No matter what industry your business is in, chances are you are required to meet certain cybersecurity regulations. Cybersecurity compliance means abiding by a set of rules that an organization or institution has developed to protect digital information.
Cybersecurity compliance can determine where and how data is stored, accessed, and transferred to enhance security and reduce the risk of a data breach. Here’s what you need to know about cybersecurity compliance and why it is important.
The Importance of Cybersecurity Compliance
Even if your business does not handle sensitive or classified data, cybersecurity still plays an integral role in your company. As organizations increasingly rely on the internet and manage a significant amount of digital data, reducing the risk of a security breach is paramount.
Businesses in healthcare, financial, and government industries are the most common organizations required to abide by specific cybersecurity regulations. However, even companies that serve specific countries or states are required to comply with set cybersecurity standards.
Here are a few examples of what a cybersecurity regulation might require:
- Notifying individuals that have been affected by a breach
- Cybersecurity training for employees and contractors
- Restricting and tracking access and use of sensitive data
- Conducting regular audits of your established protocol
- Having a designated person or team in charge of cybersecurity
- Giving consumers the choice to have their information shared or not
Generally, cybersecurity standards require the minimum framework companies should have in place to protect data. These regulations are required by law and have benefits beyond avoiding a breach and incurring penalties.
Cybersecurity compliance can help protect your business, its reputation, and its customers. It can also prevent your company from incurring significant financial costs as the result of a breach and even bankruptcy. Being consistent with data usage can also improve your operational efficiency and support your business’s success.
Common Cybersecurity Regulations
A few common cybersecurity regulations your business may be required to abide by include:
- EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- NIST Cybersecurity Framework
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
- The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
Your company may be required to abide by all of these, none of them, or only some of them. Your cybersecurity compliance requirements will depend on what type of data you handle and your specific industry.
Are There Penalties for Not Being Compliant?
Many cybersecurity regulations are required by law, meaning you must abide by them. If you are not compliant with a cybersecurity regulation, you may face significant penalties or even prison time if you knowingly violate the rules. These fines can be enough to bankrupt a company.
In addition, non-compliance can also hurt your business reputation and cause your clients or customers to lose trust in you. Companies that are not in compliance can experience a cybersecurity breach and compromised data that can cause legal issues in addition to monetary penalties.
The importance of cybersecurity compliance goes beyond avoiding penalties, however. Remaining compliant can protect your business, strengthen your security, and make you eligible to bid on contracts in the case of government contractors.
How to Take Steps Toward Cybersecurity Compliance
Achieving cybersecurity compliance will depend on what data your business stores, transfers, or manages as well as what standards you may already have in place for safe data handling.
For companies that lack an in-house IT or cybersecurity team, the best way to get started is to contact a company experienced in helping businesses of your size and industry achieve and maintain cybersecurity compliance.
The process begins with a risk analysis, remediation plan, and policy creation and maintenance. However, it doesn’t stop there. As cybersecurity regulations are constantly evolving to accommodate modern threats, continuing to evaluate and adjust your protocol as time goes on is essential.
Are You in Compliance?
If you’re unsure whether your company is in compliance or needs assistance to maintain compliance, contact neteffect technologies. Our team works with companies to properly establish, maintain, and adjust cybersecurity protocols to achieve compliance and protect their futures.