It has been estimated that more than 3,000 government and industry regulations are in play today, with perhaps a third of those impacting smaller organizations. Predictably, these organizations are struggling to comply. Many aren’t even entirely sure which regulations apply to them.
These regulations vary in purpose and scope, but many include requirements for data security and privacy. As data breaches continue to make headlines, regulatory agencies and industry groups are strengthening security requirements and imposing harsher penalties for noncompliance. Key regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, HIPAA and PCI-DSS are continually evolving to address the latest threats.
Many organizations must also comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These rules apply to any organization — no matter the size or location — that stores, processes or analyzes the personal data of European customers. Similarly, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) protects the personal data of California residents. Several other states have enacted similar legislation.
Manual Approaches Ineffective
Lacking the resources of larger enterprise organizations, smaller organizations typically address compliance issues in an ad hoc manner. They do what they can, when they can, with whatever the budget will allow. This often involves manual, spreadsheet-based processes for tasks such as controls management, risk analysis, auditing and reporting. However, this is an error-prone approach that has become increasingly inadequate as the regulatory environment becomes more complex.
Organizations cannot effectively address all of these regulations with manual solutions deployed in a hit-and-miss fashion. They must take a holistic approach to compliance. Gartner has estimated that organizations attempting to implement individual solutions for each regulatory challenge will spend 10 times more on compliance projects than those that take a comprehensive approach.
What’s worse, such an approach is likely to be ineffective anyway. Separate solutions lead to duplication of effort. There’s also the risk that one compliance “team” will deal less effectively with a specific compliance thread — such as security — than another team. This results in gaps in the overall endeavor.
How an MSP Can Help
A managed services provider (MSP) with specific expertise in security and data protection helps you reduce risk, improve governance and limit costs with a well-defined and comprehensive approach to compliance built on industry best practices. An MSP will also employ sophisticated monitoring, management and reporting tools to prepare your organization for compliance audits and assessments.
IronLogix’s managed IT services facilitate regulatory compliance in a number of ways. We proactively monitor and manage your network to meet the latest security standards. We ensure that your data is backed up and can be restored should disaster strike. We apply patches and software updates as they become available, and stay abreast of emerging security threats. Because regulations and your IT environment are constantly changing, we will advise you of the impact of these changes. We will also help you develop a plan for maintaining compliance.
Compliance Offers Opportunities
Responses to compliance challenges typically focus on the burdens — the cost, the potential penalties and the additional load on overworked IT departments. While these are all legitimate concerns, IronLogix understands that compliance also presents significant opportunities. Meeting requirements for data preservation and privacy, process management and the certification of business practices will ultimately improve your operations and profitability. In addition, the ability to demonstrate compliance can increase an organization’s value to potential partners.
Getting outside help for regulatory compliance makes good business sense. Although compliance is critical, it’s not a core business function. Offloading some of that burden to an MSP such as IronLogix reduces risk while allowing you to focus on core strengths that drive your business forward.