Technology has done some amazing things for humanity. It has allowed us to connect with people all over the globe, as well as changed how businesses interact and sell products to customers. For the most part, these changes have been beneficial, and they have brought people together and gave them access to items they wouldn’t have been able to enjoy before the rise of the internet.
However, with all of the good, there comes some negative. While the intentions of most people who use technology are noble, there are those who attempt to use it for ill. Individuals and businesses store a lot of valuable information on the web, and if someone could get a hold of that, they could use it to their advantage. To help combat this growing threat, many governments around the world have developed laws and regulations to keep data and private information safe.
The goal of these policies is to protect individuals, but it’s up to online companies to ensure that they are complying with the laws and regulations that have been put into place. For many, this can be a challenge. Thankfully, there is technology and strategies designed to detect data and comply with regulations.
Why Complying With Rules and Regulations Is a Big Deal
Since the start of the internet, rules and regulations have increased. To ensure that a business is adhering to these laws, many companies have created positions that are dedicated solely to ensuring that their company is in compliance. Compliance officers are put in place to hire employees or put other strategies in place that ensure that the company adheres to laws and mandates that have been set forth for protecting data.
If a company doesn’t follow these laws and regulations, they can be subjected to various repercussions, including fines and having to undergo on-site compliance audits, which could lead to on site improvements. (This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it can ensure that your company is doing what it’s supposed to, especially when it comes to data security. However, it’s probably in your best interest to do this on your own before the regulating authorities fine you, which can have a huge impact on your bottom line and your reputation—both of which are hard to recover from.)
When it comes to complying with these rules and regulations, it costs companies a lot of money to change their infrastructure and add employees. Thus, many businesses may fall short of following the rules or having the right strategies designed to detect data and comply with regulations.
Compliance Varies Across Countries and Industries
Another issue that many companies face is the fact that compliance can vary across countries and industries. Some industries are more stringent than others, including healthcare because of the sensitive and personal information that is collected about patients. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was put into place in 2018, and the goal is to protect data produced by EU citizens. All companies have to comply with this regulation, even if they aren’t located in the EU. As a business in the U.S., if you aren’t keeping up with the news or following what’s happening overseas, this could put you in a dangerous position.
It’s not hard to see why many businesses, especially small businesses, struggle with GDPR compliance and other data security regulations. Taking care of these issues before you find your business in trouble is beneficial, and there are ways to outsource these procedures. In addition, there are some other steps you should take to determine the best way for your business to comply with the most current rules and regulations.
1. Identify and Document the Data Your Business Collects
It’s in your best interest to figure out exactly what type of data you collect, including any personal or sensitive information you gather about customers. You’ll also want to identify where this data is stored, how it’s processed and who can access the information. Document this as thoroughly as possible.
2. Review Your Current Data Governance Practices
Not only do you need to document the type of data your business collects and how it’s stored, but you also need to evaluate your current data governance practices and policies. This is also a good time to figure out if there are any new rules or regulations that have been put into place to determine if you are adhering to these new laws.
When it comes to information security and EU citizens, you’ll need to be aware of how your data flows across the borders within the EU and internationally. The regulations can change at any time, and it’s your responsibility to keep up with the latest laws. Working with a professional who focuses on data collection and keeps up with the rules is in your best interest.
3. Develop Procedures for Reporting Breaches
Having strategies designed to detect data and comply with regulations is necessary, but it won’t always protect you or the information from hacks or breaches. Thus, it’s important that you have a plan in place for detecting, investigating and reporting breaches.
You’ll also want to put data breach testing into place so that you have an idea of what an attack might look like. This can help create stronger defenses, but always be aware that someone, somewhere will figure out a way to get into your system if they really want to.
4. Assign Someone to Compliance Tasks
Keeping your business in compliance with the ever-changing rules and regulations is a full-time job, which is why a lot of businesses have created departments and positions that focus solely on this task. If you happen to be a larger company, then this isn’t an issue, and you more than likely have the means to hire someone for this job.
However, if you happen to be a small business, it might be more challenging to create this position. Thus, it’s in your best interest to outsource this role to a company that is more than willing to take on this job for you. While it will cost you to hire an outside company for this task, it’s more cost-effective to pay them to keep you in compliance than have to deal with the fines that will be imposed by regulatory and government agencies.
Focus on the Positive and Create a Partnership
Talking and thinking about compliance regulation, information security and protecting your customer’s personal data can be stressful and confusing. The number of rules and regulations of how businesses should go about this task has grown since the internet has come into being, but they aren’t impossible to comply with. The process will take some time and effort, but even small businesses can accomplish the compliance goal.
Working with someone who has experience and expertise in this field is beneficial, for businesses of all sizes. This can also help relieve a lot of your stress and worry and allow you to stay positive and focus on running your business.
For help with compliance and to develop an SEO website design that gets you noticed, give us a call today. We’ll do everything we can to ensure your business is a success and adheres to GDPR and CCPA rules and regulations.