Data security compliance: What every business owner needs to know

Data security compliance: What every business owner needs to know

If your business belongs to the health, finance, retail, or manufacturing industry, it needs to adhere to certain data security and privacy laws. Compliance with these regulations is not only required, but it also aids organizations like yours in achieving higher integrity and information systems security and availability. And as cyberattacks become commonplace, compliance has never been more critical in ensuring that sensitive data remains safe.

But while gaining compliance is essential, it can be a tall order. For one, specific regulations may only apply to certain business departments and not the entire organization, making the compliance process even more complex.

To help guide you through this often complicated undertaking, we have answered the following questions about data security compliance.

Why is data security compliance necessary?

Data security compliance ensures that your company follows best practices in handling customer data, enabling you to maintain your company's good reputation and avoid having to pay hefty fines.

The top benefits of compliance include:

  • Improved security – When you know what needs to be protected according to set standards, it's easier to put the right security measures in place.
  • Reduced liability –Achieving compliance demonstrates that you are taking steps to protect your customers' data, which can help reduce your legal liability in the event of a data breach.
  • Better customer relationships – Customers are more likely to trust companies that take data security and privacy seriously.

Which compliance regulations apply to my industry?

There are several compliance regulations that may apply to your industry, depending on the type of data you collect and store. The most common regulations you might need to comply with are the following:

  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) – You need to comply with PCI DSS if your business accepts credit card payments. A PCI DSS-governed organization is required to develop a secure network, enforce strong access control measures, and regularly monitor and assess all of its security procedures and systems.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) – If you’re in the healthcare sector and handle protected electronic health information (ePHI), your business needs to be HIPAA-compliant. This means that you must be able to guarantee ePHI confidentiality, integrity, and availability, as well as identify and protect against probable threats and unlawful uses or disclosures.
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) – If you're in the financial sector, you are required to protect your consumers’ nonpublic personal information and personally identifiable information. Thus, you must develop a written security plan for collecting, disclosing, and protecting these types of data. You must also let consumers know what kind of data will be collected from them, how this data will be used, and where it will be shared.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Businesses that handle the personal data of consumers residing in the European Union are required to keep such data safe against loss, damage, destruction, and unauthorized use.

Related article: HIPAA penalties every healthcare company needs to know about: Fines, charges, and more

How can my business achieve compliance?

A good way to be compliant is to follow established cybersecurity frameworks that are based on industry practices, academic research, training, and experience. Here are some security frameworks you can base your cybersecurity programs on:

  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework can help organizations in various industries manage security risks by providing standards and guidelines and general best practices.
  • The ISO 27000 series of standards are frameworks for protecting financial information, personnel data, intellectual property, and other critical resources. These are designed to help businesses improve their information security management systems.
  • BS 10012 is aligned with GDPR standards, making it an ideal solution if you need to comply with GDPR regulations.

Another way to take the burden of compliance off your shoulders is to partner with a reliable managed IT services provider like Online Computers. We can help you assess your risks, implement the right security controls, and monitor your systems proactively to give you peace of mind knowing you’re meeting all of the compliance requirements and keeping your data protected.

By understanding the basics of compliance, you can better protect your business from cybersecurity risks. And if you’re looking to achieve or maintain compliant status, Online Computers can help. Send us a message to learn more about our comprehensive, secure, and compliant IT solutions.

Keep all types of cyberthreats at bay by adopting our comprehensive cybercrime defense game plan. Download our free eBook today to learn how!Download here