Security Compliance Management

Introduction

For those who run a business, customer service, satisfaction and increasing profits are most important. One of the last things on their mind is meeting the requirements set by the government when it comes to Information Security regulations. However, ignoring these regulations can be an expensive mistake resulting in fines ranging into the millions of dollars. Here is where compliance management comes into play. It will help your company stay away from IT related issues and prevent problems before they need remediation.

The word compliance means that your business meets standards, regulations and obligations of its industry. In the world of Information Security, it means securing the data that your company deals with or has possession of. InfoSec regulations are important because data breaches need serious attention, irrespective of the industry in which your business resides.

Regulatory Standards

Outlined here are a few regulatory standards that need to be followed in certain industries.

PCI-DSS: Those who accept credit card information from customers need to be compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). There are specific standards with regards to firewall, passwords, anti- virus software etc. Credit card information should never be stored on paper but should always be secure. Failure to comply with this standard can attract various fines from banks, customers and trade commissions. If you are a merchant, this standard should be closely followed by all parts of your business.

HIPAA: This standard concerns those in the healthcare field. Here, patient’s privacy should always be protected. Years ago, charts and spoken words had to be safeguarded. Now, it’s data systems that need to be safe guarded. A proactive approach is mandatory for monitoring potential data breach threats and for following steps to prevent them. This calls for working closely with others and ensuring that everyone follows the regulations set forth by the law. System safeguards to prevent unauthorized access to patient’s data should be in place. Regular audits must be conducted to assess vulnerabilities in security and to fix them before problems arise. Failure to comply can result in large fines coupled with lawsuits, investigations and compliance reviews by governmental authorities.

Other Laws: There are several other laws and regulations that may be applicable depending on the type of industry. Some examples of such regulations are SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act), GLBA (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act), ISO (International Organization for Standardization), FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act), NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation), NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and more.

Rewards of Compliance Management

Build Trust with Your Clientele: Demonstrate to your client that you can keep their data safe by complying with governmental laws. A good record of being compliant will show that your business is trustworthy and will help in building and retaining your client base.

Reduced Legal Risks: When you are compliant, legal risks stay away. It will also help save money that comes from lawsuits, fines and compensations. Some organizations can afford to make huge payments but will end up losing their customers’ trust due to noncompliance. Such damage could take forever to be fixed (if it can be fixed) and calculating the losses is virtually impossible. It is always better to comply with the standards regarding data security.

Better Employee Retention: Many of the compliance laws have to do with protecting employees. They too will feel protected and safe working in such a professional environment, and as a result, may stay longer with your organization. Valuable employees can be lost due to lack of compliance.

As you can see, there are only benefits that result from being compliant. Performing regular checks or audits are easy ways to ensure full compliance. I hope this provides insight on how important security compliance is to your business. For more insight, stay tuned …

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