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How to avoid compliance management worst-case scenarios

It would be nearly impossible to find a corporate executive or security professional who is not concerned about compliance management and workplace security. This is likely due to the frequent headlines reporting data breaches, ransomware attacks, and social engineering.

New regulations are frequently introduced and bad actors are continually finding new ways to launch attacks. It’s imperative that companies undertake a comprehensive compliance management program to protect themselves from damage to their reputation and bottom line.

A haphazard approach to compliance management puts organizations at risk for penalties such as fines leveraged by the European Union for failure to adhere to the Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or product loss if a visitor accidentally violates the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This blog shares areas of compliance management that IT and security leaders should focus on, risks of non-compliance and how workplace technology can improve your compliance management strategy to avoid negative consequences.

Complex, evolving regulations create compliance management challenges

Complexity and confusion are hallmarks of compliance regulations. Despite their best efforts, only 28% of organizations report being fully compliant with the GDPR over one year after it was implemented. Unfortunately, confusion isn’t slowing the introduction of new rules.

Fueled by a lack of public trust, governments are implementing regulations with sweeping implications. On January 1, 2020, the  California Consumer Privacy Act which will affect over 500,000 U.S. Companies took effect. India is expected to pass its own data protection legislation, the Personal Data Protection (PDPA) Act in 2020. And that’s just privacy! Manufacturing companies, data centers, and service organizations are required to closely monitor and track visitors.

The true cost of non-compliance 

The most obvious costs of non-compliance are the headline-grabbing fines, which can run into hundreds of millions of dollars. The hidden costs typically exceed the fines and must also be considered when evaluating a compliance management strategy. According to CSO, “Hacks and data thefts, enabled by weak security, cover-ups or avoidable mistakes have cost these companies a total of nearly $1.45 billion and counting.” Hidden costs include public relations, breach notification and protection costs, business disruption, productivity loss, revenue loss, and other intangible consequences that can hurt a business for years after the event occurs. 

Though not headline-worthy, compliance management issues often arise during everyday events such as:

  • Office moves 
  • Human error 
  • Facility damages 
  • Third-party audits

Though these types of incidents fly under the media radar, they can have a devastating impact on a company’s financials and reputation. 

Given the complexities of compliance and the myriad risks, many workplace security and IT professionals wonder where to start as they endeavor to create a comprehensive workplace compliance policy. 

Visitor management is a key compliance management tool 

Visitor management solutions and the front lobby are the foundation for workplace security. One-third of companies place workplace security responsibilities solely on the receptionist

Additional research reveals that almost half (47%) of companies are using pen and paper to track visitors. Manual processes create  several risks including: 

  • Data loss
  • Inaccurate or intentionally misleading data (visitors not filling in the forms accurately)
  • Accidental admission of blocked guests
  • Loss of signed legal documents
  • Inability to quickly respond to requests for information for audits

Automating visitor management creates a single source of truth in the event of an audit and reduces the risks of manual processes by:

  1. Automatically creating a digital log of all guests
  2. Tracking who each guest visited and enabling the company to discover potential conflicts of interest by cross-referencing vendor information with employee lists
  3. Documenting completion of mandatory legal documents
  4. Monitoring who is using your network, and logging when they have left the building 
  5. Ensuring necessary legal documentation is signed prior to a visit including review of pertinent safety information

In the event of an audit, visitor management software can quickly provide documentation to demonstrate your company’s compliance. Should an event occur, the visitor management solution speed the investigation by informing investigators of who was on-site during the incident.

How visitor management technology can help prevent compliance issues

Companies that need to comply with data privacy regulations such as GDPR can use a visitor management solution to allow guests to specify how (and if) their data may be used or to anonymize data for analyzing trends without violating regulations.

Many industries have to closely monitor who is visiting their site, and that they are informed of health and safety regulations. For these companies, a visitor management solution can be integrated with workplace technology to:

  • Verify visitor identity (photo capture, ID check, pre-registration) 
  • Cross-check visitors with lists of blocked persons to automatically deny access to those who are not permitted
  • Verify the validity of IDs
  • Create sign-in flows based on country of origin or citizenship
  • Offer secure Wi-Fi access to guests while protecting corporate data

Look for visitor management solutions that integrate with existing workplace technology. Almost half of security professionals believe that employee adoption is a significant barrier to the effectiveness of implementations. By integrating with existing tools, a visitor management system can deliver compliance and efficiency with a minimal learning curve.

For example, Seagate is using visitor management technology to protect against social engineering, prevent conflict of interest between employees and vendors, and improve the quality of investigations when events do occur. 

There is no single way to ensure regulatory compliance and deliver workplace security however, managing and logging your visitors plays an integral role in a successful compliance management strategy. 


To help you better navigate common regulatory issues and improve compliance management, download the essential guide to workplace compliance.