What Does It Mean to Be Compliant?
In recent years, the business world has witnessed a rapid rise in the number of regulatory standards with which companies have to be compliant. Not sure what that means? Find out below.
One dictionary definition of the word “compliance” is “inclined to agree with others or obey the rules, especially to an excessive degree.” However, this probably isn’t what you were searching for when you looked up information on business compliance. Surprisingly, although virtually every industry has its guidelines, finding useful information on compliance can become a headache.
In today’s highly regulated business world, it’s fairly easy to end up on the receiving end of heavy penalties or fines without the right information. That’s why our team at Technijian came up with this article.
Interested in finding out what compliance is and what it means for your business? Let’s find out!
What Is Compliance?
In the business IT world, compliance is the act of meeting the guidelines, regulations, and legislations of industry or government-mandated standards.
What Are the Prominent Compliance Standards?
- SOX: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed to protect shareholders and the general public from accounting errors and fraudulent practices in the enterprise. This standard outlines several rules, among them guidelines on storing and retaining business records in IT systems.
- HIPAA: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Title II has a section on administrative simplification. It requires healthcare organizations to standardize electronic health records systems. It also includes security measures aimed at protecting patient confidentiality and data privacy.
- PCI DSS: The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard defines policies and processes designed by MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover to secure debit, credit and cash card transactions.
- FISMA: The Federal Information Security Management Act mandates federal agencies to perform annual assessments of information security programs to keep data risks at a minimum.
The list of standards is long. Not only do these standards vary by country, state and industry, but there’s also some degree of overlap between some of them. For multi-national organizations, especially, remaining aware of all the relevant guidelines is a major concern.
How Can You Stay Compliant With All the Regulatory Standards?
It would be best to find out which standards apply to your business and research all the information you can find on them for starters. One handy approach you can employ in some cases is to head to the standard’s governing website to learn about implementation specifications. Simply put, implementation specifications are detailed descriptions of the processes organizations have to follow to meet a particular standard.
To ensure you don’t leave anything to chance, you need to enlist a managed IT services company, especially if you lack experience with handling compliance. However, whether it’s your first time or you are a seasoned veteran, partnering up with a reputable IT vendor is better in the long run. For instance, a capable IT partner can help you pinpoint gaps in controls that could lead to unsuccessful conclusions.
On your side, we recommend hiring a full-time individual or team to monitor compliance. But if your business is growing, you could put an existing team member in charge of compliance over the review period.
Ready to Find Out Whether Your Southern California Business Is Compliant?
Technijian is an Orange County IT company providing reliable compliance support to businesses across Southern California.
Contact us now to book your first compliance consultation!