Springfield IT Security: 4 Reasons Why IT Security Compliance Is Important for Businesses
Ask any IT security consultant and they will tell you that cyber-attacks lead to huge financial and reputational damages for businesses. The total number of cybercrimes reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center in 2019 amounted to over 3.5 billion U.S. dollars.
IT security compliance can play a critical role in mitigating IT security risks such as data breaches and social engineering attacks. An IT security provider helps businesses establish robust policies and procedures to secure their confidential data related to customers, stakeholders, and other third parties from malicious access attempts.
For instance, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requires businesses to maintain robust network security, safeguard the credit/debit card holder’s data, perform regular network analysis, enforce effective access controls, and more to mitigate credit card fraud.
Maintaining proper regulatory compliance can help businesses save as much as $1.03 million on average. Staying in sync with regulatory compliance, however, requires timely IT security consulting, proper planning, and impeccable execution by organizations. Here’s how companies can leverage the services of an IT security provider to do it.
Ways Businesses Can Implement a Solid Regulatory Compliance Plan
Identify Critical Data
Businesses need to identify the type of data they handle in their day-to-day operations. Doing so will help them adhere to industry-specific compliance regulations. IT security consulting can prove beneficial here.
For instance, a healthcare organization needs to mandatorily adhere to the protected health information (PHI) law under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. This covers individually identifiable health information, which can be linked to a specific person such as a patient’s medical records, payment history, prescription details, and more from potential data breaches.
It is also important to adhere to certain compliance regulations, irrespective of the industry a business operates in. For instance, regulations like California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) need to be followed by businesses if they cater to customers in California and the European Union respectively.
IT Security Provider Starts with Vulnerability and Risk Assessment
In order to protect critical customer data and maintain regulatory compliance, it is imperative for organizations to diagnose their cybersecurity flaws. This can be done with the help of an IT security provider, who will perform regular vulnerability and risk assessments of IT security measures. It will also help them identify the remedial tools that they already have in place, and determine whether or not they are effective.
Implement Robust IT Security Measures and Controls
IT security consultants help businesses identify weaknesses in their infrastructure. Once this is done, businesses should implement proper security controls to plug these gaps, thereby preventing and mitigating potential threats. According to a study, detection of IT security fraud becomes twice as fast for organizations that use tools to proactively monitor their data.
Some of the IT security measures that businesses should apply include:
- Antivirus and firewall
- Network monitoring systems such as Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Remote Monitoring Management (RMM)
- End-point encryption
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
- Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
- Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
Educate Employees on the Importance of Compliance Management
Any IT security consulting professional or cybersecurity consultant will confirm that it is important to empower employees with the knowledge of regulatory compliance. It is only when employees understand the importance of maintaining compliance and the repercussions of not following it, that they will strictly adhere to it.
Organizations can include sessions on compliance adherence in their employee IT security training program to educate their staff about the various aspects of compliance management. An IT security provider can be of great help in this regard.
Ensure Proper Documentation of Security Processes
Apart from implementing the necessary compliance regulations, organizations should document the steps they are taking to maintain them. The document should include the details of the business’s proactive approach to handling critical third-party data. It will help companies prove their adherence during compliance audits.
Work on Review and Analysis of the Compliance Program
The final step is to ensure that the relevant compliance regulations are being implemented properly. Businesses can either delegate this task to the in-house IT team or hire a Managed Services Provider (MSP) or an IT security provider to analyze and manage their compliance requirements.
Most organizations outsource compliance support because of their in-house team’s limited compliance skills. Partnering with an IT security provider can help organizations offload the burden of compliance maintenance onto the able shoulders of outsourced IT professionals. They have the skills required to keep businesses updated with the latest regulatory compliance.
Let’s take a look at the various benefits an organization can leverage through proper compliance management with the help of an IT security provider.
Advantages of Adhering to IT security Compliance Requirements for Businesses
Helps Organizations Avoid Fines and Penalties
Failure to adhere to regulatory compliances can mean heavy financial penalties for organizations. After all, the average cost of non-compliance is a whopping $4 million. Businesses that are compliant with relevant regulatory compliance can avoid related fines and penalties.
Improves Customer Relationship and Brand Reputation
Enabling proper compliance management through an IT security provider helps businesses take a hands-on approach to identify, analyzing, and combating data breaches and cyber-attacks. This instills a sense of trust among a business’s customers and stakeholders since they are assured that their critical data is in safe hands. As a result, it helps businesses improve their brand reputation while maintaining long-lasting relationships with their customer base.
Facilitates Smooth Data Management
As mentioned, adherence to compliance regulations requires organizations to identify the type of data they work with. Further, businesses need to have proper processes to save, access and manage critical data.
An IT support company can use a restorable off-site server or cloud solutions to securely back up sensitive data. This is convenient as they can retrieve their stored data instantly as and when required. All in all, it will not only streamline their data management process but also promote operational efficiency.
Promotes Robust IT Security
From identifying IT security threats to implementing high-end security control measures, regulatory compliance requires businesses to establish a best-in-class IT security plan. Compliance, therefore, enables organizations to competently counter and minimize the damage caused by data breaches and cyber-attacks. Working with an IT security consultant and an IT security provider can prove to be a helpful step.
Businesses can protect themselves from the detrimental effects of cyber-attacks and data breaches by having a proper compliance implementation process in place. Apart from protecting a business’s sensitive data, smooth compliance management can help companies generate trust among their customers. In a nutshell, implementing a well-thought-out compliance plan can boost a company’s IT security, while increasing its data privacy and productivity.
Marco is the owner and founder of NetLogix, Inc. a Managed IT Security Services firm that has been helping small businesses by providing an innovative and unique blend of managed IT services throughout New England with expertise in Insurance, Legal, Medical & Professional Services. Learn more about Marco and NetLogix here.