The Role of Technology in Compliance
As new cyber threats emerge, regulators continue to create new rules that companies must follow to ensure their processes and data remain secure. Remaining compliant can feel like a challenge for many businesses, especially as the requirements continue to become more complex.
In today’s increasingly digital world, technology is playing a larger role in compliance than ever before, leading it to become a fundamental part of cybersecurity.
The History of Cybersecurity and Compliance
While regulations regarding the protection of sensitive data are nothing new, the introduction of cybersecurity requirements ramped up significantly in the 1990s. At that point, digital records were becoming increasingly common, and internet-usage was part of the daily lives of an increasing percentage of the population.
Ultimately, emerging technologies also introduced new risks regarding data security, and regulatory groups had to take action.
In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly known as HIPAA, set rules regarding the safeguarding of patient information. The HIPAA Security Rule specifically addressed requirements regarding electronic health information, placing formal requirements on the healthcare industry.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which was officially formed in 2007 by combining two entities, put similar requirements on securities firms, dictating minimum standards for the securing and transmission of information.
Other impacts on the financial industry came from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) SOC as well as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
Special attention should be paid to cyber regulations from the great State of New York. The New York Department of Financial Services (or NYDFS) has recently come up with a set of rules that is quickly becoming the gold standard for many financial firms in the United States.
The Consequences of Noncompliance
Failing to remain compliant with applicable regulations typically carries stiff penalties. In 2018 alone, two major HIPAA violation rulings resulted in $7.8 million in damages.
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was ordered to over $4.3 million in summary judgment for HIPAA violations relating to the organization’s data encryption policies. Fresenius Medical Care North America agreed to pay $3.5 million to the HHS Office for Civil Rights after five sites experienced data breaches.
In 2016, Lincoln Financial Securities Corporation was fined $650,000 by FINRA for failing to secure customers’ confidential information, including a lack of proper policies and guidance regarding the use or implementation of certain technology-based safeguards, like firewalls.
For companies that have customers in Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has increased the complexity associated with remaining compliant. Additionally, the monetary penalties for failing to adhere to the mandate are stiff and could potentially lead to a company’s financial collapse.
The GDPR fines are broken into levels as follows:
- Lower Level – up to €10 million, or 2% of the worldwide annual revenue of the prior fiscal year, whichever is higher
- Upper Level – Up to €20 million, or 4% of the worldwide annual revenue of the prior fiscal year, whichever is higher
Losing 4% of the annual worldwide revenue is a massive hit to operations, further building on the premise that cyber risk management is now an existential risk factor.
Noncompliance nearly always comes with a steep price tag.
Compliance Doesn’t Guarantee Security
While being compliant ensures you meet specific regulatory standards, it is only one part of the security landscape. Having a robust cybersecurity solution in place is also essential, giving you the mechanisms to identify, prevent, and mitigate attacks.
Ultimately, cyber threats are only becoming more sophisticated and prevalent. While regulatory groups dictate certain standards, the creation of new rules to manage an ever-changing landscape is difficult. This means many regulations aren’t equipped to address the full scope of the dangers that exist today.
By maintaining a robust cybersecurity solution, you can protect yourself against emerging threats, including malware attacks that lead to breaches and ransomware attacks that allow cybercriminals to take your systems hostage.
Maintaining secure backups should also be part of a comprehensive solution, ensuring that your data is recoverable should the worst occur. However, disaster recovery doesn’t allow you to continue operations immediately when the unexpected happens. Instead, you need a comprehensive business continuity solution to accomplish that goal.
TetherView’s All-in-One Solution for Compliance, Security, and Business Continuity
At TetherView, we understand the challenges businesses face when it comes to compliance and cybersecurity. That’s why we created a robust solution that covers all of those needs while also providing for not just disaster recovery, but business continuity.
Our Private Cloud and Virtual Desktop solutions come with everything you need to protect your systems, remain compliant, and ensure your operations aren’t hindered by the unexpected. Plus, its all available for a flat fee, allowing you to predict your IT costs fully.
If you would like to learn more about TetherView’s comprehensive solutions, get in touch with our team today and see how our services can meet all of your IT needs.