IT compliance refers to a set of standards and procedures for online safety. For businesses in Austin, staying up to date on IT compliance is essential to ensure the security of their data and operations.
With the fluctuating environment of IT compliance, businesses need to stay informed and understand their obligations. Meeting compliance rules may help a business maintain its secure business operations. It also prevents unwanted access to sensitive data, such as client information.
In this article, we at Skyriver IT will explain what IT compliance is and the most common IT compliance standards in Austin. We will also discuss why IT compliance is important for your business.
What Is IT Compliance?
IT compliance refers to the adherence of a company's IT system to internal, external, or contractual requirements. These requirements cover a wide range of topics related to security, data protection, and the availability of systems and processes.
Essentially, IT compliance is like a set of guidelines that businesses and government agencies must follow when setting up and operating their digital systems. To meet these rules, a company decides what standards it needs to meet in terms of IT security, data protection, availability, and integrity.
These standards are based on legally outlined agreements with clients and partners, internal rules, and legally mandated needs. Depending on the severity, organizations that fail to comply with IT regulations may be penalized with severe fines or even jail for the management who committed the violations.
Most Common IT Compliance Standards in Austin
You probably know the need to comply with IT regulations if you are a business owner in Austin. Compliance is an essential part of any IT business. Thus, a variety of standards must be adhered to remain compliant. In Austin, the most common IT compliance standards are:
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
This is a set of IT laws the European Union follows to protect people's digital information online. Its primary goals are to let people access their own information. Also, it makes sure that companies that do business with EU citizens follow IT compliance.
The GDPR protects the digital information of people in Europe. Any company that collects data about EU citizens must follow the GDPR rules. This means that American companies that sell products or services to EU citizens must also follow the GDPR.
One of the rules of the GDPR is that people have to give permission prior to companies using their information. Companies also have to keep this information safe and confidential. Even though the GDPR only applies to the EU, companies that do business in EU countries have to follow it strictly.
One example of a GDPR rule is that companies must get people's permission before collecting their information. Companies have to let customers know when they are collecting personal data. Also, they must give them the option to say no. If a user says no, the company must delete any collected information.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
This standard protects debit and credit card numbers and other financial card data. If online business stores, transmits or handles customer financial data, they need to follow the PCI DSS. This makes customers feel more secure when using the business's online services.
To follow the PCI DSS, businesses create active systems that hold and secure client financial information. By protecting client credit card information, the PCI DSS reduces financial fraud. Every company that manages credit card data must follow the PCI DSS to be IT compliant.
If a business fails to comply, it may face significant financial penalties. Following PCI DSS security standards also reduces the chance of a cardholder data breach. So, it's important to comply to avoid heavy fines and build customer trust.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
It is also a financial compliance regulation that all publicly listed companies must follow. It helps protect investors from dishonest accounting practices. According to SOX, a company that launches an IPO or goes public must disclose all its financial information. This allows stakeholders to make informed decisions about investing in the company.
SOX also helps prevent fraud, reduce accounting errors, and improve financial reporting processes. Even though SOX doesn't specify any IT standards, it does require companies to keep their financial information safe and secure.
Following SOX guidelines can help protect companies from cyberattacks and data breaches. If a company fails to comply with SOX regulations, there is a chance of criminal consequences.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
HIPAA guarantees patients' health record protection in the healthcare sector. This rule applies to every organization that manages, accesses or transfers medical records. This includes healthcare institutions such as clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and independent contractors like insurance providers. HIPAA compliance guidelines include:
● Setting up a warning system that immediately notifies clients and customers of potential security breaches or threats.
● Organizations can ensure the complete safety of electronic files by implementing administrative, physical, and technological barriers that prevent unauthorized access to patient information.
● Maintaining privacy laws that prohibit the release of medical data without prior patient consent.
Hospitals, clinics, and health insurers, among other entities that handle healthcare data, must comply with HIPAA standards. Violations of HIPAA can damage a company's reputation and result in significant penalties. Sometimes it can lead to bankruptcy.
Gramm- Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
GLBA rules apply to financial institutions that lend, insure, or advise customers. This includes financial advising, real estate, and university businesses. The GLBA requires these institutions to report how they secure client data and share information.
Financial companies need to describe their policies to comply with this law and ask for consumer consent. Consumers can choose not to share their data with third-party companies. The GLBA has three principal regulations to protect customers' financial information:
Pretexting: This regulation prohibits companies from getting information through fraudulent means. To prevent this, companies provide staff training programs.
Safeguard: Safeguard regulations require companies to use security controls to keep customer data safe from online threats. Some security measures include proper software, personnel training, and vulnerability testing.
Financial Privacy: Financial privacy regulation governs how financial companies obtain and share customers' financial information. They must give customers a choice to opt out of sharing their information annually.
Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)
FISMA is a law that requires federal agencies to implement information security strategies to safeguard sensitive information. This includes creating data security plans, adopting various security systems and software, and verifying third-party suppliers.
Additionally, FISMA considers the diverse security needs of different federal agencies. FISMA applies differently to various federal agencies based on their level of security requirements.
For instance, governmental organizations focused on national security are subject to a higher degree of compliance than U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development employees. Businesses working with government agencies must also comply with FISMA regulations as it applies to them as well.
CMMC stands for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, which is a new cybersecurity framework that has been introduced by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to enhance the security posture of its defense industrial base (DIB).
The CMMC is intended to serve as a unified standard for evaluating and certifying the cybersecurity practices of DIB contractors and suppliers. CMMC compliance involves adhering to the requirements outlined in the framework, which include implementing various cybersecurity controls and practices designed to protect sensitive DoD information from unauthorized access, disclosure, or theft.
The CMMC model includes three levels of certification, each of which requires a progressively higher level of cybersecurity maturity and capability. Achieving CMMC compliance can be a complex process requiring significant time, effort, and resources. However, it is necessary for any organization that wishes to continue doing business with the DoD.
Importance Of IT Compliance for Austin Businesses
Businesses in Austin must comply with regulations for IT security and compliance if they control digital assets and want to operate in regulated sectors like healthcare or financing. While some compliance rules may use similar security strategies, following regulations specific to your sector is important.
Recent developments, such as Bring Your Own Device policies (BYOD) and the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, have complicated IT compliance for many firms. BYOD policies are particularly popular for saving on IT expenses and allowing employees remote work.
But using personal devices for work can compromise corporate data and create greater IT risk management challenges. If your business has introduced mobile devices to improve operations, you need to be aware of how IoT can affect IT compliance.
Several industry organizations have created compliance standards for IoT technologies, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and security systems. Complying with IT regulations not only helps companies financially but can also attract security-conscious clients. Additionally, IT compliance can help businesses identify potential security vulnerabilities uncovered by an audit.
Who Needs IT Compliance?
All businesses, both public and private, must follow IT compliance standards. Regulatory agencies and legislation set these standards. The standard requirements depend on the business's size, sector, and social importance. Some businesses have stricter IT compliance standards to follow than others.
These sectors include water supply, culture and media, telecommunications, information technology, insurance and finance, transportation, administration, government, healthcare, and energy.
However, bigger businesses have a specialized IT compliance management department to manage the complexity. Regulatory agencies conduct random inspections to ensure compliance standards are being followed.
Some businesses must regularly provide evidence that they adhere to all IT compliance standards using appropriate tools. For example, penetration testing and reports from external auditors.
How Skyriver IT Can Help Austin Businesses With IT
At Skyriver IT, we understand the importance of IT compliance. With data breaches and cyberattacks on the rise, businesses must follow regulatory requirements and industry standards to protect their digital assets. Here are some ways we can help Austin businesses achieve and maintain IT compliance:
Evaluate IT Requirements
The first step to achieving IT compliance is to evaluate a company’s IT requirements and suggest improvements. Our experienced IT professionals can analyze a business’ current systems and determine what needs to be changed to ensure compliance.
We can advise on the best practices for securing sensitive data and make recommendations for software, hardware, and other IT solutions. These are to ensure the business meets its compliance standards.
Create New IT Systems
Skyriver IT experts understand the complexities of designing and deploying new IT systems. We can create networks, databases, and applications that are compliant with industry standards and government regulations.
Additionally, we will ensure that your systems are optimized and secure while still allowing your business to achieve its goals.
Maintain IT Systems
Proper maintenance of IT systems is essential for IT compliance. At Skyriver IT, we have the expertise and knowledge to provide ongoing maintenance services to keep your systems running smoothly and securely.
Our team can quickly monitor your systems and diagnose issues while providing software and hardware updates.
IT Project Management
Skyriver IT can also provide IT project management services to help businesses deploy new systems and technology.
We can help businesses plan and execute their IT projects, from initial planning and design to implementation and testing. We can also guide how to ensure that the new systems are secure and compliant with industry standards.
We understand that a company’s employees are the first line of defense regarding IT compliance. So, we can provide training to ensure your staff is up to date on the latest IT trends and technologies and can use them properly. We can also provide ongoing training to ensure employees stay current with their IT skills.
At Skyriver IT, we can help businesses leverage technology to meet their objectives. We are aware of how to leverage big data, cloud computing, and other cutting-edge tools to improve productivity. Our team can help businesses improve their IT compliance while also helping them make the most of their technology investments.
Skyriver IT provides the experience and resources to support your success, whether you are a small business owner wishing to upgrade your organization's IT system or a big company looking to incorporate new technologies.
Our services are designed to help businesses in various industries. These include Bioscience, Manufacturing, Non-Profit, Professional Services, Financial Services, and Construction. We understand the challenges that each industry faces regarding IT compliance. Thus, we develop customized solutions that meet their specific regulatory requirements.
After reading this article, we hope you now have a clear idea about IT Compliance Austin and the common IT compliance standards like GDPR, PCI DSS, CMMC, SOX, HIPAA, GLBA, and FISMA.
If you are a business owner in Austin and need assistance with IT compliance, we at Skyriver IT are here to help. We are a leading IT consulting service provider in Austin with a team of highly experienced and skilled IT professionals with 24/7 remote IT Support. We have expertise in a broad range of areas, including IT compliance, data management, cybersecurity, project management, and cloud computing. So, why wait? Contact us today for a free consultation and cybersecurity assessment!