Does your business have around $2 million to spare for fines and penalties? Or how about $5 million for business disruptions? If not, avoid these hefty costs by preparing your business to meet government compliance standards.
The digital age has ushered in a number of government compliance regulations that all businesses must abide by. Staying compliant with government regulations is often challenging for businesses, especially those that are small or medium-sized.
To ensure compliance, businesses must understand which government compliance standards apply to them and take the necessary steps to comply. In this article, we’ll discuss government compliance standards, what they are, and how partnering with AIS can help you meet compliance.
What Is Compliance?
Compliance refers to meeting government standards and regulations. Depending on the type of business you have, certain government compliance standards may apply. These government compliance requirements ensure the safety and well-being of employees, customers, and the general public. Safety also includes online security, data privacy, and financial transparency.
Failure to comply with government regulations may result in the following:
- Legal fees
- Loss of sales
- Fines and penalties
- Data recovery costs
- Permanent closure of your business
What Are the Main Types of Government Compliance Categories?
There are various categories of government compliance that a business may need to adhere to depending on its industry, size, and location.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
HIPAA was enacted in 1996 to protect patient health information. Businesses that work with, collect, or store any type of sensitive health-related data must adhere to HIPAA compliance standards in order to protect the privacy of their customers.
Examples of protected patient health information (PHI) include:
- Treatment information
- Identifiable photos
- Medical diagnoses
Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was enacted in 2002 to protect financial investors from corporate fraud. Companies that have publicly traded shares, such as banks and other financial institutions, must adhere to SOX compliance standards which include accurate data reporting and internal controls.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS)
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards were created to protect the data of customers who use debit or credit cards. Businesses that accept payments via credit or debit card must protect their customers’ data from fraud and theft. This may include encryption, two-factor authentication, and regular security patches.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulation is a European government compliance regulation enacted in 2018 to protect the personal information of European Union citizens from unauthorized access or use. Businesses that collect, store, or process data of EU citizens must have a Data Protection Officer, maintain data records, and provide customers with access to their own personal data.
Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is a government-backed standard governing cybersecurity requirements for government contractors and subcontractors. Businesses that are part of government contracts must meet the new CMMC 2.0 standards once rules are finalized in order to continue working with government agencies.
- Foundational (Level 1) applies to organizations that protect Federal Contract Information.
- Advanced (Level 2) applies to organizations working with Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).
- Expert (Level 3) applies to organizations dealing with CUI on the Department of Defense’s most sensitive programs.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority regulates, supervises, and enforces securities laws and regulations. Businesses that provide financial services or products must adhere to FINRA compliance standards which include customer protection, market integrity, and financial transparency.
This standard also applies to businesses that provide investment advice or services, such as stockbrokers and firms in the securities business.
Service Organization Control (SOC)
The Service Organization Control framework was created to protect companies from cyberattacks and data breaches. Businesses that receive, store, or process confidential customer data must adhere to the SOC compliance standards which include physical security controls, strong encryption protocols, and regular risk assessments.
- Soc 1 requires companies to perform an independent audit to review the effectiveness of their financial reporting.
- Soc 2 requires companies to ensure that their systems are secure and reliable.
- Soc 3 requires companies to perform a thorough security assessment and provide customers with a report about the results.
Outsourcing Compliance Can Make Meeting and Maintaining Compliance Easier
Compliance is a complex, ever-changing process. It is important to understand government compliance standards in order to protect your customers and business. Outsourcing IT support can help make government compliance easier by providing access to experts and continuously monitoring government regulations.
By working with an IT support provider, you can ensure that government compliance standards are met and maintained over time. An IT professional will be able to guide you through the government requirements and provide the necessary tools to protect customer data.
Outsourcing IT support can help you mitigate risks and secure data, making it easier to meet government compliance standards. This can help your business remain compliant and keep your customers’ data safe.
Ensure Compliance is Met with AIS
At AIS, we have experience helping organizations understand government standards, assess risk, implement strategies to remain compliant, and document evidence of compliance.
We provide an array of services to meet your government compliance needs including data privacy assessments, policies and procedures development, training programs, audit support, and more.
Contact one of our expert representatives to learn how we can help your business remain compliant with the ever-changing government regulations.