Six Steps to Compliance
“Most departments view legal and compliance support as key to smart growth. They want to enable the business to balance risk with reward, and to modernize their own operations through process and technology improvements. But [Gartner] found a wide gap between the importance of initiatives and leaders’ confidence in their ability to solve them.” -Ross Gardiner, Director, Advisory, Gartner
If you’re like most busy executives, compliance is a priority — but it’s not necessarily at the top of your to-do list. Yet businesses of all sizes are governed by federal (and sometimes even international) regulations, and whether you like them or not, they’re in place for a good reason. As a business owner, it’s up to you to stay compliant and protect your precious data, but it’s a responsibility that nobody should shoulder alone.
You don’t have to be intimidated by the regulatory landscape when you’ve got technology on your side. With the right IT infrastructure in place, your company can navigate this tricky terrain while keeping everyone’s private information secure. Whether you’re running a healthcare testing facility, financial institution or a small to medium-sized business, you’re bound to face compliance challenges. From HIPAA to PCI and everything in between, compliance is simpler when you leverage technology to your advantage.
Here are six things to do to be in compliance
- Step One: Conduct Research – Maintaining compliance can be intimidating if you don’t know where to begin. Figure out what regulations apply to your industry, what your current protocols are looking like and what you need to do to secure your business and safeguard your data going forward.
- Step Two: Establish Firm Policies – When you have to protect patient health records, credit card information and other sensitive information from data breaches, make sure your employees follow the proper procedures. Educating your workforce via security awareness training is one option..
- Step Three: Get Technical – Work with IT professionals to update your technology and determine what it will take to bring your business up to speed. Avoid falling into the treacherous zone of noncompliance by protecting your perimeter, including setting up firewalls and more..
- Step Four: Encrypt Your Data – Hackers are hoping that you adopt new technology, use the default security setting and forget about it. Take proactive measures to keep personal details regarding medical records and financial transactions safe and abide by government regulations..
- Step Five: Protect Hardware – When you’re conducting business virtually and making important online transactions, your data will be accessed remotely from countless devices. Mobile device management is the way to mitigate privacy concerns and stay compliant.
- Step Six: Get an Assessment – Once you’ve done what you can on your end to tighten up your processes and procedures, it’s time to enlist the help of professionals. A free assessment or consultation can prepare you for a compliance audit and other potential obstacles.
After going through the above checklist, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. But by putting in time and effort ahead of time, you’re giving your business the best chance of staying compliant — and staying in business. Remember, every regulation put in place is done so for a reason, and if you value your customers’ trust, do the right thing. Invest enough resources into protecting your valuable data to keep you covered no matter what comes your way.
How We Can Help
Running a business is hard enough without worrying about compliance. Let a managed services provider take some stress off your plate by setting you up with the IT solutions you need at a price you can afford. When your good name and your clients’ personal data is on the line, what could be more important? Spend more time focusing on growing your brand and less time worrying about data theft with help from a trusted managed services provider (MSP). Connect with an expert today, and take compliance off the table tomorrow.