What Does IT Compliance Mean For South Florida Organizations?
With data breaches becoming commonplace, even among the largest companies in the world, maintaining the privacy and security of customer data is an area of concern for governments, businesses, and the industry regulatory bodies. Within the context of IT, compliance means that an organization meets the standards for data storage, processing security and privacy that apply to its specific industry.
Companies that own or operate solutions that should securely process data will incur costs to ensure the integrity of their information. Despite the cost, IT security compliance carries significant benefits.
Beyond letting your business maintain its industry-specific certification for compliance, you will also avoid the risk of data breaches which could cost your business.
The Challenges of IT Compliance
Many business leaders view IT security as an issue that only their IT departments should handle. In reality, the legal ramifications and potential damage to your reputation following a data breach could have an effect on your entire organization. Creating a security-centric corporate culture, with a focus on compliance with the information security regulations is crucial for the survival of your business.
Compliance regulations help your organization to improve its IT security strategy by offering best practices and providing guidelines based on the type of data you maintain and your industry sector. For instance, in the world of information technology, there are many compliance and regulatory standards. Some of the most common are:
- HIPAA – The US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a law enacted in 1996 and sets up several essential regulations for businesses in the healthcare sector that handle patient information. All companies in America that have access to patient records must secure the information per HIPAA rules. The penalties for non-compliance can be steep, with fines up to $50,000 for each violation.
- GDPR – The General Data Protection Act applies to all businesses that store or process data of individuals living in the European Union. The regulations apply even to companies whose physical locations are outside Europe. GDPR compliance requires a business to ask for consent before collecting any data and to anonymize the information. The regulation requires businesses to notify customers if there are data breaches and enforces their “right to be forgotten.” Non-compliant organizations face fines of up to 20 million euros or four percent of their turnover, whichever is higher.
- PCI-DSS – Any company that handles credit card information is subject to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) regulations. The PCI Security Standards Council enforces and administers the standard, and is an organization that was created by global payment brands including MasterCard and Visa. If a merchant does not comply with PCI-DDS, the payment brand could levy a fine of $5,000 to $100,000 every month. These are figures that could cripple a small or medium-sized business.
Non-compliance with regulations can result in harsh fines at best or a severe data breach at worst. Most companies have at least one IT security regulation that they are subject to. However, many businesses have difficulties establishing the rules that apply to them and the controls and policies they need to implement to achieve compliance.
Because the regulations are in a way that cannot be easily understood by your average person, partnering with a technology services company that is conversant with compliance is necessary. The firm will help you decipher the regulatory requirements and help you plan for compliance.
There are many rules, regulations and laws that businesses have to comply with to protect the information they process, store and transmit. Unfortunately, you could find it challenging to know which of these regulations apply to your business. 4it Inc. can help you make sense of the compliance frameworks and laws you need.
Do you need someone to outline the steps you should take to be compliant? Visit 4it Inc or call (954) 341-6000 today.
With over 30 years of experience as an IT professional, I lead our technical engineering and administrative staff in the delivery of our complete suite of IT services, which includes our award-winning Help Desk, Network Operations Center (NOC), and On-Site Field Service team. As the senior technology expert, I also provide oversight and technical support for our Palmetto Bay Village Center co-location and hosting facility.