October 13, 2021
Businesses increasingly find themselves asking why security compliance is important, to which there are several compelling answers and reasons to invest in quality compliance standards for an organization.
Data compliance means being able to meet the regulations, whether federal, state, or even international (think GDPR, which still affects companies in the United States), set to ensure that sensitive information and data are protected from loss, theft, corruption, and misuse.
These regulations, which regulate how that data is managed and stored, must be followed by organizations. If not, they risk fines, losing public trust, and negative PR.
More things than ever before are done online—such as banking, healthcare, taxes, etc., meaning that more of people’s most sensitive information is stored digitally.
With so many of today’s transactions taking place online, compliance and protecting people’s sensitive information has become a cornerstone of cybersecurity and it’s a field that will continue to develop substantially in the coming years as new laws and standards are enforced.
As with cybersecurity in general, the market for cybersecurity compliance is growing rapidly because of the emphasis currently being placed on the protection of sensitive information online.
Your information is being stored by multiple websites and organizations and it’s becoming more and more important to ensure those parties are taking appropriate steps to protect that information.
Every year more regulations are put in place to provide further protection for data. So, staying on top of new rules is crucial for businesses.
In order to be compliant, organizations must follow set rules and regulations. These can vary widely but will usually involve having security policies like firewalls, encryptions, password protocols, and using acceptable data centers for storing information.
What happens if an organization breaks data compliance laws?
Non-compliance is usually punished by monetary fines from governing bodies for breaking the stated rules.
Fines vary by each different regulation and depends on the severity of the breach.
For example, non-compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) can result in fines from as little as $100 to up to $50,000 depending on the type of violation.
A jail time punishment can also be a possibility with up to 10 years of jail time if violations are deemed criminal.
But it’s not just money. Companies who are found to have mismanaged private information also face potentially devastating harm to their public reputation and risk losing the trust of their customers.
Compliance for businesses comes with many benefits, from avoiding fines to improving security infrastructure for the future.
Here’s why it’s so important for businesses to maintain their compliance now and moving forward.
The most obvious reason to ensure that you’re compliant with all information security regulations is to avoid hefty monetary fines.
For small businesses, these fines can oftentimes be devastating and can even end businesses outright.
On average, a data breach costs businesses around $5-8 million but that number can drastically increase, depending on a few factors.
Businesses should understand the true financial cost of a data breach in terms of how it will affect their operations—many who fall foul of regulations often end up with significant long-term fiscal issues as a result.
Consider the recovery cost of not having access to important data.
If a company is not prepared to deal with attacks, they are far, far more likely to be the victim of a breach, and with organizations taking an average of nine months to even discover a breach, that’s a risk that should not be taken lightly.
Ensuring you’re compliant with all data protection regulations significantly reduces the chances of a breach and having a recovery plan in place will help you recover faster, saving you money, time, and potentially the entire business.
Your customers are trusting you with their sensitive data and with that comes the expectation that you can protect it.
Any breach of data that puts that data at risk of theft or misuse will cast a shadow over your business for a long time.
Losing the trust and confidence of your current and future customer base can be a hole that most businesses will never be able to climb out of.
Customers are more concerned about their data than ever—with regard to how it’s used by businesses and what their data privacy standards are.
They have higher expectations for how their information is handled and businesses must meet these expectations in order to maintain trust with the customer base.
Additionally, consider the competitive advantages that can be attained from a business that takes compliance seriously, especially in industries like healthcare and finance where handling sensitive data is such a central aspect of business operations.
Compliance is more than a checklist of things for a company to accomplish in order to avoid fines and bad PR; being compliant is also important in making sure your business’ and its customer’s data are secure.
It means effectively implementing security measures in order to best protect information and lower your risk of a serious data breach that will cause harm to everyone associated with your business.
Maintaining compliance helps to enhance an organization’s security and ability to manage data by compelling them to adapt and always be on the cutting edge of technology and infrastructure, improving operational efficiency.
As we mentioned above, compliance has become a major part of an effective cybersecurity strategy for all businesses.
If a business is in need of compliance, starting from the ground up with a purpose-built cybersecurity plan can be a great way to ensure a strong foundation for protecting your information. It’s never too soon to get started, either.
Every year more regulations and laws are passed that require more compliance and, eventually, every organization will have to abide by or be left behind.
For businesses, getting ahead now means setting themselves up for a stronger future by protecting from cyberattacks, protecting sensitive information, and ensuring compliance to avoid fines and reputational harm.
Compliance has quickly become a critical part of a larger cybersecurity strategy and as more regulations come into play in the near future, it’s poised to continue that growth.
Organizations that aren’t prioritizing it already are at risk of falling behind and becoming susceptible to potentially devastating fines and reputational harm as a result of non-compliance.
Want to learn more about how your business can ensure compliance? Talk to a DOT Security expert today.