What’s Compliance Got To Do With IT?

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What’s Compliance Got To Do With IT?
By: Nancy Sabino

In the (kinda) words of Tina Turner: Who needs Compliance, when compliance can be broken?  Compliance is a word that just several years ago wasn’t thrown around as often as it is today. It definitely wasn’t a word that was associated with technology or IT providers either. So what has changed? Why the sudden surge of this word?

Simple. The more technology has been implemented in places that hold personal information the more that the government has had to enforce rules they set several years ago. Protecting information has been important and a reason for concern, but there wasn’t a magnifying glass on the technology aspect of it until hacking became a real threat.

This is where the compliance road intersected with IT. Whether it’s HIPAA, GLBA, FISMAA, PCI etc. There are many laws now that are intertwined with IT. Most of the regulations are similar in their requirements. Most have the same purpose but each work towards protecting different types of information and are targeted at different industries.

What is important to know is that IF you as a business hold, access, or transmit any personal information whether it’s for clients, patients, employees etc. you more than likely fall under a federal regulation that expects you to uphold these laws.

Identifying what type of data you hold, access or transmit is step number 1.
Understanding HOW you hold, access or transmit is number 2.
From there, you’ll need to design, implement and maintain the necessary processes to protect your data. (If this isn’t something you have the time for or you’d rather let an expert handle it, there are Compliant IT companies out there that help with this.)

Ignorance is not an excuse and you will not get a slap on the wrist for pleading it. Fines of upwards of $50,000 per incident are a thing. Be ahead of the issue and make sure you are taking the right steps to understand what compliance regulation you fall under and mitigate your risk.

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