The business world is witnessing a major transformation right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way businesses operate and it is still too early to predict how many of them will return full-time to office-based operations. This massive change brings new challenges in the form of threats to data security, compliance adherence, productivity loss and more.

The year 2020 witnessed a record increase in cyberthreats all around the globe. However, these threats are expected to increase even further in 2021 due to a projected increase in social engineering attacks, ransomware and network-related vulnerabilities. While these threats are alarming to the business community, it also brings a new array of opportunities for IT service providers.

IT teams are always at the forefront when it comes to battling security threats. By adding compliance and security to their services, they can truly become trusted partners of businesses. In this blog, we’ll look at the significance of compliance regulations in the future workplace and how you can overcome common compliance hurdles.

Use this checklist to see if you have ticked all the compliance boxes.

The Need for Compliance-as-a-Service 

With the rise of security threats, regulatory agencies are tightening their compliance requirements for businesses that handle sensitive data. Any compliance violations could result in huge fines and penalties. Most importantly, it could also send the wrong message to customers about poor security posture. It is the duty of MSPs and IT departments to protect businesses from compliance penalties and security threats. 

According to many data privacy regulations, including GDPR, CPRA, HIPAA, etc., IT service providers are considered business associates for companies. This means that you could also be held responsible for non-compliance if companies fail to adhere to regulations. Ensuring compliance can protect companies from hefty fines and boost their overall security posture against various threats.

Learn more about how to build a profitable compliance-as-a-service business by watching this webinar.

Developing Your Compliance Program 

Establishing a compliance program is all about incorporating a full-fledged preventive solution. Before you incorporate a solution, you need to check the regulations that apply to you. Using the same framework, you can apply proactive measures in your or your clients’ organizations. You can start with simple measures that can protect your network and data immediately. While it is always good to start with the minimum level of compliance adherence, you must keep searching for potential vulnerabilities and remove security gaps as and when you find them.

When developing a compliance program, you need to take stock of existing security measures. For instance, do all employees have a dedicated work laptop? What guidelines are being followed to reduce vulnerabilities from home networks? How are you ensuring data privacy when all employees have to work remotely? Find out the answers to these critical questions and develop a compliance program that meets the norms and ensures maximum protection.

Compliance Best Practices 

Developing a compliance program is one thing but enforcing it is a whole different ball game. Since you are responsible for handling sensitive data, a potential breach could affect you greatly as well. To avoid such a situation, make sure you incorporate the following compliance best practices.

  • Zero-trust security model: A zero-trust approach to security ensures that only the right people have access to the right data. As part of this framework, no one (neither internal nor external actors) is trusted by default. Only with the right authentication can data be accessed by a user.
  • Compliance-oriented documentation: IT documentation can serve as more than just a record of your past activities. In addition to boosting productivity, documentation can also help make timely decisions on cybersecurity. Your documentation should also focus on realistic compliance and audit scenarios.
  • Multifactor authentication: Adding multifactor authentication limits access to critical data and stops almost all password-based cybercrimes.

  • Communication surveillance: In a hybrid work environment, information gets streamed across multiple channels such as emails, texts, video messages, phone calls, etc. You need to extend your communication surveillance to cover all these channels simultaneously.

  • Software tools: Make sure all the tools you use are compliant as per the regulatory guidelines. Outdated or legacy tools are often targeted by cybercriminals to breach a network.

Impact of Non-Compliance 

The consequences of non-compliance are quite severe for businesses as well as MSPs. First, there is heavy regulatory scrutiny that could result in massive fines. In many cases, non-compliance is discovered only after a security breach. Hence, you might also have to deal with losses resulting from the attack. To make things worse, this could lead to permanent reputational loss. If you cannot ensure compliance internally, your customers have no reason to trust you with their sensitive data, which will ultimately result in huge business losses.

Maintaining Compliance 

Adhering to multiple compliance regulations can be a tricky affair. However, it is not impossible. There are multiple tools that can help you overcome compliance hurdles and ensure adherence to all regulations. Make sure you develop a compliance program and enforce it strictly. In addition to avoiding legal troubles, you could also boost security and save your valuable data.

To know more about IT Glue’s compliance-oriented documentation platform, request a demo.

Check out our “Quick Start Guide to Data Privacy and Compliance” eBook for an overview of the steps needed to ensure your business adheres to data privacy compliance policies.

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