When you think of data breaches, the first thing that comes to mind might be personal privacy concerns: Has my data been leaked? Did someone get my credit card number? My Social Security number? My medical records? But if you’re a small to medium-sized business, cybercrimes can wreak havoc on your compliance standing, ruin your finances and even force you to close your doors for good. To avoid expensive fines and lost time, it’s important to start thinking through compliance and taking proactive steps to see where you stand.
Getting compliance in order is easier when you consider a few key things. Addressing noncompliant behavior within your workforce is a good place to begin, but the next step is to get everything tech in check to secure your network and system. Doing so is the only way to protect data, prepare for a compliance audit, avoid hefty penalties — and protect your good reputation.
“Changes in the regulatory environment and risk landscape are constant and unpredictable, while businesses are making big bets on digital transformation and renewing focus on innovation. As a result, the consequences of poor risk management strategies are no longer confined to just settlements and fines, but include damage to brand and business growth.” – Gartner
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A Recipe for Compliance Success:
- Read Up on New Regulations – If you know anything about HIPAA, PCI or SOX, you know regulations are always evolving. Being aware of critical changes to privacy policies is essential to compliance, so pay attention and skim tech blogs regularly.
- Invest in Security Awareness Training (SAT) – If human error is responsible for the majority of data breaches, then training employees about cybersecurity and cyberthreats is paramount. Avert disaster by taking time to talk about technology and best practices.
- Consider Mobile Device Management (MDM) – If you’re managing a remote workforce and using technology to support mobile employees, a large number of personal devices, such as laptops, smartphones and tablets will need to be protected. Secure them now.
- Tighten Up Privacy Settings – If your chief concern is concealing personal identifying information from hackers and cybercriminals, secure your network with two-step authentication, restricted user access, strengthened firewalls and more.
- Think About the Consequences – If all of this sounds overwhelming, take a moment to visualize the consequences you’d suffer if you’re caught breaking the rules. Nothing ruins your bottom line like costly fines that stem from ignoring regulations.
- Seek Out Professional Guidance – After taking these factors into consideration, you should have a better idea about your risk for noncompliance and what you need to do next. At this point, businesses often find that a professional assessment is in order.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, know that you’re not alone. Regardless of how long you’ve been in business, how big your organization is and how much data it handles, it’s never a bad idea to prioritize compliance concerns now and avoid trouble down the road. You don’t need an entire IT department to get the job done, but staying compliant is definitely easier with a trusted tech partner in your corner.
Need Some Help?
If you’re ready to get serious about compliance, partnering with IT professionals who can step in and provide expert IT support is always a responsible decision. Every business is unique, which is why you’ll want to work with someone who possesses in-depth knowledge of your industry and understands what it takes for your business to stay compliant. Contact us to learn more about how we help businesses like yours conquer compliance and cybersecurity concerns for good.