Cyber Security

A-LIGN’s 2023 Report highlights opportunity for Audit Efficiency

2023 Compliance Benchmark Report Examines the Increasing Significance of Automation and the Crucial Role that Auditor Experience Plays in Securing a Competitive Advantage

A-LIGN, the leading cybersecurity compliance solutions provider, announced the release of its 2023 Compliance Benchmark Report. The third annual report highlights how and why strategic compliance is a competitive advantage for business.

A-LIGN interviewed a total of 588 cybersecurity professionals and company leaders around the world in a variety of industries. The core of the report focuses on the driving force behind the compliance program for organizations. The report found 72% of respondents have conducted an audit to win new business, marking an increase from 63% in 2022. Conversely, 29% of respondents reported they have lost new business because of a missing compliance certification.

“As the cybersecurity compliance industry evolves, we’re witnessing a clear shift towards organizations conducting audits to win new business and build trust with customers,” said Giles House, Chief Marketing and Product Officer of A-LIGN. “The report also highlights the opportunity to improve the efficiency of compliance programs by consolidating audits with a single trusted partner that combines automation and experience.  Organizations can save valuable time and effort, while instilling a greater level of trust to their customers and prospects.”

Additional 2023 A-LIGN Benchmark Report key findings highlight the need to streamline audit processes by a vast increase in audit software usage as well as the ability to consolidate to save effort during the audit.

  • Increasing adoption of audit software drives compliance efficiency:
    • 91% of respondents said their organization uses software to prepare for audits, a staggering 66% increase from 2021 and a 20% increase from 2022.
  • Organizations can see a range of benefits from audit consolidation:
    • 98% of organizations believe there is a benefit to consolidating audits. Benefits of consolidation include a consistent approach to completing multiple assessments and the ability to conduct multiple assessments with one vendor to save time, money, and resources.
  • Organizations could save time and money by consolidating audits:
    • 47% of respondents said their organizations conduct one or more audits and assessments per year, but plan for them individually. Additionally, 50% of respondents said the top reason they might switch audit providers is for a more efficient and less time-consuming process.

The report also offers a collection of best practices that organizations can adopt to enhance their compliance program in 2023 and beyond.

  1. Embrace strategic compliance: Strategic compliance aligns compliance efforts with an organization’s overall strategy and objectives, emphasizing a proactive approach rather than reactive audits. This includes risk assessments, monitoring and reporting, and continuous improvement to integrate compliance with strategic planning and execution processes.
  2. Develop a Master Audit Plan (MAP): By creating a detailed plan that establishes an organization’s audit strategy and schedule for the next year or several years, organizations can enable internal teams to plan and execute audits in line with the company’s overall objectives.
  3. Consolidate Audits & Auditors: To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the audit process, organizations should coordinate multiple audits and auditors into a single effort to reduce duplication of effort and ensure consistent application of audit standards and procedures.
  4. Leverage Technology with Auditor Experience: Audit software is a powerful tool for fostering strategic compliance by automating manual audit processes, enhancing auditor efficiency, improving audit accuracy and completeness, and providing better insights into organizational risks and controls.
  5. Strategic Compliance is a Continuum: To mature in strategic compliance, organizations must move beyond basic compliance to a more proactive approach to risk management by adopting a strategic approach to compliance management rather than a reactive one.

The 2023 Compliance Benchmark Report is divided into seven industry segments to highlight industry benchmarks into compliance budgets, priorities, and opportunities for improvement. To learn more, download the 2023 Compliance Benchmark Report here. 

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