Understanding IT Compliance:
6 Laws Every Business
Should Know About

Posted on October 17, 2019

In today’s complicated technology landscape, there are dozens of IT compliance laws your business is required to follow. 


All the buzz about compliance shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, every industry from finance to healthcare to education is required to handle private customer data, whether it involves medical records, credit card information or other personal information. Mishandling sensitive data can cost you millions of dollars and ruin your reputation with customers and clients. 


In this blog, we’ll uncover why IT compliance is so important and share six essential regulations your business should know about. 


What Is IT Compliance?


IT compliance requires businesses to take control of and protect their information. Different industries require companies to meet slightly different standards, and IT compliance is subject to the laws of various countries, as well.


IT compliance isn’t just about securing data; it dictates how a particular organization might store data, and where. What tools are you utilizing to monitor potential threats? Who has access to sensitive information? How does information move, both internally and externally?


IT compliance ensures that the way information is stored and disseminated meets third-party standards and keeps private information out of the wrong hands.


Industries that are most affected by strict IT compliance regulations include:


* Finance

* Retail

* Ecommerce

* Insurance

* Banking

* Utilities

* Health insurance and services

* Credit card issuers


Long story short, if your company is required to protect data to ensure confidentiality, reliability, integrity or availability of information, you’ll need to be aligned with multiple IT regulations. 


Why Does IT Compliance Matter?


The world is producing more data than ever before – 2.5 quintillion bytes every day. And with the growing amount of data at our fingertips, new vulnerabilities are constantly emerging. 


Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are becoming more popular, which means employees are using personal computers and smartphones for work. Many companies have trouble managing the ever-growing web of connected devices, and employees often end up accessing private company data on unsecured networks and downloading unauthorized applications. 


The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) also contributes to a world where devices are more connected – and at risk – than ever. Over 75 billion devices will be connected with the IoT by 2025. Security in IoT is still catching up, and it’s challenging to maintain visibility into all the devices that have access to your sensitive information. 


Your IT compliance status is critical to your overall reputation. If you don’t keep up with IT regulations, you will find that it not only affects you financially; it could prevent you from winning strategic clients and partnerships down the line.


6 IT Compliance Regulations


Understanding all the regulations that may apply to your business can be daunting. In the U.S., for example, companies may be required to comply with multiple regulating bodies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (CC). 


No matter what industry you’re in, here are six IT compliance laws you should know about:


1. HIPAA: If you’re in the healthcare industry, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with HIPAA. HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and it was signed into law in 1996. The law puts guidelines in place to protect the records of medical patients, which often contain extremely sensitive and personal information. 

* Industries it applies to: Insurers, medical providers and employers who provide healthcare insurance


2. Sarbanes-Oxley Act: This regulation was enacted by Congress in response to the high-profile Enron and WorldCom scandal, one of the most notable examples of corporate fraud in history. The act exposes conflicts of interest, encourages corporate transparency and holds companies responsible for financial disclosures.

* Industries it applies to: U.S. public company boards, management firms and public accounting firms


3. FISMA: The Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 assigns responsibilities to federal agencies regarding information security systems. It makes it necessary to view IT security as a natural security matter. 

* Industries it applies to: All federal agencies


4. GLBA: The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) requires financial institutions to disclose what consumer information they share and why. It also allows consumers to opt out of sharing their personal data with third parties.

* Industries it applies to: Financial institutions and companies that sell financial products or services to consumers


5. GDPR: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulates how companies manage personal customer data. It requires companies to enact enterprise-wide data mapping and inventory and assess their privacy compliance programs. Most importantly, it ensures businesses can only access data after an individual has explicitly opted in. 

* Industries it applies to: Any company that collects, stores or processes personal data from European citizens


6. PCI-DSS: The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI-DSS) is an organization that includes all major payment card brands, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. It manages and protects consumer payment information and helps reduce fraud during the transaction process. 

* Industries it applies to: Companies that accept, process and store credit card information


How to Eliminate IT Compliance Risk Today


Your customers deserve to have their personal data treated with care. A preventable data breach can cost your business thousands (or millions) of dollars and violate your customers’ and stakeholders’ trust. Many companies who encounter this situation never fully recover. 


IT compliance sounds great in theory, but let’s be honest – isn’t exactly easy to monitor and implement all of these complex security regulations. When you’re preoccupied with running every other aspect of your business, the last thing you have time to worry about is compliance. 


So leave the hard stuff to SugarShot. As the #1 IT support and cybersecurity provider in Los Angeles, nothing gets us more excited than helping businesses stay secure. Our seasoned team of compliance consultants bring a fresh perspective to every IT compliance situation. 


Every company is unique and requires a thorough IT compliance plan. We’ll help you outline the IT requirements for your industry, identify gaps and risks in your current environment and execute on the work required to get you up to standards. 


Whether you’re looking for a simple audit or need help implementing new regulations throughout your organization, you can rely on SugarShot as more than just a technical partner. 


Learn more about our IT compliance services or contact SugarShot today for an obligation-free chat with one of our IT experts. 

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