September 21, 2021

Article at Ramon on Authory

A Beginner's Guide to Compliance Laws


In 2015, hackers reportedly gained access to 145.5 million people's names, residences, birth dates, Social Security numbers, and even driver's license information. 

Cyber-attacks are becoming more frequent and costly, and the primary reason seems to be that businesses appear to be ignoring the need to protect their systems and data. Noncompliance with HIPAA, PCI DSS, NIST standards, and other laws may cause severe penalties. 

What Exactly Is Regulatory Compliance? 

Adhering to all legal and regulatory requirements for operating a business or organization is known as regulatory compliance. The basis of these regulations is the Federal Trade Commission's fair business practices guidelines. Companies must comply with these criteria to keep their Federal Trade Commission license and operate legally. 

Common Compliance Laws 

The primary cause of noncompliance is ignorance. The sheer number and complexity of rules may be to blame for this lack of comprehension. Businesses must adhere to specific standards established by industry groups and the Federal Trade Commission to stay compliant. A few examples of these compliance regulations are below. 

NIST Standards Review 

Many people consider NIST to be the "gold standard." The government created this organization to develop tests and test schedules to guarantee the highest safety standards. Since its inception in 1901, NIST has affected industries such as building and construction methods; manufacturing; mechanical systems; fire safety; and others. For example, NIST Special Publication 800-171 has changed how companies view security technologies and architecture. 

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA),

HIPAA governs the privacy and security of health data. Its enactment was in 1996. This legislation safeguards personal health information from commercial and harmful usage. HIPAA rules protect personal data outside of health care facilities. A patient data security policy must be in place for all health care providers, hospitals, and health plans. 

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) 

The SOX Act is a well-known law from 2002. This legislation increased the accountability of companies in terms of document management, financial reporting, and shareholder responsibility. This law intends to prevent financial misconduct like that of Enron. The legislation also expanded publicly available data, requiring businesses to publish more in annual reports. 

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 

The PCI DSS is a data security standard for the payment card industry. It safeguards cardholder data. It regulates online payments by major credit card issuers and organizations such as Skrill and M-Pesa. Accepting credit card transactions necessitates specific security precautions. 

General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) of the European Union

The GDPR replaces the preceding EU Data Protection Directive. It began in 2018. The right to be forgotten, stricter storage requirements, data collection restrictions, and whistleblower protection are the main components of the GDPR for companies. 

The Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) 

FISMA (2002) is often referred to as the most significant cybersecurity legislation. Laws such as FISMA require private businesses to implement the same degree of cybersecurity as government organizations. The United States Congress established it to help protect data and fulfill computational needs. 

The Consumer Privacy Act of California (CCPA) 

The CCPA requires companies that gather customer data to inform customers about how businesses handle their data. The law went into effect on January 1, 2020, giving companies plenty of time to adjust. The CCPA provides customers access to their bank transactions, web browsing, online advertising companies, and even what personal information is collected about them. 

How Can You Safeguard Your Systems and Data? 

As you may be aware, a breach of your systems or data may have serious consequences. In 2016, almost 27% of small businesses had a security compromise. However, the proportion of enterprises with a data breach was far higher—up to 69%. Cyber-attacks are costly for small businesses. 

Businesses that had a data breach paid an average of $6.2 million, according to Skyhigh Networks. These companies could have spent the money on anything else, like hiring additional people. A data breach may have such severe repercussions that your business may collapse. 

A company's risks and challenges grow with time. Small and medium-sized companies tend to be unaware of cybersecurity, data protection, and compliance. You must prioritize your measures to prevent data breaches. The good news is that you can accomplish it while keeping your business by taking, in many cases, only a few steps.