a timestamp, the user who set it up, and so on — so auditors can trust the evidence.

  1. Manage the Compliance Project

You rely on your coworkers on the compliance team and across the organization to complete their tasks on time and deliver the right evidence for audits. Akitra allows assigning tasks and ownership of specific elements of the compliance process, such as individual policies or categories of controls, and tracking status. Akitra also connects seamlessly with your existing project management tools, allowing you to send tasks and requests from within Akitra’s platform. 

  1. Communicate with Stakeholders

Akitra provides a commenting and messaging system, so that all users – auditors, compliance coordinator, administrators, members of the internal compliance team etc – can communicate within the Akitra platform for task assignments, issue resolution, additional evidence requests, and the like. Reports are generated as needed or on a scheduled basis and distributed to management and compliance team members.

  1. Manage Company Policies 

An auditor will analyze your company's current security policies, such as the incident response plan, business continuity plan, and privacy policy, as part of an IT compliance audit. With Akitra Compliance, you can access a full suite of pre-built, customizable policies, suitable for use across multiple compliance frameworks. You can track policy review schedules and provide notifications, to ensure policies are reviewed annually. And all policies are centrally maintained.

Integrations Available on Akitra’s Compliance Platform

Akitra’s Andromeda Compliance platform integrates with a wide variety of services, such as cloud storage, project management, communications, cloud infrastructure, DevOps, security, and business apps. Akitra’s Andromeda Compliance Platform supports 95+ integrations, that work seamlessly with all the cloud platforms and SaaS services you’re already using. In fact, Akitra offers more integrations than any other vendor in the industry.

Check out this list of examples of some of these integrations.

Compliance Automation with Akitra!

Establishing trust is a crucial competitive differentiator when courting new SaaS businesses in today's era of data breaches and compromised privacy. Customers and partners want assurances that the organizations with whom they do business are doing everything possible to prevent disclosing sensitive data and putting them at risk. Compliance certification fills that need.

Akitra offers an industry-leading, AI-powered Compliance Automation platform for SaaS companies. Using automated evidence collection and continuous monitoring, together with a full suite of customizable policies and controls as a compliance foundation, our service helps customers become certified for SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPPA, PCI DSS, GDPR, and NIST 800-53. Our compliance and security experts will also provide you with the customized guidance you need to confidently navigate the end-to-end compliance process. 

The benefits of our solution include enormous savings in time, human resources, and money -- including discounted audit fees with our audit firm partners. Customers achieve compliance certification fast and cost-effectively, stay continuously compliant as they grow, and can become certified under additional frameworks using a single compliance automation platform.

Build customer trust. Choose Akitra TODAY!‍

To book your FREE DEMO, contact us right here.