If you run any type of business - but especially one that accepts payment, is involved with health care or captures any sort of client information - then start the New Year with a complete compliance check.
Making sure your company is current with all business regulations is an important part of protecting both your clients and your reputation. A Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) with the proper knowledge and experience in setting up compliance plans can help you create the right procedures and systems, so compliance becomes an easy and automatic part of your everyday business.
Most businesses must follow many federal, state and local guidelines, and each regulation may require continual action on the part of the business owner. It is your responsibility to understand and follow the rules - the government does not give breaks for not understanding - and it can be costly when a violation occurs.
A good compliance plan will ensure your management team understands the specific rules that apply to your business. It will also outline the best techniques to make sure you are meeting all compliance directions and capture the proper information to keep everything in order.
Creating A Compliance Plan
The following tips will help you create a comprehensive compliance plan:
- Create a dedicated compliance team that includes management and both legal and IT security representatives. Include others as needed to ensure the plan will apply across all departments of your business.
- Review all applicable federal, state and local regulations and determine which rules specifically pertain to your business. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework can lend some direction, as can the SANS Institute’s Critical Security Controls.
- Take a broad overview of your business and improve one area at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed or mired down with too many details at once.
- Lower your risk by starting a strict no-storage policy when it comes to credit card transactions: process the payment, destroy any paper and purge all data.
- Train your staff to not only be aware of compliance requirements but also to spot typical phishing and malware issues when handling sensitive information. Keep the staff updated regularly on changing rules and their role in security threat prevention.
Use The Experience And Expertise Of Your IT Pro
Include your IT professional in the entire process, as they may have ideas about how to make compliance an easy part of everyday business.
Working together, you can ensure protection for data preservation and IT security that adheres to industry best practices and protects client, patient and financial information for the long-term.
Be proactive in addressing issues and include the following in your plan:
- Disaster recovery
- Onsite and offsite data storage and archiving
- Anti-virus and anti-malware solutions
- Data and network protection
- Network monitoring
Regulations Will Change
Remember that regulations do not remain static. After you put your compliance plan in place, establish a process to continuously monitor for changes in guidelines. This is another area where a qualified MSP with experience in addressing a wide variety of rules and security threats will be a valuable asset. They can regularly monitor the system and also make process and software changes quickly so that continual and long-term compliance is not an issue or becomes an onerous task.
If constantly watching for regulation changes and figuring out ways to keep your system updated to follow the rules sounds overwhelming, partner with an experienced MSP like the pros at TeamLogic IT and let them help you sort out the regulatory solution that is best for you.
Since 2007, TeamLogic IT has become the 36th largest IT service provider globally. Our success is driven through one core mission - to leverage technology for our customers.Thousands of businesses across the US - just like yours here in Wilmington, NC - are taking advantage of our ability to deliver highly available, secure and flexible IT systems. At TeamLogic IT, our philosophy is simple - we work with you the way we'd want someone to work with us. Visit us today in the Port City at 2901 North Kerr Ave., 910-500-1392. If email works best for you, contact me personally at [email protected].