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November 4, 2022 | By stephen

The Importance of Cybersecurity Compliance

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybersecurity compliance is more important than ever thanks to new industry standards and regulatory requirements.

Cyber risk has increased as more people transition to remote work environments, and it’s becoming more apparent that organizations are not well-prepared for remote cyber threats.

Now, government organizations aim to mitigate industry risks by introducing strict cybersecurity compliance regulations. It’s up to businesses implement appropriate cybersecurity solutions in order to avoid harsh penalties or other negative consequences (such as a security breach).

What is Cybersecurity Compliance?

Virtually every business in today’s digital age stores their data on computers. Even further, many store data on IoT devices (smartphones, smartwatches, etc.). The process of accessing, storing, and transferring this data poses major cybersecurity threats.

Cybersecurity compliance refers to following rules and standards that are set forth by government agencies or other authorized groups. To meet compliance standards, organizations must establish risk-based controls to project the integrity of confidential information.

There is no one set of rules that apply to every industry, however. Each industry has their own set of rules and regulations that they must follow.

What Types of Data are Subject to Compliance?

Most often, data compliance standards are going to focus on following categories of sensitive data: personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), and financial information.

Personally identifiable information may include any of the following:

  • Names
  • Birthdays
  • Social security numbers
  • Age
  • Address

Companies, such as Morgan Stanley, know all too well what happens when PII gets breached. In 2020, the financial services giant agreed to settle a class action lawsuit for a whopping $120 million. The suit alleged that approximately 15 million customers’ PII data was breached.

Protected health information is any data that refers to a person’s health history or treatment status. This includes:

  • Medical history
  • Tests and laboratory results
  • Insurance records
  • Prescription records

At one point, you’ve probably heard of HIPPA (Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which protects healthcare information from being disclosed. This is just one of many standards that healthcare professionals must adhere to, however.

Financial protection is primarily in place to ensure criminals do not intercept data to make unauthorized purchases. Financial information includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit/debit card numbers
  • Transaction history
  • EIN (employer identification numbers)
  • Driver License information

Industry-Specific Requirements May Affect How You Store and Protect Data

As previously mentioned, each industry has their own set of requirements that they must follow. The healthcare industry, for example, must adhere to HIPPA regulations, Medicare, and Medicaid standards, among others.

If a company accepts transactions through a POS (point of service) device, then they are responsible for adhering to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). The list of standards goes on and on.

It’s important to have reliable IT solutions in place to ensure your company is adhering to all cybersecurity compliance standards. After all, non-compliance can lead to a hefty price tag.

Chicagoland Cybersecurity Solutions

LeadingIT offers 24/7, all-inclusive, fast and friendly technology and cybersecurity support for nonprofits, manufacturers, schools, accounting firms, religious organizations, government, and law offices with 20-200 employees across the Chicagoland area.

Do you need cybersecurity support to protect your business? Leave a message for us and we will get back to you right away.



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