Compliance

A Guide to Sticker Shock Prevention - Lowering InfoSec Compliance Audit Costs With Automation

Eden Amitai
August 1, 2021


How much money does it cost to meet and maintain InfoSec Compliance frameworks like SOC 2, ISO 27001, and ITGC each year?



A whole lot (and then there’s the time + effort it’ll cost you, too!).

For a more precise answer though, that is going to depend on a lot of factors: the number of frameworks being audited for; the amount of evidence collected; the size of the organization; the number of SaaS tools and the complexity of the environment; as well as a bunch of other factors. There are a ton of variables to account for which can affect the total cost one thing that’s for certain is that organizations spend somewhere in the ballpark of $4 million on Compliance activities annually.

And it’s not as if organizations can simply opt out of meeting InfoSec Compliance requirements. The cost of failing to comply with InfoSec Compliance frameworks is astronomical; think about the lost partnerships and deals, as well as loss of reputation that results due to failing to have the proper framework in place. Moreover, in some cases, we are talking about regulations, such as HIPAA and PCI-DSS, which are mandatory for any organizations falling within their purview.

Want to get a better idea of how much InfoSec Compliance is going to cost your organization? Let's look at some of the factors that will influence the total price:

  • Company size - It’s no surprise that the bigger the organization, the more it costs to meet and maintain Compliance frameworks. Startups can expect to pay in the ballpark of $35,000, while midsize and enterprise companies can pay upwards of $100,000.
  • The amount of employee-time expended - Prepping for audits takes a lot of time which could have been put towards core functionalities. Whether you assign an InfoSec team member to be the “Compliance person” or hire outside consultants, there’s a definite people-cost that often goes overlooked when considering the total dollar expenditure.  
  • Auditor costs - Audits must be performed by specific types of auditors; SOC 2 by a CPA who is a certified auditor, ISO 27001 by an ISO approved auditor, PCI by Qualified Security Assessors, and so on. Each type of auditor comes with their own associated fees, thereby impacting the costs.  
  • Number of SaaS tools/Complexity of IT stack - As companies evolve from small startups to medium size and (hopefully!) hyper-growth companies, their environments inherently go from simple-to-understand and account for, to highly complex and unpredictable. Now add to this the growing number of SaaS tools and the complexity of the IT tools used, which need to be covered in the evidence collection process.
  • Number of frameworks - Many companies require different frameworks; For example, a company with a solid customer base in both the US and Europe will want to get both SOC 2 and ISO 27001. If that same company creates chips, some of which go towards medical devices which hold PHI, they will likely have to be HIPAA compliant as well. They may also need to comply with PCI-DSS on some systems and if they are publicly traded, they need to comply with SOX.
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Lowering The Cost of Audits With Automation

As these factors start to pile up, the costs of meeting and maintaining frameworks obviously goes up in sync. But Compliance doesn't have to leave such a significant footprint; automation is the answer to minimizing costs. A recent poll by security firm Coalfire found that by implementing automation, organizations reduce costs and achieve Compliance faster, and more than 60 percent of organizations polled said that automation is helping reduce Compliance costs.

Here’s a look at how automation makes this possible (and makes your work life a lot less stressful):

  • Saves time and effort - Automation reduces time-investment, enabling businesses to focus on primary goals and KPIs.
  • Removes dependencies and prevents audit fatigue - Automation enables teams to eliminate dependencies so teams can prepare for audits without relying on other stakeholders.
  • Eliminates errors - With automated evidence collection, teams can prevent mistakes that lead to audit failure. And automated data-to-control mapping and collection capabilities ensure that teams always have the needed information and their evidence always fulfills requirements.
  • Makes adopting frameworks simple and cost-effective - Teams can stop wasting time on repetitive work and lower their overall costs when adopting new frameworks.
  • Negates the need for consultants/specialized skills - With automation, organizations don't need to understand specific clauses or hire consultants to explain them. Out-of-the-box control translation and effortless mapping make understanding requirements easy.

So How Much Does Meeting InfoSec Compliance Frameworks Cost?

With Compliance automation, it’s a lot less than you’re thinking.

Whether you're part of a startup, hyper-growth company, or an enterprise, meeting InfoSec Compliance frameworks are really important benchmarks on your way to implementing optimal Compliance (and therefore, security) best practices. But getting there shouldn't be cost-prohibitive.

It’s time to incorporate automation into InfoSec Compliance processes.

Automating Compliance means that teams can stop dealing with repetitive tedious work, like chasing stakeholders, taking endless screenshots, and starting audit preparation from scratch each time.

With automation—regardless of how you grow, the SaaS tools you add on or get rid of, and how many frameworks you've got to meet—your Compliance costs stay manageable and transparent.

Eden Amitai
Love Technology, User Psychology, and Marketing. Believe in working hard to play hard. Director of Product Marketing at anecdotes.

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