Companies must prioritize information security above all else. Data breaches, illegal access, and other disruptive security threats to business and consumer data are all reasons for companies to take the necessary precautions to protect their information. That being said, if you’d like to better understand the necessity of security compliance for every business, this article will provide a brief rundown.
What Is Security Compliance?
Information security, as defined in the Federal Information Security Management Act, is essentially the protection of information and information systems against unauthorized access, to guarantee their confidentiality, integrity, and availability. It is also meant to prevent unauthorized disclosure and disruption.
According to a study conducted by Javelin, there were over 3.2 million reports of identity theft and fraud in 2019. In 2020, USD$4.2 billion in damages were reported due to some companies’ lack of security compliance, FBI's Internet Crime Report announced. And in the most recent Gartner Hot Spots report, cyber vulnerabilities were highlighted as a critical risk category. As these facts show, the increasing number of cybercrimes in recent years has certainly made businesses more vulnerable, regardless of whether they’re big corporations or small establishments.
Thus, security compliance is crucial for businesses that want to protect their digital assets and maintain the trust of their consumers. Most businesses also have to ensure that they meet the required standards and comply with the security laws of the countries they operate in. In addition, certain companies may take different approaches and extra precautions to meet the security needs required in their specific industry. Businesses in the medical field, for example, may want to make use of certain security services, such as HIPAA security risk assessment from Techumen, to ensure that they have the best security to protect their patients’ data.
Businesses in general could benefit from being more aware of the inventory components in their technological infrastructure, as it is part of vulnerability assessment for network security. They should also have core business integrity protections that are required to prevent unauthorized access and cyberattacks.
One good option would be to utilize security compliance services, which help companies reduce the risk of attacks on their IT systems. This will provide them with the peace of mind that comes with keeping their sensitive information secure.
How Businesses Can Benefit From Security Compliance
Every digitally driven enterprise must maintain a continuous and effective security compliance program to safeguard its organization and operations. For instance, when a business obtains sensitive information, such as a customer's social security number, it's their responsibility to protect this data and prevent unauthorized access and use of it.
However, while the protection of clients and of the organization is a foremost reason for security compliance, it’s not the only benefit of it. Here are several other ways businesses can benefit from security compliance.
1. Businesses Can Avoid Fines And Legal Issues
Companies must ensure that their cybersecurity systems are compliant with IT security legislation and standards, such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Otherwise, when confidential information is taken or corrupted due to cybercrime or even due to human error, they will have to face legal implications. The company's operations may be jeopardized as a result, which would consequently lead to lost productivity.
Compliance with IT security regulations helps businesses avoid costly fines and penalties, as well as more severe consequences, such as lawsuits and lengthy court trials. The protection of their customers' personal and financial information therefore also ensures the protection of the company and its resources.
2. Businesses Can Identify Data Security Risks
Though this may seem to be an aspect of security compliance, the identification of security risks may also result from it. As mentioned earlier, vulnerability assessment is an important part of security compliance, as it allows companies to identify which parts of their security system need to be improved. Once the company has identified relevant risks to their system, they can act on it and prevent issues that may have occurred otherwise.
There are many possible risks to data security, and it’s important to be able to identify these and take the relevant steps for prevention. The main security risks to watch out for include the following:
Malware is a catch-all term that refers to various types of software that can infect computers. Some of these are programmed to collect and distribute sensitive information without the user's consent. These programs are often difficult to get rid of because they hide in various locations in your computer. While there are different types, such as Trojan viruses and rogue viruses, in general they're known to leave computers vulnerable to infection.
Once networks are infected, they are then susceptible to ransomware attacks. In these cases, the attacker behind the ransomware can hold data in the network hostage, and they will often ask for payment in exchange for the data. With the data at their mercy, they could cause all sorts of damage to the company by possibly harming the company’s finances, reputation, and operations, among other things.
Social attacks are usually perpetrated by criminals looking for ways to trick people into taking specific actions. Phishing is one such example of this. In phishing scams, certain entities pose as legitimate firms to attempt to get access to personal information, such as passwords and credit card information.
Various factors can cause a company to be vulnerable to cyberattacks. It’s important for companies to be aware of security risks in their system, as any flaw in their system could be exploited. They have to ensure that their technology is kept up-to-date, their networks are secure, and their personnel are trained on the proper security policies and regulations.
3. Businesses Can Strengthen Customer Trust
Customer data privacy is a crucial part of any business, and it’s essential to ensure that sensitive data such as that is protected from unauthorized access and disclosure. That being said, data breaches can heavily impact a company's reputation and destroy the trust of its customers. Beyond the financial penalties and fines associated with a data breach, companies will also have to face the obligation of informing their customers about the incident, which undermines the customers’ confidence in the company’s ability to protect its data and their personal information. This is especially true for businesses that handle sensitive consumer data.
For that reason, security compliance and strict data privacy policies are crucial for companies to be able to prevent that from happening. By minimizing security risks and ensuring that all data and information are kept private, they provide their customers with good service and maintain healthy stakeholder relationships, without having to worry about cyberattacks damaging their reputation.
4. Businesses Can Build A Strong Brand
Due to the rise of Internet privacy awareness, people are becoming more aware of their rights regarding their data. This is why many companies are implementing various privacy safeguards.
An organization that caters to its customers and shows them how they value their data and how securely they protect it can create a good connection with them. Consumers are more likely to trust businesses that offer proper security and privacy for their data.
In addition, most of the time, organizations with significant resources invested in data security are reluctant to partner with those that haven't done so, as they value their security, as well as the protection of their customers’ data. Having a robust security system and keeping it up-to-date can help companies secure new clients and potential investors, allowing them to build a stronger brand.
5. Businesses Can Promote Good Company Culture
A strong security system and strict policies can help improve your organization's overall compliance, as well as the compliance of individual employees in some cases, particularly with daily security requirements. Since companies have had to step up their game in protecting their client data due to the increasing number of breaches in recent years, employees may have a sense of pride and loyalty in being part of an organization that values its customers.
Most businesses go so far as to adopt a code of ethics in their work culture. In such cases, many of the employees willingly adhere to these procedures out of respect and loyalty for the organization’s values.
Organizations can create a culture and identity that’s centered on the importance of protecting its customers and employees. In addition to garnering the trust of both these groups, this can also create a competitive advantage, as it positions the company as a solid figure in the area of security compliance.
A successful data management system combined with strict security compliance is a critical factor that most businesses need to consider, especially if they are protecting sensitive information. An effective security compliance system can help prevent cyberattacks from tampering with and stealing important data, and in effect, it strengthens a company’s credibility from a consumer and stakeholder point of view.
With the above points in mind, modern businesses must keep up with the changes happening in the digital world. By having the proper security measures in place and updating them regularly, they can effectively protect themselves from potential risks and attacks.
Wilbert Brown loves people and is studying to become a HR manager. He has been involved in company policy development projects for a while now and enjoys every minute of it. Wilbert likes outdoor adventures, watching movies, and blogging. He enjoys watching webinars in his free time.