Industries regularly roll out new standards and regulatory requirements that need to be adhered to unfailingly. Cybersecurity compliance is one such requirement that needs to be met with. In fact, strict adherence to cybersecurity compliance can become a huge contributing factor towards business success.
It’s no secret that the number and intensity of cyber-attacks are increasing; and it is not just the big enterprises that cybercriminals are targeting. As per the 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report,
- 28% of breaches involved small business victims
- 45% of breaches featured hacking
- 58% of victims had their personal data compromised
- 86% of breaches were financially-motivated
- 70% of breaches were carried out by outsiders
- 22% of breaches involved phishing tactics
- Over 25% of breaches take months or more to discover
These kinds of findings have necessitated more stringent cyber security compliance requirements. To be able to keep up with the changes, businesses need to proactively adopt a security-first approach and stay ahead of the developments related to cybersecurity compliance.
This is where hiring Outsourced IT Support or an MSP can prove fruitful. Their skilled IT professionals possess deep knowledge and understanding of the various compliance regulations applicable across industries. Businesses can leverage their expertise in this area to stay compliant and hence, secure.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of compliance, however, it is necessary to understand what it means.
As seasoned providers of comprehensive cybersecurity and managed IT Services, we know that compliance refers to the creation of a program that puts in place strategies and controls to safeguard the confidentiality and accessibility of any information that a business stores, processes or transfers.
Certain standards may overlap in some industries, which may give rise to confusion and surplus work for organizations. Organizations in the healthcare industry, for instance, need to adhere to (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) HIPAA Compliance. However, if the organization accepts payments through a POS (point-of-sale) device, it also needs to fulfil PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) requirements.
Similarly, businesses that cater to customers/individuals in the European Union need to comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). The CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) is meant to be adhered by businesses that have customers in California.
Cybersecurity compliance regulations cover cybersecurity and data protection with a special focus on safeguarding sensitive data, protected health information, and financial information.
How Cybersecurity Compliance Helps Businesses
Being compliant and keeping up with cybersecurity regulations proves advantageous to businesses in the following ways:
- Dodge Penalties
The most obvious benefit of maintaining cybersecurity compliance is that your business can avoid stiff penalties.The law requires organizations to meet the necessary compliance and take certain recommended actions as soon as they suffer a data breach. Businesses that fail to comply in this regard may have to pay hefty fines and penalties, in case of a breach.
- Keep Your Reputation Intact
When your organization suffers an avoidable data breach, it inevitably harms your reputation. Customer trust plummets as they think that you have failed to safeguard their privacy, and don’t have appropriate cybersecurity measures in place.
However, when you adhere to cybersecurity compliance, your business reputation will stay intact as you will be adequately equipped to tackle breaches and other emergencies. You will know exactly how to contain and mitigate the effects of any kind of cyber-attack. Most importantly, your business can continue to function as usual.
- Improve Data Management
Cybersecurity compliance enables better data management, which boosts your operational efficiency.
In order to facilitate proper data management, however, businesses must first identify the sensitive information they possess, and then build capabilities that allow secure access and the right to modify it in a streamlined manner.
Businesses that are required to adhere to the GDPR, for example, should allow their customers to access the data they have collected. If the customer requests for any of their information stored by the business, the latter will have to oblige as well as furnish details about where the data is being stored and how it is being used.
Further, GDPR requires that companies collect data from only those users who opt to provide their data. Companies should be able to “forget” user data when requested and delete their personal data, while discontinuing its dissemination to third parties.
These stipulations are forcing organizations to redesign their data management processes so they uphold privacy more stringently. Apposite data monitoring and management also helps organizations mitigate risks of breaches, while making information more indexed and searchable.
- Find Responsible Strategic Partners
Cybersecurity compliance will enable you to find business partners that understand the importance of these mandates. Typically, organizations that have invested time and resources in maintaining adherence with cybersecurity compliance will likely refrain from partnering with organizations that have not done so. After all, going for such partnerships will put their data privacy, cybersecurity, and company reputation at risk.
When your business maintains cybersecurity compliance, your prospective partner organizations get the message that you have put stringent measures in place to ensure the security of your data. This, in turn, will augment your reputation within your industry as a secure and trustworthy business partner.
- Improve Accountability
As a part of compliance adherence, businesses need to put in place secure processes for data access. This ensures that only authorized individuals with proper credentials can access secure systems and databases that hold sensitive data.
For this, organizations need to implement security monitoring systems that track not only access to protected systems, but also to the actions performed on these systems.
Assigning specific users with access credentials can help organizations beef up their cybersecurity measures as well as improve accountability. Also,fulfilling these cybersecurity compliance requirements can effectively protect customer data as well as the business’s confidential proprietary information.
The business benefits of adhering to regulatory compliance standards and requirements go beyond ensuring protection of sensitive data, as required by law. Robust cybersecurity compliance enables you to protect your organization’s reputation, build customer loyalty, and inspire consumer trust by assuring them that their sensitive information is in safe hands. Further, with clear data management policies in place, you can achieve better day-to-day operational efficiency.Adherence to cybersecurity compliance requirements also lowers the threat of data breaches as well as the related effects, penalties, and recovery costs. All in all, cybersecurity compliance adherence will only put your business in a secure place, while driving competitive advantage.