Technology has solidified its presence in modern business. From processing big data sets to handling sensitive health and financial information, technological advancements are now integral in business operations. However, this has prompted regulatory bodies worldwide to develop IT laws for a safer and more secure digital landscape.
As a business owner, you must do your part in creating a safer digital world. But how exactly can you do so? Read below to learn how to make a safe environment online through proper IT compliance management.
What Is IT Compliance for Business?
IT compliance refers to adherence to specific regulations, standards, and guidelines regarding information technology. It encompasses a range of requirements your organization must meet to ensure the security, privacy, and integrity of your IT systems and data.
Data breaches, cyber threats, and privacy concerns—these IT challenges have become increasingly prevalent as the world grows more connected. Following the regulations set by authorities can prevent these risks from affecting your business’s reputation and bottom line.
However, it’s important to note that IT compliance regulations vary. Each nation has its own set of rules and frameworks that considers its specific technological concerns. So if you want to operate globally or within a particular jurisdiction, understanding these regulations is a must. Some standards to remember include the following:
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Gramm- Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
- Data Privacy Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10173)
Why Should Your Business Comply with Pertinent IT Regulations
Protecting your client’s welfare is always a wise business decision. Here are more reasons to comply with these IT rules and regulations.
Protects your clients’ sensitive information
Your customers are the reason you operate in the first place. Thus, you must take care of their needs, including keeping their information safe, to ensure your business’s success. Complying with IT regulations ensures your clients’ personal information—such as their names, addresses, or financial details—is handled carefully and protected from unauthorized access.
Take the GDPR, for example. This regulation requires businesses to obtain consent from individuals before collecting their personally identifiable data. They are also required to report data breaches within 72 hours lest they be meted out with a hefty fine. By staying compliant with the GDPR, you give your customers the right to control their data and strengthen their trust in your company.
Increases security from cybersecurity threats
Besides protecting client information, proper IT compliance management can enhance your security measures. According to Techjury, at least one type of cyberattack has targeted 64% of companies globally. Moreover, projections show that cybercrime costs will be $10.5 trillion yearly by 2025.
These numbers highlight the need to strengthen security online and defend against ever-evolving cyber threats. And these regulations require technical and physical safeguards to address known vulnerabilities. So, following these laws can help reduce the risks of cybercriminals slipping through the cracks of sloppy IT infrastructure.
Improves business operations
Many IT regulations emphasize the importance of well-defined processes and documentation, leading to enhanced efficiency and streamlined workflows when followed correctly. For instance, GDPR guidelines require the implementation of a data inventory and mapping process. With these, you can better understand the data you handle.
Moreover, IT compliance can help your organization adopt standardized practices and technologies, significantly improving interoperability and compatibility. You can establish a common framework to collaborate and integrate with your stakeholders seamlessly. In turn, you increase productivity, reduce operational complexities, and improve overall performance.
Enhances reputation and competitiveness
With growing concerns about data privacy, customers increasingly seek businesses prioritizing information security online. Effective IT compliance management demonstrates your commitment to data privacy, security, and ethical practices. It helps instill trust and confidence in your customers, making your company a cut above the rest.
For instance, following the PCI DSS regulations on handling payment information reassures your customers that their financial data is safe when transacting via credit card with your company. You can attract prospects who prioritize data security, giving you a competitive edge in today’s marketplace.
Helps avoid legal liabilities
Non-compliance with IT regulations can expose your business to legal liabilities and monetary penalties. Remember, regulatory bodies impose significant fines and sanctions if you don’t follow their guidelines, which can have severe financial consequences. Adhering to the applicable regulations can minimize the risk of legal action and prevent potential financial burdens that come with violations.
How to Ensure That Your IT Systems Stay Compliant
Ensuring IT compliance now helps you stay ahead of changing legal requirements and evolving industry standards, as it keeps your cybersecurity systems up-to-date.
1. Identify your specific security and compliance needs and policies
Before anything else, identify the regulations that apply to your industry and jurisdiction. You should also evaluate your business operations, data handling practices, and security requirements. The insights you obtain can help you develop comprehensive policies and procedures tailored to your organization’s needs, ensuring your IT matters align with relevant regulations.
2. Appoint a compliance officer
Designate an individual or team to oversee IT compliance management within your organization. When choosing your compliance officer, ensure they have extensive knowledge of relevant regulations. They should deeply understand these IT standards to help them develop effective compliance measures.
3. Conduct compliance audits
Assess your organization’s adherence to IT regulations by regularly performing an internal audit. It helps you quickly identify gaps in your cybersecurity measures or areas of non-compliance so that you can take corrective actions promptly. Enlist the help of qualified professionals for a thorough and objective assessment if you have no internal audit teams.
4. Work with local experts to understand the requirements
As mentioned, each country has its IT regulations and standards. So, consult with legal and IT compliance professionals to better understand the rules specific to your region. They can provide deeper insights into interpretation, implementation, and emerging compliance trends, helping you stay updated and ensure adherence to IT laws even as they change.
5. Set up compliance training for IT staff
Your IT team is responsible for your systems, ensuring everything runs correctly. So, they should know the proper compliance requirements, security protocols, and best practices. Ensure they have a solid understanding of the regulations applicable to your company by holding refresher courses and workshops.
With these regular training sessions, you can update your staff’s knowledge of evolving threats and compliance measures.
Enabling Business Success with IT Compliance
As the world grows more connected, regulatory bodies have become proactive in making a safer digital space for everyone—and your business can help. By staying compliant with IT regulations, you can strengthen your cybersecurity measures and ensure a safe online environment for your business and stakeholders.
Secure your business’s success amidst today’s increasingly interconnected digital world by enhancing IT compliance with the right people. Manila Recruitment is a recruitment firm in the Philippines that can help you find the best offshore IT staff to help with your compliance matters. Contact us today to learn more.