With data breaches becoming increasingly routine, it is imperative for organizations, both large and small, to maintain the security and privacy of their customers. No wonder then that IT security is a growing area of concern for businesses and the IT companies that support these organizations. For these reasons, businesses need to do all they can to protect customer data.
Whatever measures you take to protect your sensitive information, things cannot fall in place if you don’t emphasize the importance of compliance.
IT organizations understand that creating systems to protect sensitive customer data entails cost expenditure. However, the benefits IT security compliance offer far outweigh the cost incurred. Apart from avoiding expensive data breaches and maintaining an industry-specific compliance certification, security compliance has numerous benefits.
Here are five vital reasons you need IT security compliance.
Avoiding fines and penalties
Avoiding fines and penalties is an important aspect that IT organizations need to take into account. Around the world, governments are enacting laws to protect the security and privacy of personal data collected by private entities. And, if you violate these laws, you are liable to pay hefty fines and penalties. However, with robust security compliance in place, organizations can avoid these penalties by effectively securing the data they collect.
Here are some of the security compliance frameworks you need to be careful about:
The United States in 1996 enacted the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA, which imposes numerous regulations for those who handle patient data in the healthcare industry. If you handle patient data in the U.S., organizations need to comply with HIPAA regulations, or are liable to pay a non-compliance penalty ranging from $100 to $50,000 for every violation. The maximum penalty for non-compliance could go up to $1.5 million annually.
In 2018, the European General Data Protection Act (GDPR), was enacted. It applies to every organization that processes the personal data of people in the European Union. Also, it applies to companies that are not physically present in the EU, but deal with personal data of EU residents. Under this law, companies need to get the consent of their customers to collect data, anonymize data, keep their customers informed about data breaches and enforce the right to be forgotten. Non-compliance can result in fines equaling 4% of their global turnover, or 20 million euros, whichever is greater.
Companies that handle credit information need to comply with regulations set by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). The regulation has been administered and enforced by the PCI Security Standards Council, which is an organization created by issuers of credit cards – such as Visa, MasterCard and others. Failing to comply with PCI-DSS regulations can result in fines ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 per month.
Avoiding costly lawsuits
Avoiding costly lawsuits is yet another aspect that businesses need to learn about when they think of IT security compliance. A lawsuit that results in a ruling against the company causes serious damage on two fronts – financial and reputation.
Cybersecurity compliance is a major area of concern for companies around the world. Recently, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against Dunkin’ Brands – franchisor of Dunkin’ Donuts – over two data breaches in 2015 and 2018. The Attorney General’s office has accused the company of mishandling cyberattacks that compromised over 320,000 customer accounts.
The Attorney General’s office has alleged that the company not only violated its internal data security procedures, but also failed to comply with the NYS Information Security Breach and Notification Act, and consumer protection laws.
Dunkin’ Brands was targeted in 2015 by automated software to gain access to consumer accounts. In a press release, Attorney General James said, “My office is committed to protecting consumer data and holding businesses accountable for implementing safe security practices.”
In a recently settled case, the Attorney General’s office had sued sock manufacturer Bombas for failing to notify its customers of a data breach that compromised nearly 40,000 accounts. The company will pay $65,000 in fines for waiting three years to tell 39,561 online customers that their credit and debit card data had been breached.
With data protection regulations getting tougher by the day, it is important to put in place IT security compliance measures to minimize losses. The only way to prevent data breaches is to improve your IT security. If businesses improve their IT security, they can minimize losses.
If you want to avoid losing money to penalties, lawsuits, lost business opportunities, and repair costs, you need to ensure that all preventive measures are put in place to avoid data breaches.
Hence, to minimize your losses, you need to consider IT security compliance seriously.
Avoid risking reputation
Reputation management is important to businesses of all sizes. If you want to avoid risking your reputation in the market, you need to make sure that you safeguard the security and privacy of your customers. Data breaches can play havoc with your reputation.
Data breaches can result in the potential loss of financial capital, social capital, and/or market share that can harm the reputation of every company – the cumulative effect of which is known as reputation risk or reputational risk.
A data breach cannot just harm your company’s reputation, but it can also erode your customer’s trust. Also, it sends the message that you don’t care about your customers, and that your IT security is flawed.
When you put IT security compliance measures in place, you can protect your company’s reputation by avoiding data breaches. And, even if there is a data breach, you can quickly notify your customers about the breach and take appropriate steps to avert such incidences in the future.
Effective communication is a must for the success of every organization. Mostly, the IT department in an organization is responsible for the seamless operation of computers and other information technologies. But with most of the modern offices adopting newer forms of communication, the workload of the IT department has increased substantially. For example, conference calls, point-to-point phone calls, video and web conferences, network drives, server, and email security. After all, providing safe, secure, and effective communication to everyone in the office is the responsibility of the IT department.
But businesses need to understand that without proper IT security compliance, their IT department cannot provide safe, secure and effective communication. From securing servers and network drives to calls, emails, and attachments, everything needs to be secured so that there is no data breach. Therefore, if you want to avoid data leaks and breaches, you need to make sure that IT security is improved and everyone in the organization complies with the data security policies.
With data breaches increasing by the day and enforcement efforts around the world becoming stricter, organizations need to consider IT business solutions to protect their customer’s sensitive information. If you want to avoid data breaches, you need to think about corporate data encryption.
eServe offers reliable cloud-based encryption for business of all sizes, types and geographic locations. From our physical data center to the cloud, eServe helps organizations remain protected and in control. Contact us to learn more about our comprehensive solutions.