As explored in our two latest blogs (here and here), trying to maintain compliance is no walk in the park. The consequences are great, considering HIPAA compliance violation fines can range anywhere from $100 to $50,000 per violation, and up to $1,500,000 per infraction category/per year. In addition, it’s challenging to keep up with regulations that frequently change.
As a business owner, you already have a lot on your plate. Maintaining compliance, while important, likely isn’t at the top of your list. Hiring an MSP specializing in compliance regulations is a safe bet. However, there are other things you can do without the help of a specialist that will help ensure your company is compliant.
Secure Your Network
Vulnerabilities in your network’s security spell trouble when it comes to keeping your sensitive data safe. 75.6% of organizations encountered at least one successful cyberattack within the past 12 months. If your company becomes the victim of an attack, you run the risk of suffering reputational damage, downtime costs, productivity loss, and, of course, compliance fines.
Additionally, when your organization falls victim to ransomware, your sensitive data will be held hostage until you pay a specific amount of money to get it back. When (or if) you do get it returned, there’s no guarantee the hacker hasn’t made a copy for themselves to use at a later date. That’s why it’s key to ensure that all of the weaknesses in your network are patched and that you’ve got robust security protocols in place to prevent data breaches. Improved firewalls, specific data sharing policies, proper account management, regularly updating software, and frequent security monitoring all go into keeping your business network safe and cyberthreat-free.
Properly Train Employees
Keeping your business network safe isn’t just your job. It’s also the job of everyone working at your company. Did you know that 55% of organizations have had a security incident or data breach due to a malicious or negligent employee? It’s meaningless to create a robust security strategy if those handling your sensitive business data on a day-to-day basis are not going to adhere to it.
While that may seem harsh, the reality of it is that the majority of them might not know how. They may be unaware of the risks that come along with opening a seemingly innocent email from their favorite streaming network or the potential downfalls of leaving a USB full of classified information unattended.
It’s imperative to tell them. Holding frequent training on how to keep your information secure and maintain compliance is critical in keeping your sensitive data safe. Let your employees know the latest risks, news, policy changes, and company strategies you’re adopting in order to keep compliant. Additionally, storing current security and compliance policies somewhere where all employees can access them is helpful. That way, if there’s ever any questions your staff can refer back to these documents.
Finally, be sure that you’re only giving employees access to the data they need in order to do their work. For instance, if Marvin from the creative team doesn’t need to have access to sensitive HR information, don’t give it to him! Only letting your staff have access to the files they need to do their job will help reduce the chances of sensitive information leaking.
Encrypt Your Data
There are two states of data. Either data is in motion, or it’s at rest. Data in motion is data that is being sent somewhere either inside or outside of your business network. Data at rest is exactly what it sounds like: data that is sitting somewhere on a storage device within your business network.
It’s essential to encrypt both forms in order to best prevent it from being compromised if it happens to fall into the wrong hands. Sensitive data you send to other parties should be encrypted, as well as what is stored on your local network.
Adrem Can Help Your Business Maintain Compliance
Although maintaining compliance is a tricky process, it’s certainly a worthwhile one. If you have questions about next steps to ensure that your business is current on all compliance regulations or are wondering what else you need to do in order to avoid the setbacks that are violation fines, reach out. We’d love to help your company gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re doing all that you can to keep your sensitive data safe and your organization’s reputation intact.