Both are mostly similar in compliance and security in that it runs a business to practice due assiduity in the protection of its digital assets but the motive after compliance is different. It is in between the needs of a third party, like security framework, a government or client’s contractual terms.

Which motivates the donkey, compliance is often viewed as the figurative stick, , rather than the carrot. If with strict privacy laws an organization wants to do business in a country, or in a mostly regulated market like finance or healthcare or with a customer who has high confidentiality standards, they bring their security up to the required level and must play by the rules. For example, regulations like SOX and HIPAA, or standards like ISO:27001 or PCI-DSS, figure very specific security criteria that a business must meet to be considered compliant. Reputed client may require the business to implement very big security controls, even beyond what might be observed reasonably necessary, in order to award their contract. These objectives are condemned to success due to a lack of compliance will result in a loss of customer trust, if not make it completely illegal to conduct business in the market.  

If we have to say in short then we can say IT Compliance is the process of joining a third party’s requirement for digital security with the aim of starting business operations in a specific market or with a particular customer.

The Differences And Necessity of Both

To rephrase from above, security is the practice of executing effective technical controls to save digital assets, and compliance is the application of that execution to join a third party’s regulatory or contractual requirements. brief of key differences between these two concepts are as below:


  • Not to satisfy a third party’s needs, is practiced for its own sake.
  • Is never truly finished and should be continuously improved and   maintained.
  • Is driven by the requirement to protect against constant threats to an organization’s assets.


  • Rather than technical needs, is driven by business needs 
  • Is made to fulfill external requirements and facilitate business operations
  • When the third party is satisfied then it is “done” 

In the first view, anyone can observe easily that a strictly compliance-based approach to Information Security falls short of the mark. This point of view focuses on doing only the very less required in order to satisfy requirements, and nothing more.

This thing strengthens the fact, the need for an productive Information Security program, which will authorize a business to go beyond checking boxes and start employing truly robust practices to protect its most critical assets. This is where concepts like layered security systems, defense-in-depth, and user awareness training come in, along with regular tests by outer parties to ensure that these controls are really working. If a business were attentive particularly on meeting compliance standards that don’t need these critical functions, they would be pulled out of the door wide open to attackers who prey on low-hanging fruit.