How Can I Be Sure My Business Is Compliant?
No matter your industry, you face a complex web of regulations and requirements to be compliant. Now you need to know what that means.
Compliance can have a big impact on your business – it pays to be compliant. Sure, it would be helpful to have an easy checklist, but that’s not how it works. Regulations are often vague, requirements change, and new guidelines are published by oversight bodies. Missing the mark with compliance puts your business at risk and result in costly fines, meaning compliance in any industry is equally important.
The first rule of compliance is to minimize your risk.
Different businesses have different security standards, but this mostly concerns how you store, use, and access data:
- HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act applies to the electronic transmission of healthcare data, and it’s not limited to only medical providers and health insurance companies
- FINRA – The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority helps the financial industry operate fairly and honestly
- PCI-DSS – The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard sets requirements to protect cardholder data and reduce credit card fraud.
- SOX – The Sarbanes-Oxley Act enforces accuracy in public disclosures of financial reports and records
Working with data in any of these industries, compliance with regulations to protect this data is all about reducing your risk of data loss.
How your business collects, stores, and transmits data is all about technology. You have a responsibility to protect this data and keep it secure. Data security is constantly evolving, and to stay ahead of the latest data security measures involves being compliant with the latest requirements – at minimum.
How Can I Protect My Data and Be Compliant?
A major factor in reducing your risk when it comes to data security focuses on consistent processes in how you collect, store, and access your data. Are you sensing a pattern?
Making sure you have well-documented processes for anyone accessing your network, infrastructure, and your IT systems means all network users follow a specific protocol outlined to meet security standards, reducing your overall data security risk and the possibility of expensive compliance missteps.
What Are Ways I Can Minimize Risk?
Since compliance starts with minimizing risk, you can take a few steps to review your data security and reduce vulnerabilities, including:
- Device Controls: It’s a guarantee that daily tasks involve desktop or laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones. Make sure you have a solid device management policy, including a mobile device management policy, giving you peace of mind that you have control over who is accessing your data, and how it’s being accessed.
- Multi-Factor Authentication: Anytime a password isn’t enough to access a network, device, or application, an added layer of security is the key to minimizing risk. Yes, it’s annoying – but the alternative can be expensive. And really, is it that hard to get a text message with a code a user needs to enter after a password?
- Multiple Secured Networks: Does your business have any Alexa-enabled devices, like an Echo Dot (or two or three)? Alexa Skills are hugely popular add-on’s that make these gadgets even more useful around the office, but all these interconnected devices add risk to your network when they’re attached to the same network through which your desktop or laptop computers access your data. Creating multiple networks, called “sandboxing”, with dedicated a network for these devices limits access to your data and is a great way to minimize your risk.
These are a few fantastic first steps to minimize your data security risk and become compliant, though you’ll need to perform a thorough audit to see a comprehensive report of your data security vulnerabilities.