What Does It Mean To Be Compliant?

Compliance In New Jersey

A quick Google search of the term “complaint” will tell you that the word means “inclined to agree with others or obey rules, especially to an excessive degree; acquiescence.” Compliance is used in the technology industry to reference laws, regulations, government-mandated standards, and rules that apply to your specific industry.

Every industry is different, which means that compliance looks different for every type of company. In the information technology realm, there is no shortage of compliance requirements and regulatory standards. Data protection and cybersecurity are both very important across every industry, but there are also a few more specific laws, regulations, or requirements that apply in every industry.

Below are just a few need-to-know regulations or laws that may uniquely affect your technology requirements.

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Healthcare Industry: HIPAA

HIPAA stands for “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.” It is a federal law that was passed by Congress in 1996. A large portion of the law focuses on data privacy in the healthcare sector, among other various provisions that affect medical facilities.

Healthcare businesses, and anyone else who handles medical records and information, must develop and follow specific procedures to ensure the confidentiality and security of certain protected health information. These rules affect how data is transferred, received, handled, or shared.

Accounting and Business: Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)

In 2002, the United States Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. It is designed to protect the American public from fraudulent or erroneous practices by business entities. It encourages (and requires) transparency in financial reporting and forces companies to use a “checks and balances” system within their company.

For a technology standpoint, SOX requires limited access to financial systems, which, in turn, helps reduces occurrences of insider threats or cyberattacks. Many of the compliance requirements under SOX focus on the same goals that a business would have in data security protocols.

Financial Industries: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

FINRA is a government-authorized organization that functions as a not-for-profit overseer of various broker-dealers throughout the United States. They ensure that investors are protected and warned of unsavory investment practices by requiring that brokers have specific licenses and qualifications. They also require that companies provide necessary and relevant information to potential investors before those investors choose to put their money into a particular investment.

FINRA develops rules and regulations that companies should follow. While many of these do not have the same force and effect as federal laws, compliance is still very important.

Cybersecurity and risk management is a big focus for FINRA, but they also review things like:

  • Technical controls
  • Access management
  • Incident response
  • Vendor management
  • Data loss prevention
  • System change management
  • Staff training

Ultimately, FINRA works to protect the U.S. financial markets by protecting data and increasing transparency and security.

Payment Card Industry: PCI Compliance

PCI industry standards are developed by the PCI Security Standards Council, which is a global organization. PCI requirements affect businesses of all sizes, including point-of-sale vendors, financial institutions, and hardware and software developers. Credit card companies require PCI compliance so they can continue to do business with companies all over the world.

PCI compliance focuses on security and data protection. These standards require that cardholder data be protected by following a strict regimen of data protection requirements, such as creating and maintaining a vulnerability management program and regularly monitoring and testing network security.

Get Help with Compliance Unique to Your Business

Every company is different, and compliance for you may be very different compared to the company up the street. At Techsperts, we are ready to help you obtain and maintain compliance in your industry. Reach out and schedule your compliance consultation with our team today.