Cyber crimes have steadily increased over the last decade as technology evolves and cyber criminals become more sophisticated in the way that they steal or corrupt data.
In the last year, cybercrimes have increased 600 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a sudden uptick in phishing email schemes, according to PurpleSec.
Organizations are obligated to meet certain standards for security and data privacy that apply to their specific industry.
Although meeting ever-evolving security and compliance standards can be challenging, there are countless benefits that businesses can enjoy when they remain compliant.
Protect Businesses Against Reputational Damage
Data breaches and other IT security events can have devastating effects on a business’s reputation. All it takes is a single data breach to break the trust between the organization and its customers, potentially causing many customers to choose the services of competitors who are deemed more trustworthy.
Depending on the severity of the breach, a business may be forced to close its doors. Businesses that consistently maintain compliance with IT security standards are less likely to suffer the reputational repercussions of a data breach or other harmful security event.
Avoid Hefty Fines and Penalties for Non-Compliance
Businesses that do not meet IT security compliance standards applicable in their industry may face fines and penalties for non-compliance. Some of the most common IT security compliance frameworks that most businesses in North America must comply with include:
- HIPAA – Known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HIPAA is a U.S. legislation that outlines security provisions and data privacy standards for safeguarding patients’ medical information. Failure to comply can result in fines ranging from $100 to more than $50,000 per violation, as well as a maximum penalty of up to $1.5 million annually.
- PCI-DSS – The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) refers to requirements that any company that stores, processes or transmits credit card information must comply with. PCI-DSS standards are designed to improve account security during the transaction process.
- GDPR – The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a strict security and privacy law that requires businesses to protect the privacy and personal information of EU citizens for any transactions that occur in EU member states.
Enhance Data Management Capabilities
Proper management of private or personal data is key to maintaining IT security compliance.
It is the responsibility of the organization to consistently track what sensitive information they store for customers and develop strategies for accessing this information safely.
Many compliance standards also dictate how and when a company can store private customer information.
For example, under GDPR requirements, a business can only collect data from users who actively opt-in to the data collection process. The user must also have the option to request their information be deleted from the business’s records.
Open Up New Growth Opportunities
Businesses often seek opportunities for growth by merging with other companies or forming mutually beneficial partnerships.
Unfortunately, companies that continually fail to meet industry-specific compliance standards may seem untrustworthy or unprofessional in the eyes of other organizations.
Maintaining IT security compliance helps demonstrate to prospective partners that the business has performed due diligence to protect the privacy and security of customer information.
Meeting these standards can boost a company’s image and reputation and help them find other trustworthy businesses in the industry.
Reveal and Address Operational Inefficiencies
Businesses that want to comply with IT security standards will often have to carefully look at all aspects of their operations to ensure compliance.
While reviewing different areas of operations, business leaders may uncover problems that directly impact operational efficiency.
Striving to meet IT security compliance standards can help businesses identify where their problem areas are so that they can be promptly addressed.
For example, a business that wants to comply with GDPR standards may audit all of the information collected from customers.
The business may then discover that although they are receiving 500,000 hits to their website, only 30,000 of these visitors have opted into the data collection process.
Control Access to Sensitive Customer Information
It is important that not everyone within an organization has access to confidential customer information, as this can significantly increase the risk of data breaches and other cyber events. IT security compliances are put in place to limit the people who have access to this sensitive information.
IT security compliance often includes requirements like implementing security monitoring systems and creating appropriate credentials for certain employees. These strategies can help protect the organization’s proprietary data and the data of customers and employees.
Schedule a Consultation with SeaGlass Technology
Businesses that need assistance with IT security compliance often turn to IT security services. To learn more about the benefits of IT security compliance or to speak with a reputable NYC IT security professional, reach out to SeaGlass Technology today.