No matter what way you look at it, IT compliance is a challenge.
Ever-changing requirements at the state and federal levels are time-consuming and often difficult to implement. Still, adhering to these laws is imperative.
Ignore the latest legislation and you could receive a hefty fine. Even worse, with repeat offenses you run the risk of having your business shut down.
Here’s how you can stay compliant with the law.
1. Follow Industry-Specific Regulations
Naturally, there are different compliance regulations for different industries. If you work in the healthcare sector, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) establishes standards for collecting and maintaining patient data.
If you work in retail, however, the Payment Card Industry Security Council’s Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) lays down rules about processing payment card data.
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It’s important to keep up with your industry-specific compliance requirement. If you don’t, your reputation can take a big hit and you can lose the trust of your customers. To prevent this from happening, some companies choose to hire a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) in order to stay on top of the regulation game.
“The main responsibilities of a chief compliance officer include ensuring that an organization is able to both manage compliance risk and pass a compliance audit,” says TechTarget. “The exact nature of a compliance audit will vary depending upon factors such as the organization’s industry, whether it is a public or private company and the nature of the data it creates, collects and stores.”
2. Keep Track of International Changes
Even international legislation can impact your business.
On May 25, 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation — G.D.P.R. for short — went into effect. If you sell products and services to European customers, have to comply with the changes, too.
“The law strengthens individual privacy rights and, more important, it has teeth,” says the New York Times. “Companies can be fined up to 4% of global revenue — equivalent to about $1.6 billion for Facebook.”
So, what are the changes? If you offer goods in Europe, you can now only send email marketing communications with your customers’ consent. The new legislation makes it harder for you to obtain data for your marketing campaigns, but it offers consumers greater privacy.
3. Take Note of Evolving Tech Trends
Technology changes quickly, and it’s up to your organization to keep track of how it affects your IT compliance strategy.
For example, Incorporating a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy into your organization will boost your overall productivity and employee happiness. However, you’re also introducing a new security vulnerability that can put you at risk of compliance violations.
Tech evolution isn’t slowing down, either. As of 2016, 60% of all companies had a BYOD policy.
“Since employees will mostly be utilizing their devices outside of the workplace, you run the chance they’ll access unsecured WiFi connections at airports, coffee shops, stores or even their own home,” says HuffPost. A decent BYOD policy teaches your staff technology best practices that will keep your company’s valuable information safe at all times.
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With advances in technology and the rise of things such as smart devices (connected to the Internet of Things), these concerns are here to stay.
The best course of action is to seek out professional IT compliance assistance. Managed service providers actively stay on top of compliance regulations, and they can make staying compliant a breeze.