To say that your business’ data is “compliant” suggests that its most sensitive digital assets (contact information, financial information, health information, etc.) are organized and handled as to minimize the risk of breaches or corruption at a level set forth by a government organization. In other words, a government organization specific to your business’ industry sets the standards of compliance and it’s up to you to meet them.
Unlike the European Union, which adheres to the 2018 General Data Protection Regulation Act (GDPR), there is no across-the-board federally mandated level of data compliance in the United States. Instead, compliance regulations in America are sector-specific (e.g. healthcare, defense, banking, etc.). Compromised systems vulnerable to data breaches or failure could spell disaster for a business.
Government organizations put in place regulations to ensure that businesses within specific sectors take every precaution to keep data safeguarded from cyberattacks and data breaches. Beyond merely avoiding steep fines and harsh penalties, organizations that remain in line with set compliance regulations tend to be more successful and profitable in the long run than those willing to accept certain issues in favor of short term convenience.
Data Compliance Examples
To further illustrate what we mean by “data compliance,” let’s take a look at a few real world examples:
Contractors and vendors for the United States Department of Defense (DoD), in many cases, have access to controlled unclassified information (CUI), which must be kept organized and secured at all times. For this reason, DoD contractors will need to meet one of five levels of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). Those in the DoD sector looking to achieve CMMC would be well-advised to partner with a Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification-Accreditation Body Registered Provider Organization (CMMC-AB RPO) to ensure all data-handling processes are in line with DoD regulations.
A bank or financial institution repeatedly not in compliance with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) regulations will not be around for long without making some drastic improvements to their IT systems (and those in charge can be looking at massive fines or even jail time if their negligent actions are proven to be intentional). There are more than 350 laws on the books relating to the protection of financial information to which banks and financial institutions must adhere, and the industry is changing faster than laws can keep up. When something falls through the cracks, banks are subject to review and fines from regulatory organizations. And a massive breach or failure can be catastrophic to a financial institution.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates that all businesses and organizations in the healthcare industry take proper precautions to ensure that patients’ medical records are kept secure. This includes hospitals, health insurance companies, pharmacies, and any other agency with an inherent obligation to keep confidential health information private. Further HIPAA mandates require that individuals be notified within 60 days of a breach and that breaches involving more than 500 individuals must be reported to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. In 2018, businesses paid a record $28 million in punitive fees for not complying with HIPAA regulations.
At SSE Inc., we’ve worked with partners across different industries—finance, manufacturing, healthcare, DoD, and more—to ensure their sensitive data is secure and that their safeguarding operations exceed the standards set forth by government agencies. We will take every step to help your business protect its confidential data from breaches or malicious actions and keep you in good standing with the government agencies to which you report. For more information on how SSE can help your business keep data compliant, contact us today.
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