Compliance: IT Security & Compliance Management
In today’s data-driven world, information security is paramount for companies of all industries. Without proper security, data breaches can occur, resulting in costly financial and sales data losses, as well as leaks in private client information. Such information breaches can drain bank accounts, sink businesses and ruin lives. In response, governments and regulatory agencies have put in place several security regulations to help companies improve their information security.
Why Companies Need Compliance
Most companies maintain compliance with at least one IT security regulation. Not only are many of these regulations mandatory, but they also greatly benefit companies:
- Improve Security: IT security regulations improve corporate security measures by setting baseline requirements. This baseline keeps business data-security levels relatively consistent within respective industries.
- Minimize Losses: Improved security, in turn, prevents breaches, which are costly to businesses. Many companies end up losing millions in sales, repair costs and legal fees, all of which can be avoided with the right preventive measures.
- Increase Control: Improved security goes hand-in-hand with increased control. Prevent employee mistakes and insider theft with heightened credentialing systems while keeping an eye on outside threats.
- Maintain Trust: Customers trust businesses with their information. Honor that trust with improved security systems that keep their information safe.
Common IT Security Compliance Regulations
Numerous European and U.S. security compliance laws now exist, each relating to a variety of different industries. The most common of these regulations include the following:
- GDPR: The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, aims to protect citizens in the European Union (EU) from data breaches. The GDPR applies to all companies processing personal data for people residing in the EU, even if that company is not physically located or based in the EU.
- HIPAA: An acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, this bill puts in place several regulations about healthcare patients’ data security. Any companies that handle healthcare data, from hospitals and clinics to insurance companies, are required to comply with HIPAA regulations when handling this data.
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX): Complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act involves maintaining financial records for seven years and is required for U.S. company boards, management personnel and accounting firms. The point of the regulation was to prevent another incident like the Enron scandal, which hinged on fraudulent bookkeeping.
- FISMA: The Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 treats information security as a matter of national security for federal agencies. As part of the bill, all federal agencies are required to develop data protection methods.
- PCI-DSS: The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a set of regulations meant to help reduce fraud, primarily through protecting customer credit card information. PCI-DSS security and compliance is required for all companies handling credit card information.
- GPG13: Alternatively known as Good Practice Guide 13, GPG13 is a U.K. general data protection regulation for business processes. This system is implemented by many organizations, but is compulsory for those managing high-impact data.
Determining which regulations apply to your business can be difficult. Even more difficult is maintaining them all.