Compliance and Security

Written by Zach DeMeyer on August 28, 2019

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As breaches continue to run rampant in the news, many are curious about the differences between compliance and security. Both terms are being thrown around the IT space with frequency, leading some to believe that they’re synonymous. This is only partly the case.

Although they share a similar scope, the extent of compliance and security are drastically different. Let’s get into the roots of each topic and pick them both apart at a high level.

What are Compliance and Security?


Compliance is a general term describing regulations (most often government-imposed) that require certain measures to be put in place to protect customers and their privacy/data. Most often, these are the minimum/baseline requirements that need to be in place in order to do so. 

Compliance regulations often boil down to an audit. Audit proceedings are often mere moments in comparison to the rest of the time a company is not undergoing an audit. Unfortunately, there are some companies that focus solely on meeting what is required for an audit at the time the audit is underway, and then forego said requirements once the audit is over.


Security, on the other hand, is a more intensive, widespread practice of ensuring the utmost safety in an IT network. Unlike compliance, security is more of a mindset, that is, keeping constant vigilance over the comings and goings of an IT organization and its users. For all intents and purposes, compliance follows security (at least it should just be a byproduct of great security), not necessarily the other way around.

So, while compliance is obviously a large part of an IT organization’s focus, security really needs to be the guiding light, the paramount around which an IT organization focuses upon.

Focusing on Security (and Compliance)

For organizations looking to make security a priority, there are several core concepts to zero in on to help build a strong security posture. The one we’ll look at today is identity and access management (IAM). By ensuring that only the right people can access the right things at the right time, IT organizations can lock down the number of potential attack vectors on their network and infrastructure dramatically. 

In today’s cloud era, however, locking down access to these resources and others, including systems and applications, can be more difficult than it seems. After all, legacy IAM solutions like Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD), while popular, were designed for an age when on-prem, Windows® resources were practically the only ones available. When confronted by all of today’s non-Windows and cloud-based resources, solutions like AD may falter. Of course, unmanaged resources can spell huge security risks.

An Ideal IAM Solution for Compliance and Security

So, for security-minded organizations, what’s an ideal IAM solution to cover their security needs, as well as prepare them for compliance? JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® is the world’s first cloud directory service, and has helped thousands of organizations up their security game. With JumpCloud, IT admins can provide their organizations with a single set of strong credentials that allows them access to virtually all of their necessary resources. This includes systems (Windows, Mac®, Linux®), applications (cloud and on-prem), networks, infrastructure, file servers, and more.

IT admins can use JumpCloud to enforce a wide range of security policies, including password complexity requirements, multi-factor authentication (MFA), full disk encryption (FDE), and a slew of others across their entire system fleets at scale with just a couple of clicks. By segmenting their networks with JumpCloud RADIUS-as-a-Service, organizations can also limit what parts of the network an employee has access to, cutting down on the chances of compromise.

Additionally, JumpCloud has been reviewed by independent analysts, CoalFire Systems, with regards to PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA compliance regulations. CoalFire found that, in regards to compliance IAM needs, JumpCloud can help organizations meet the requirements of all three regulations. JumpCloud can be applied to a number of other compliance standards as well.

Try JumpCloud Free

If your organization is concerned with compliance and security, consider JumpCloud as your IAM tool of choice. You can schedule a free personalized demo to see what the Directory-as-a-Service product is all about, or you can contact us with your questions.

We also offer a completely free version of the product, which gives you full access to JumpCloud with ten users available for your use forever.

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a Product Marketing Specialist at JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, music, and soccer.

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