1 hr 5 min

5-step framework for security and compliance programs

Co-founder & CEO at Fix Security

Mirko Kater

CISO at Gitpod

Mirco Kater, Information Security Officer at Gitpod, has taken a few startups from 0 to 1 when it comes to compliance and information security. Mirco has developed a five-step framework:

  1. Connect
  2. Assess
  3. Define
  4. Implement
  5. Measure

For start-ups, security and compliance programs provide access to markets. Mirco highlights the need for collaboration and communication with various departments within the organization.

He also discusses the selection of frameworks and tools based on the company's risk level and regulatory requirements. The goal is to enable the business while ensuring security and compliance.

Implementing a security compliance program requires budget allocation for salaries, tooling, auditors, and cyber insurance. Mirko also explains the difference between security and compliance, highlighting that compliance is about meeting specific requirements, while security focuses on protecting data and assets.


  • Building security and compliance programs is essential for startups to gain access to markets and customers.
  • The five-step framework for building security and compliance programs includes: connect, assess, define, implement, and measure.
  • During the connect phase, it is important to connect with leadership, peers, and other departments to understand the business goals and challenges.
  • The assess phase involves taking inventory of processes, technologies, and people to identify existing controls and risks.
  • In the define phase, a security strategy is developed based on the risk level, regulatory environment, and business goals.
  • The implement phase focuses on putting the defined controls and processes into action, involving collaboration with stakeholders.
  • The measure phase involves monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the implemented controls and making adjustments as needed. Measure and evaluate the effectiveness of the security compliance program using objective metrics.
  • Reporting and metrics are essential for communicating progress to leadership and the entire company.
  • Use tools and dashboards to track and visualize metrics.
  • Continuous improvement is necessary as new risks and challenges arise.
  • Allocate budget for salaries, tooling, auditors, and cyber insurance when implementing a security compliance program.
  • Compliance is about meeting specific requirements, while security focuses on protecting data and assets.

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