Regulatory and Compliance
In general, compliance means conforming to a rule, such as a specification, policy, standard or law. Compliance has traditionally been explained by reference to the deterrence theory, according to which punishing a behavior will decrease the violations both by the wrongdoer (specific deterrence) and by others (general deterrence). This view has been supported by economic theory, which has framed punishment in terms of costs and has explained compliance in terms of a cost-benefit equilibrium (Becker 1968). However, psychological research on motivation provides an alternative view: granting rewards (Deci, Koestner and Ryan, 1999) or imposing fines (Gneezy Rustichini 2000) for a certain behavior is a form of extrinsic motivation that weakens intrinsic motivation and ultimately undermines compliance.
Regulatory compliance describes the goal that organizations aspire to achieve in their efforts to ensure that they are aware of and take steps to comply with relevant laws, policies, and regulations. Due to the increasing number of regulations and need for operational transparency, organizations are increasingly adopting the use of consolidated and harmonized sets of compliance controls. This approach is used to ensure that all necessary governance requirements can be met without the unnecessary duplication of effort and activity from resources.
Regulations and accrediting organizations vary among fields, with examples such as PCI-DSS and GLBA in the financial industry, FISMA for U.S. federal agencies, HACCP for the food and beverage industry, and the Joint Commission and HIPAA in healthcare. In some cases other compliance frameworks (such as COBIT) or even standards (NIST) inform on how to comply with regulations.
Some organizations keep compliance data—all data belonging or pertaining to the enterprise or included in the law, which can be used for the purpose of implementing or validating compliance—in a separate store for meeting reporting requirements. Compliance software is increasingly being implemented to help companies manage their compliance data more efficiently. This store may include calculations, data transfers, and audit trails.