Is your business practicing the best I.T. compliance? Conventionally, organizations and security teams counted on firewalls, content filters, and access restrictions to protect their digital assets. However, given organizations’ modern and complex security threats, security tools are undergoing a major paradigm shift. Traditional security tools cannot account for cyberattacks due to human error and data exploitation.
I.T. is a critical part of businesses today. Most rely on I.T. systems for daily operations. Ensuring your I.T. systems comply with regulations, laws, and industry standards is crucial as a business. This is important for all businesses, whether you have internal technical I.T. support or outsource to a managed service provider. On the other hand, ignoring I.T. compliance can result in legal penalties, lost customers, and reputation damage.
So, in this post, we’ll discuss why your business should care about I.T. compliance and how it can benefit your organization. But before we get to that, let’s first understand I.T. compliance.
What You Will Learn In This Article:
How Does I.T. Compliance Work?
I.T. deals with information legally protected by federal laws, industry-specific standards, and other contractual agreements. I.T. compliance, therefore, refers to adherence to these regulations. This ensures that an organization’s I.T. operations meet specific requirements and standards, including data security, privacy, and accessibility. Different entities, including the federal government and specific industry governing bodies, can enforce compliance requirements.
Compliance will help expose unacceptable conduct and highlight the consequences of breaking the policy. It is a point of reference against which I.T. support services are evaluated. Today’s I.T. staff skill shortage and gap for talent make I.T. compliance the most appealing solution for businesses. In this sense, you owe all stakeholders a duty to comply with the law to assure them that the conduct of all your managed service providers and in-house I.T. support specialists is regulated.
What Are the Main Objectives of I.T. Compliance?
One of the core objectives of I.T. compliance is to execute an outline of a strategic and ethical security framework for an organization. The legal part of I.T. compliance offers businesses good computer support and I.T. infrastructure.
I.T. compliance mitigates the following risks for an organization:
- Loss of a loyal customer base
- Damage to brand image
- Loss of sensitive data and information
- A seismic drop in stock worth
- Loss of money and revenues
- Expenditures on remediation procedures like legal costs, fines, and capital acquisition.
Compliance is fraught with various challenges, making it difficult to achieve due to the complex and novel rules and regulations.
Explicit and unapproved usage of applications and software is one of the critical challenges customers and organizations face. However, organizations may mitigate these risk factors by ensuring proper employee training and managing technical I.T. support with their service providers, especially cloud service vendors. Companies can tackle cloud services problems through strict monitoring and business I.T. support audits.
Why Is I.T. Compliance Necessary?
I.T. compliance is essential for every business, regardless of size, industry, or location. Failure to comply with regulations and standards can result in legal penalties, financial losses, and reputation damage. Your business can incur these repercussions whether you have internal business I.T. support or you outsource to a managed service provider.
We’ve listed 4 reasons your business should care about I.T. compliance below.
1) Avoid Legal Liability
No I.T. support specialist would want to face criminal charges for failing to adhere to rules and regulations. Your business becomes liable for a lawsuit if you don’t comply with federal and provincial laws. Especially in the case of critical data, the mismanagement of the information by your computer support technician has serious consequences that can lead to financial loss, physical harm, or significant inconvenience for customers.
Your business’ I.T. support specialists must know your legal responsibilities to avoid legal liabilities. The I.T.-compliant business has a more competitive edge than those that fail to comply, as they can conduct daily operations without legal restrictions. Having I.T. compliance in place helps reduce your risk of penalties, fines, and lawsuits due to non-compliance.
2) Improve Public Trust
I.T. compliance influences public relations. Adherence to regulations such as data protection enhances public trust regarding properly handling personal data. People tend to trust your business more because your I.T. support services follow the established I.T. codes, standards, and policies.
Thanks to the internet, information travels around the world in seconds. Thus, most people are informed about I.T. laws that protect their safety and interests and would prefer doing business with an organization that is reputable for I.T. compliance.
You will have trouble establishing a brand reputation if your business is infamous for compliance issues. Customers, employees, and suppliers will work with your company if it complies with I.T. regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). I.T. compliance improves your business brand reputation resulting in increased customer trust and a larger customer base.
3) Enhance Talent Acquisition and Retention
Have you ever considered how your business can attract new talent and retain existing employees? Traditionally, I.T. compliance was hardly the immediate thing job seekers looked for when searching for new jobs. Data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that tech careers are growing. However, compliance issues in the current business environment have become an enormous obstacle to acquiring and retaining skilled I.T. support specialists. Today, I.T. support experts and technicians will measure your company based on whether your values and practices align with recommended industrial standards. In-house I.T. support specialists demonstrate loyalty if they work in a safe and professional environment without legal compliance issues.
A deficient work environment, security risks, and potential unlawful liability due to non-compliance result in employee absenteeism, internal conflict, lack of commitment, and a high turnover rate. Job seekers are attracted to companies that are committed to ethics and compliance.
If your business’s policies and rules strongly oppose I.T. issues such as cybersecurity and data protection, I.T. support technicians tend to be attracted to the company. I.T. compliance will make current and prospective employees take pride and truly value working for your business without worrying about legal risks for non-compliance. Make the expectations of your employees clear in your business policy and handbook by outlining protocols and procedures that align with industrial recommendations to meet the legal responsibilities.
4) Streamline Internal Processes
Many I.T. compliance components will help your business address internal processes, from implementing cybersecurity procedures to training. Whether using in-house I.T. support specialists or managed I.T. services, your technical I.T. support teams are the easiest prime target and weakest link to your cybersecurity. Inadequate employee training makes them miss phishing, and other new tactics cybercriminals use, making your business vulnerable to these cyberattacks.
I.T. compliance that mandates continuous training of all employees will ensure they are up to date with established procedures, standards, and codes for data protection and recovery to ensure your business is well-prepared for cyberattacks. I.T. compliance uses cybersecurity awareness training to continuously update your I.T. support technicians on new cybersecurity threats typical for your business.
One of the most famous laws is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA compliance. This law regulates the security and protection of all the healthcare units that tackle medical records and healthcare information. HIPAA has three specific compliance goals: privacy, security, and communication.
The security standards ensure that the healthcare data on administrative and business fronts on electronic platforms stay safe.
HIPAA maintains its compliance policy by informing concerned parties about data breaches through notifications. As soon as any breach occurs, HIPAA releases a notification to inform patients about their sensitive data.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, or SOX, protects and secures investors from explicit and fraudulent financial activities. SOX ensures that shareholders and customers receive accurate financial information about companies and businesses. It also aims to mitigate swindling and fraudulent activities during financial transactions.
Moreover, SOX audits also improve an organization’s general financial practices and procedures.
The European Union issued a set of regulations that aims to secure the data of European citizens. This set of rules is known as General Data Protection Regulations or GDPR. It includes new sets of requirements for organizations. If an organization is willing to do business with the E.U. or is tackling any financial information of European citizens, it must comply with the requirements of GDPR.
Compliance and GRC
Governance, risk, and compliance is software that allows businesses to exercise control over data management and I.T. compliance. It will enable them to keep up their I.T. strategies with several concerned departments. The software also assists employees in meeting compliance requirements. Organizations utilize GRC to mitigate cyber threats, recognize errors and identify swindling activities.
The GRC software renders the following functions for managed I.T. services: governance, risk, and compliance.
Before choosing a compliance plan, organizations should execute a proper plan, set directions, and regulate all the developments and outcomes for successful governance. It also involves managing information and data.
Threats and vulnerabilities engender more significant risks for organizations. Thus, GRC allows I.T. risk assessment and management. It helps to mitigate risks and monitor third-party and supplier involvement.
After ensuring proper governance and effective risk management, organizations may evaluate their compliance.
Most businesses fail to invest in up-to-date security protocols and data protection adequately. However, the cost of a data breach creates a financial burden far more than investing in proper security protocols. I.T. compliance measures such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will help your business address internal security processes and procedures. For example, mandates focused on privileged access management can improve access to critical data, while the 72-hour breach notification can also help mitigate a cybersecurity threat in a timely fashion.
Ensuring your business conducts its operations per the relevant I.T. laws and regulations is crucial to achieving your business goals, enhancing public trust, improving internal processes, and reducing legal risks. With data breach consequences such as loss of public trust and lawsuits, there are many reasons for your business to prioritize I.T. compliance.
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About Cinch I.T.
Since 2004, Cinch I.T. has provided customer-focused I.T. services for businesses. Whether you need remote work support or complete I.T. compliance services, our computer support offers the industry’s fastest and friendliest computer service. Cinch is one of the nation’s fastest-growing business I.T. support franchises with 12 locations across 6 states. To learn more about getting the best tech support in your area, visit cinchit.com. For more information about I.T. franchise opportunities, visit cinchfranchise.com.
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