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The Best Cybersecurity Compliance Services Compared
Very few companies, at any size, have the skill, experience, and processes to successfully manage security compliance with only internal resources. Utilizing 3rd party consultants and vendors for compliance management is becoming a standard. Why?
The short answer is that to manage the controls, evidence, and documentation for an organization’s unique combination of compliance frameworks is complicated, time-consuming, and costly. There are many ways to interpret a control or requirement in a regulation or framework.
Getting expert assistance when an organization is lacking internal skills is often the easiest way to blaze the path forward to a governance risk and compliance program (GRC) that can not only provide evidence of conformity on the first audit but also provide a repeatable process.
If you’re looking for external compliance expertise, this article provides a ranking and comparison of the best compliance-focused consultants and solutions available in 2022.
The Best Security Compliance Companies in the US
There is no lack of frameworks or regulations to which any one organization will be required to subscribe. It used to be that if an organization was public, a set of regulations and frameworks were required. Today, public or private, there are required and voluntary standards, regulations, or frameworks with which firms of all sizes must be compliant. To complicate matters, there are frameworks that are not security specific that have started to dip into security controls, making it extremely difficult for an organization to manage.
When it comes to compliance, an organization first needs to identify which regulations or frameworks will be required. Looking for a vendor or consultancy to assist with compliance will be futile until the specific mix of requirements are clarified. Requirements can be identified through government mandates, contractual clauses, or the type of industry the organization operates in. After the required regulations and frameworks are identified, voluntary frameworks should be selected to provide business value, reputation value, or help with maturing of the organization.
As previously stated, when it comes to finding the right compliance consultancy or vendor, it is critical to have the regulations or framework identified. Some companies will excel at financial regulations while having passable capabilities in other regulations or frameworks. Further, finding a company that has strong background in your organization’s sector is also key, as this may assist with identifying more applicable regulations. For instance, a company in the financial services may identify PCI as relevant but, when talking with a consultancy that works in the sector, the consultancy may find that PCI is not the right choice as the organization does not process any credit cards.
Coalfire is a highly recognized name in North America. This vendor brings a strong track record of technical, compliance, and strategic services to any engagement.
Coalfire has been known to provide guidance and sit on several framework boards, which provides the ability to help guide the requirements for some of the common frameworks that are published. With their ability to assist across industries and track record of working with some of the largest companies in the world, Coalfire is positioned to provide valuable services to your organization across almost any regulatory or compliance framework.
Optiv is one of the largest security service providers in North America and has worked with some of the most complex companies in the world. Optiv is known for providing a large selection of security services.
While it may not be as well-known as their other services, Optiv has built a strong compliance consultancy service delivery team. Optiv can provide gap assessments, program design and build, and certification. With their large consultancy, Optiv is positioned to have resources in many different regions within the US.
Barr provides services, on par with Optiv and Coalfire, for both compliance and security. While they may not be as widely known as other larger firms, Barr has been providing strong services and advisory work for customers across HITRUST, SOC2, ISO27001 and FEDRamp over the years.
Along with their internal capabilities, Barr has built out a global network of partners to assist clients with their compliance requirements regardless of location.
Foresite provides services for a vast array of frameworks, 200+. With the ability to assist with almost any framework in the market, Foresite can be the one-stop shop to build a security program for multiple compliance frameworks.
Further, they have services tailored to small and medium-sized businesses which is something that not all compliance companies are built for. Building a program for a large or enterprise customer can be easier in many respects due to increased staff and budget.
As one of the largest consultancies in the world, Accenture is positioned well to provide services related to compliance. With a strong background in security, staff augmentation, and managed services, Accenture can not only provide services and guidance to build a security program but also operate many of the core components.
Accenture provides compliance services to Fortune 500 companies for the core frameworks of FeDRAMP, ISO27001, SOC2, HiTrust, and PCI-DSS.
The Best International Security Compliance Companies
BSI is one of the largest global security certification companies. With the ability to operate in the US and EU, BSI provides a large footprint to deliver services. With being one of the largest certification organizations in the world, this comes with a need to provide consultancy services. This positions BSI to leverage highly experienced auditors to validate the consultancy practice. Further, they have built a separation between their certification and consultancy business, which would allow your organization to leverage them for both the build and certification of your security program.
KPMG is a highly recognized brand that may not be known for the services that they offer outside of their CPA offerings. However, they have a very large certification, audit, and security services arm that is very strong across the board. With this large division, KPMG has become a very strong provider of advisory services and offerings to assist clients with meeting compliance requirements. With their strong international presence and work with large enterprises, KPMG has developed a mature compliance advisory service.
Best Boutique Security Compliance Companies
SideChannel offers many services beyond compliance and is best known for their vCISO services to small to mid-market companies. They are especially adept at working with startups, which makes them equally capable of assisting with many of the compliance requirements a growing company will have.
Their highly experienced group of ex-CISOs bring the hands-on experience of building security programs that is hard to find in many consultants. Especially for the cost, they bring a unique value to any new or maturing security compliance program.
Risk3Sixy is a rising boutique shop that has put forward a lot of time and effort into building internal and external tools to assist with compliance. Like many on this list, they offer services for the core frameworks and regulations that most companies will encounter. But to add additional value, they have built a full GRC platform that their internal team utilizes for many of their engagements. So, if your organization were to use Risk3Sixty, there would be value in considering their GRC tool, as it may streamline the ability for their consultants to help manage your compliance requirements.
Asureti offers services to assist companies at any maturity level with meeting compliance requirements. Through their focus on service offerings that include internal audit, risk management, and managed services focused on compliance frameworks, Asureti covers a wide range of potential services that a company working on compliance might need. Further, Asureti is staffed with ex-auditors and compliance analysts that have worked at small to large enterprises within the United States and internationally. This provides them with the ability to manage projects at both complex and early-stage compliance programs.
Pivot Point offers services related to FedRAMP, CMMC, and SOC2, as well as half a dozen more frameworks. While their services are focused more on gap assessments followed by consultancy services to remediate and then a final readiness assessment. They have a well laid out approach and methodology for their services that create a great experience for their customers and sets them up for a successful audit.
The Best SaaS Security Compliance Companies
Drata is a pure-play compliance SaaS solution. Drata does not provide consultancy services but does offer professional service assist with setting up their solution. While the product is still fairly new, it has gained recognition for the ability to ease the burdens of attaining certification against the provided frameworks. Drata is still working on building out capabilities to assist with managing frameworks and to date has focused on PCI, ISO27001, NIST and SOC2.
However, it is planning to continue to add additional frameworks. When evaluating solutions, it is worth reviewing Drata, as they provide an automated way for many controls to gather evidence and manage compliance within the requirements of each framework.
Vanta is very similar to Drata. They offer a SaaS solution that allows for the automated gathering and auditing of controls across an organization's IT environment.
Further, they have a long list of partners for both internal and external certification audits to streamline the audit process, as the approved auditors are able to utilize the Vanta platform to review your evidence, documents, policies, and other supporting material.
Just like Drata, Vanta does not offer consultancy services, but they do offer professional services to assist with onboarding to their platform. With their platform built to manage your security program, onboarding and loading evidence assists with showing compliance with the chosen framework.
Tips on Choosing Security Compliance Companies
When it comes to selecting the right consultancy for your compliance project, the following tips can help your organization in finding the right partner and managing cost.
This may seem obvious, but plenty of organizations have fallen prey to the assumption that compliance is compliance, regardless of the framework. This simply is not true and could cost your organization time and money to rework your program if you pick the wrong partner for your project.
FEDRAMP is significantly different and more intensive than ISO27001. Finding a partner that has the expertise in your framework or regulation is key. Spend the time to understand which framework or regulation you need to meet and interview your potential partners to understand their experience and previous projects.
When it comes to finding a good partner beyond the name brands or highly marketed vendors, it can be difficult. In this case, reach out to peers in your industry or city and ask for references for partners to assist with your compliance projects. This service is very common and many organizations leverage third parties to assist with their compliance obligations. When talking to your peer, ask what they liked, did not like, and what they would do differently.
Not every environment is the same; not every organization operates the same. So, when interviewing your potential partners, use specifics about your environment. See how they respond; do they include specific examples that are from similar environments or architectures as yours? If not, directly ask how they manage or assist a company with building their program with your specific environment requirements. Building a compliant security program for an AWS native application is different than building for an VM based application. There are different tools and services that can be leveraged for both, often time saving time and effort for your team.