The digital transformation many companies are engaged in has ramifications that reverberate throughout the organization and its IT environment. As processes that were traditionally performed manually with paper forms are transitioned to digital processes, companies need to re-focus and make substantial adjustments to how they manage their data resources. Digital compliance is an important aspect of re-focusing and needs to be prioritized in the modern business landscape.
Multiple Types of Compliance Requirements
Compliance can be defined as the process of meeting a set of defined standards. The digital compliance we will be discussing is concerned with the way an organization handles its data resources. The standards that require compliance typically address the challenges of maintaining the privacy and security of enterprise data assets.
Companies that have not yet completed their digital transformation may need to use multiple procedures to maintain compliance and protect their data resources. We are going to concentrate on the measures an organization has to take for effective digital compliance of the information resident in their IT environment.
Organizations need to address two basic types of compliance requirements to protect their valuable and sensitive data resources. In one case, compliance is mandated based on the type of data that is being stored and processed. In other cases, an organization chooses to implement internal compliance standards to enhance its ability to protect its valuable information.
Regulatory compliance is enforced by outside entities when an organization processes specific types of data. Following are three of the most commonly discussed regulatory compliance standards affecting companies in the U.S.
- HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is designed to protect the privacy and security of the health data of U.S. citizens. All organizations in the healthcare industry and their data processors need to maintain compliance with HIPAA.
- PCI-DSS – The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard was implemented by the major credit card payment companies to protect the security of cardholder data. Any company that handles credit card payments has to comply with PCI-DSS.
- GDPR – The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation protects the personal data of citizens of EU member states. While it does not pertain to U.S. citizens, it does affect American companies that do business with EU nations. If a company collects data on EU citizens, it must be compliant with the GDPR.
Enterprise compliance standards
Companies often have internal compliance standards that address their intellectual property and valuable data assets. In many cases, these standards are designed to complement regulatory standards with which the company must comply. These standards are also used to control how data is used throughout an organization and ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive information.
Why is Digital Compliance Important for Modern Businesses?
Digital compliance is vitally important to protect the privacy, security, and integrity of enterprise data resources. Depending on the type of standards in question, there can be substantial penalties for companies that are non-compliant.
Failure to meet regulatory compliance standards can result in severe financial penalties that can cripple an organization. For example, Meta was recently fined $1.3 billion for non-compliance with GDPR rules regarding the movement of EU personal data to the United States.
Since its inception in 2003, HIPAA violations have resulted in fines of over $134 million. Companies found to be non-compliant with PCI-DSS can expect monthly fines until the issues are addressed and can lose their merchant status for repeated violations, effectively putting them out of business.
Non-compliance with enterprise standards does not carry the same type of penalties enforced by regulatory agencies or entities. But it can still be very costly to not comply with internal data protection standards. Failure to comply can result in data breaches and the loss of valuable intellectual property or proprietary information. It can also hinder a company’s ability to compete effectively with its market rivals.
Difficulties in Implementing Effective Digital Compliance
Companies striving to attain digital compliance may be faced with several challenges that make it difficult to reach their objective. Finding solutions to these issues is the key to effective digital compliance.
- The volume of data that companies ingest through multiple channels is constantly increasing. Integrating these data sources into compliance processes can be extremely challenging without a well-designed plan.
- Regulatory standards are continuously evolving and the processes used to comply with them need to be assessed and modified regularly.
- Addressing the remote workforce and the use of mobile devices to access enterprise data adds complexity to compliance initiatives.
- The sophistication of threat actors demands increased cybersecurity to protect enterprise data resources.
How to Ensure Digital Compliance in Your Computing Environment
Ensuring digital compliance in an IT environment involves several related steps that address the difficulties previously discussed. A key aspect of digital compliance is the integration of the requirements in an enterprise’s processes and procedures. Following are some specific ways an organization can promote digital compliance.
- Real-time data monitoring is necessary to identify and address potential non-compliance with regulatory or internal standards. Issues should be rectified promptly to avoid the mishandling of sensitive data.
- Automate repetitive manual processes that may put sensitive data at risk. By eliminating the possibility of human error, a company can tremendously bolster compliance efforts.
- Hiring security-conscious employees and providing them with the tools they need is essential for implementing digital compliance.
- Working with experienced and reliable third parties can help in the planning and execution of digital compliance initiatives. Outsourcing some or all digital compliance functions can be especially important for small and medium businesses with limited technical resources.
Let VAST Lead Your Digital Compliance Efforts
Partnering with VAST IT Services enables companies to access experienced and technically adept professionals who are well-versed in the complications of digital compliance. VAST offers its customers multiple services that address implementing effective digital compliance.
Among the services available from VAST is comprehensive discovery and assessment to identify where data resources are stored and processed. With this information, a company can focus on protecting its sensitive information to comply with regulations and standards. VAST can also provide effective data protection solutions necessary to comply with security and privacy standards.
Get in touch with VAST and learn how they can help your business achieve and maintain digital compliance and avoid the pitfalls of non-compliance.