Cyber Security compliance standards and guidelines are gaining traction and being implemented in many industries and local and national government agencies. Failing to meet industry standards can have some severe repercussions, including hefty fines. Although some of these standards may seem optional, most are mandatory. Therefore, it’s essential to comply with them to avoid legal or financial troubles later. Remember, following the rules isn’t just about avoiding penalties but building trust with your customers and industry partners.
Popular opinion is that only companies within regulated industries need to worry about cybersecurity, believing that data protection is only a requirement for regulatory compliance. But any organization that receives, stores, or handles consumer or sensitive business data needs to protect that information – it’s always at risk. Hackers never stop looking for the weakest link into a network, and employees can pose threats through negligence or bad intentions.
Tip for Cyber Security Regulatory Compliance
Identify Which Requirements May Apply
First, determine which regulations or laws you and your customers must follow. To start, data breach notification regulations exist in every state in the United States, requiring you to tell customers if their personal information is compromised. For example, if your business deals with the financial information of a New York resident, you would be subject to the New York Department of Financial Services.
The California Consumer Privacy Act and the NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation both impose standards and restrictions that may apply to firms in any state that deal with covered data.
Implement Policies, Procedures, and Process Controls
It’s not only about technology when it comes to cybersecurity regulatory compliance. It’s also critical for both compliance and safety to have risk-mitigation policies and processes in place. There’s no technical precaution in the world that can prohibit a committed employee from downloading malware to company systems or visiting unsafe websites.
Conduct Regular Audits and Technical Reviews
It’s essential to perform regular audits (or technical reviews) of your own IT security and privacy programs, systems, and software to ensure they provide the protection you think they are. Although, there’s still no guarantee against a data breach even if you are doing all the right things correctly.
That’s why it’s essential you maintain ongoing documentation of your own compliance efforts to protect yourself by showing “due care” and side-stepping accusations of negligence.
Invest in the Right Cyber Security Compliance Tools and People
Make your life simpler by investing in the right tools and people. Many robust compliance tools give you the power to reduce IT risk by ensuring compliance with government or industry standards.
A good compliance tool will encompass custom IT requirements included in any business contract, insurance policy, or IT security policies and procedures. It will automate data gathering, issue management, and all the documentation required to prove due care to any internal or external auditor.
But you also need to have the right people using the tools. If you are large enough to have a compliance team, proper training on the tools is all you need. Suppose you have an IT team or IT consultant. It’s best not to have them audit their own work. Would you let your bookkeeper or treasurer audit your books? Bringing in an external auditor doesn’t mean you don’t trust your team, but that fresh set of eyes may see things that your people take for granted.
At Commonwealth Sentinel, we understand how crucial it is to ensure your organization’s security. That’s why we offer a wide range of services to help you minimize risks. Our dedicated team of experts supports you with software and hardware solutions, training, and policy implementation. Your concerns matter to us, and we are delighted to provide a complimentary and confidential consultation with our advisors to discuss them. This service is entirely free and could provide you with valuable insights. To schedule a consultation, click here or contact us at (502) 320-9885.