IT compliance has always been a challenge and concern for businesses, but with the Internet of Things (IoT), Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, and increasingly strict regulations, achieving compliance can seem tougher than ever.

Just figuring out which regulations actually apply to your industry and business can be difficult, and then addressing compliance concerns is a time-consuming ordeal. To help you get ahead of the curve and avoid fines, let’s explore the most critical regulations and tech challenges you need to know about. 

Critical Laws Your Business Must Understand 

An increasing number of data privacy and security regulations have been released over the past few years, and you should expect more on the way. Here’s a look at the key laws you need to understand and ensure you’re in compliance with.

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): If you collect or process personal data about any citizen of the European Union, you must comply with GDPR. If you choose not to comply with GDPR, you should block all traffic coming from the EU or you could be subject to hefty fines.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): For businesses in the healthcare industry, HIPAA is a well-known set of regulations that have been continuously expanded upon since they were first released in 1996. If you deal with healthcare data, you must be in compliance with HIPAA.
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS): The major card brands make up the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, regulating how businesses collect, store, and use consumer payment information. You’ll need to adhere to all 12 regulations if you process card payments.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act: Since 2002, this regulation requires all public companies in the United States, along with public accounting and management firms, to keep financial records on file for at least seven years. 
  • Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA): Every federal agency must comply with FISMA as a means of protecting government operations, assets, and information.
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA): Commercial and investment banks, insurance companies, and other financial companies must inform customers of the information they share and why they share it. The GLBA also contains other regulations on how consumer data can be stored and processed. 
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): Any organization that manages student records and receives funding from the U.S. Department of Education must comply with FERPA to keep student records private. 

This is by no means an all-inclusive list, so if you’re wondering what other regulations might apply to your business or industry, it’s important that you talk to an expert. 

Challenges That You Need to Anticipate

As businesses continue to move more of their data and processes into the digital world with connected apps and platforms, IT compliance calls for stricter security and new practices. Four changes, in particular, pose new challenges to businesses:

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things seeks to connect smart devices, which could include temperature and humidity sensors in a restaurant’s freezer or the security system on the front door. IoT is a powerful way to gain insight into utilities and metrics that can support security practices and more efficient operations, but maintaining a secure IoT infrastructure is not easy. Regularly check, test, and update your devices and the cloud they run on.

Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD)

Letting employees use personal devices for work purposes can help you cut back on equipment costs and ensure that your employees are actually utilizing the resources available to them. However, successfully pursuing BYOD requires thoughtful implementation of new policies to ensure security compliance. For instance, do you have minimum operating system requirements? Can employees store data on their devices? If so, what’s okay and what isn’t? Failing to draw the line can lead to major compliance issues.

Software Maintenance

Your business relies on a host of software to keep running, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. In fact, using the right software can allow your business to gain affordable access to powerful new features that will help you maintain a competitive edge. However, you must keep all software up-to-date and ensure that you have settings and policies that coincide with compliance requirements. You also need to control the human factor by educating and monitoring employees.

Third-Party Vendors

Your business can’t hire someone to handle everything in-house, which is why third-party vendors are a lifesaver. Whether they’re helping you with new hires, hosting your data, or maintaining your building, you must ensure that every vendor you do business with takes security as seriously as you do–especially if you’re sharing any sensitive data with them or giving them access to private areas, like server rooms. 

Growing Your Business Securely

Ultimately, adapting to changing technology while making the most of emerging features and platforms is tough, especially when compliance is a top-of-mind concern. Learn about how Artemis IT can help with your IT needs while aligning with your bigger business goals.