Regardless of your industry, there are going to be certain regulatory standards that you will be responsible for upholding. Many of these standards will be related in some way to your cybersecurity. Let’s talk about some of these cybersecurity standards, and why compliance is so critical for your business.
Let’s begin by examining the purpose of cybersecurity compliance standards.
Similarly to the codes that a new construction needs to abide by as it is built up, modern industries are beholden to various requirements from the federal government, state governments, local governments, as well as industry groups and different sources of authority. Many of these requirements relate back to cybersecurity.
Why? Not just because cybersecurity is so incredibly crucial for a business, which it of course is, but also because your cybersecurity’s influence doesn’t end at your business.
Consider for a moment the kind of data you collect and store as you go about your daily operations. How much of it could potentially be used in the interest of cybercrime? Any payment information you have stored is a target. Personally identifiable information on your clients and staff alike is a target. Data you’ve collected or generated about your business itself is a target.
Your business is a target. Not just for the data and resources it has, but the fact that this data and these resources can then be used to victimize other parties.
Therefore, it is important that all, or at least as many as possible, businesses uphold a set minimum level of cybersecurity. That’s where these regulatory benchmarks play their role. By applying gentle pressure to businesses, these regulations and requirements help to ensure that there is at least some level of overall cybersecurity achieved by these organizations.
These kinds of compliance standards are effectively a means of putting a digital safety net over different industries.
Unfortunately, unless you have actively been pursuing your compliance needs (and even then) there is a non-zero chance that you might have missed something. The thing is, this is all it takes for your business to be fined…and these fines are just the start of your troubles.
Failing to meet your compliance obligations could potentially result in a litany of consequences, ranging from financial penalties, to loss of reputation, to legal troubles, to a loss of your privileges and capabilities as a business. For instance, consider how much business is done via credit and payment cards at this point. In order to accept these payments, an organization needs to be in compliance with the standards and practices set by the PCI DSS, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. If an organization isn’t, and cardholder data is breached, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council could very well fine the organization, increase their merchant fees, or even disallow them from accepting payments via cards at all.
This is just one example that happens to apply to most businesses. How many other regulations are you beholden to that involve some aspect of your business’ cybersecurity?
Managed IT Force has experience in managing the IT needs of businesses around Pittsburgh Area, which includes the process of maintaining compliance to the assorted laws, rules, and regulations that must be followed. We can be here for you as well. Give us a call at 724-473-3950 to learn more.
About the author
Dan has 25 years of progressive experience in the IT industry. He has led three successful companies focused on small and medium business IT solutions since 1997.