6 IT Compliance Laws Every SMB Should Know About

Interaction between a person paying for something with a credit card, representative of IT compliance

Navigating today’s technology landscape is exceptionally intricate, as there are dozens of IT compliance laws that businesses need to follow. From finance to healthcare, every industry requires the need to handle personal customer data and mishandling such information could potentially cost millions of dollars, along with ruining your overall reputation.

IT compliance requires organizations to control their information and ensure the overall protection of any sensitive data. Different industries call for varying standards, and IT compliance is subject to other countries’ laws. IT compliance isn’t singularly about securing data; it also dictates how specific organizations might store data. What tools, in particular, are you using to monitor potential threats? Who all has access to your data, and how does that information move, both internally and externally?

IT compliance ensures that information is stored and disseminated in a way that meets third-party standards and keeps hackers from gaining access to any of that data.  

Industries that are most affected by IT compliance regulations include:

  • Retail
  • Finance
  • Ecommerce
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Credit card issuers
  • Health insurance and services

Why Is IT Compliance Important?

With new data continually emerging, there are new vulnerabilities consistently arising. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are becoming more popular, meaning that employees are utilizing their personal computers and smartphones for work. Many organizations have an issue managing the ever-growing web of connected devices, making it easy for employees to access private company data on unsecured networks or download unauthorized applications.

Your IT compliance status plays a vital role in the quality of your overall reputation. If you’re not keeping up with IT regulations, you’ll find that it not only affects your company financially, but it could also prevent you from winning strategic partnerships down the road.

While understanding the regulations that may apply to your business can be daunting, it’s important to be aware of these six IT compliance laws as your customers deserve to have their data treated with care.

1. HIPPA

There’s a good chance that most people in the healthcare industry have a grasp of what HIPPA is. Signed into law in 1996, HIPPA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This law helps to protect the records of medical patients, which often contain sensitive and personal information. Here are some guidelines on preparing for a crash or loss of data and how to act moving forward. 

Industries that HIPPA applies to: Medical providers, insurers, and employers who provide healthcare insurance

2. FISMA

The Federal Information Security Management Act was created in 2002 and assigns responsibilities to federal agencies regarding information security systems. This act makes it necessary to view IT security as a natural security matter.

Industries that FISMA applies to: All federal agencies

3. Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Enacted by Congress, this act was in response to the high-profile Enron and WorldCom scandal. As one of the most notable examples of corporate fraud in history, this act exposes conflicts of interest, encourages corporate transparency, and holds companies accountable for financial disclosures.

Industries that Sarbanes-Oxley Act applies to: Management/public accounting firms, and U.S. public company boards

4. GLBA

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act requires financial institutions to disclose what consumer information they share and why. It also allows consumers to opt-out of giving up their data to third parties.

Industries that GLBA applies to: Financial institutions and companies that sell financial services or products to consumers

5. GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation manages how companies handle sensitive customer data. It requires organizations to enact enterprise-wide data mapping and inventory and assess their privacy compliance programs. Most importantly, it ensures that businesses can only access data after an individual explicitly opts-in.

Industries that GDPR applies to: Any company that collects, stores, or processes sensitive and personal data from European citizens

6. PCI-DSS

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is an information security standard for organizations that handle branded credit cards from major card schemes. IT manages and protects consumer payment information and helps in reducing fraud during any transaction process.

Industries that PCI-DSS applies to: All companies that accept, process, and store credit card information

Conclusion

Customers deserve to have their personal and sensitive data treated with utmost care. A preventable data breach could potentially cost your company up to millions of dollars, all the while violating your customers’ and stakeholders’ trust.

Here at Parried, we understand that it isn’t exactly easy to monitor and implement all of these complex security regulations when you’re preoccupied with running other aspects of your business. Every company is unique and requires an intricate IT compliance plan. Our team of professionals can help you outline the IT requirements for your industry, identify gaps and risks in your environment, and execute any work required to get you up to standard.

Whether you’re looking for a simple audit or need help implementing new regulations throughout your company, you can rely on Parried to be more than just a technical partner. Learn about our services or contact Parried today for a free IT analysis.