Last updated at Tue, 09 Jan 2024 15:44:22 GMT

Compliance does not equal security, but it’s also true that a strong cybersecurity program meets many compliance obligations. How can we communicate industry regulatory requirements in a more straightforward way that enhances understanding while saving time and effort? How can we more easily demonstrate that a robust cybersecurity program will typically meet many compliance requirements?

Rapid7’s latest white paper, “Simplifying the Complex: Common Practices Across Cybersecurity Regulations,” is an educational resource aimed at breaking down complicated regulatory text into a set of consistent cybersecurity practices. The paper analyzes 10 major cybersecurity regulations, identifies common practices across the regulations, and provides insight on how to operationalize these practices.

Read the full white paper

Get it here

You can also reserve your spot for the upcoming webinar, “Common Cybersecurity Compliance Requirements.” Register now at our 2022 Planning webinar series page. This talk is designed to help you apply simplification practices across regulations and help your team plan for the year ahead.  

Different regulations, common practices

Cybersecurity regulations are complex. They target a patchwork of industry sectors and are enforced by disparate federal, state, and international government agencies. However, there are patterns: Cybersecurity regulations often require similar baseline security practices, even though the legislation may structure compliance requirements differently.

Identifying these common elements can help regulated entities, regulators, and cybersecurity practitioners communicate how compliance obligations translate to operational practices. For example, an organization’s security leader(s) could use this approach to drive executive support and investment prioritization by demonstrating how a robust security program addresses an array of compliance obligations facing the organization.

This white paper organizes common regulatory requirements into 6 core components of organizational security programs:

  1. Security program: Maintain a comprehensive security program.
  2. Risk assessment: Assess internal and external cybersecurity risks and threats.
  3. Security safeguards: Implement safeguards to control the risks identified in the risk assessment.
  4. Testing and evaluation: Assess the effectiveness of policies, procedures, and safeguards to control risks.
  5. Workforce and personnel: Establish security roles and responsibilities for personnel.
  6. Incident response: Detect, investigate, document, and respond to cybersecurity incidents and events.

Learn additional background information on each regulation and how these 6 practices are incorporated into many of them. The white paper also provides extensive citations for each requirement so that readers can locate the official text directly.  

Rapid7 solutions help support compliance

Your organization is different from any other — that’s a fact. You’ll operationalize security practices based on individual risk profile, technology, and structure. Rapid7 helps you approach implementation with the context for each of the cybersecurity practices we outline, including:

  1. Operational overview: See how the cybersecurity practice generally operates within an organization’s security program.
  2. Organizational structure: This stipulates which teams or functions within an organization implement the cybersecurity practice.
  3. Successful approaches: These provide approaches to successfully implementing the cybersecurity practice.
  4. Common challenges: These spell out common issues that hinder consistently successful implementation.

Rapid7’s portfolio of solutions can help meet and exceed the cybersecurity practices commonly required by regulations. To illustrate this, the white paper provides extensive product and service mapping intended to help every unique organization achieve its compliance goals. We discuss the key, go-to products and services that help fulfill each practice, as well as those that provide additional support.

For example, when it comes to maintaining a comprehensive security program, it might help to measure the effectiveness of your program’s current state with a cybersecurity maturity assessment. Or, if you’re trying to stay compliant with safeguards to control risk, InsightCloudSec can help govern Identity and Access Management (IAM) and adopt a unified zero-trust security model across your cloud and container environments. And what about testing? From pentesting to managed application security services, simulate real-world attacks at different stages of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to understand your state of risk and know if your end product is customer-ready.  

Which regulations are discussed in the white paper?


  1. HIPAA (health)
  2. GLBA (financial)
  3. NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation (financial)
  4. PCI DSS (retail)
  5. COPPA (retail)
  6. NERC CIP (electrical)

Broadly applicable

  1. State Data Security Laws (CA, FL, MA, NY, TX)
  2. SOX


  1. GDPR
  2. NIS Directive

When it comes to compliance, it’s not just about running afoul of a regulating body you may not have been aware of when entering a new market. Customer trust is difficult to get back once you lose it.    

A comprehensive cybersecurity program from a trusted and vetted provider will help ensure you’re well-protected from threats and in compliance with regulations wherever your company does business. Whether it’s monitoring and testing services, risk assessments, or certification and training for personnel, your provider should deliver tailored solutions and products that help you meet your unique compliance goals — and protect your users — now and well into the future.

Note: The white paper discussed should not be used as a compliance guide and is not legal advice.