Information security is on all business’ radar these days. Data drives so much of what we do. Looking to contain the risks, many sectors have established IT compliance regulations. Whether you legally have to meet a standard or not, don’t overlook these common areas of concern.
Governments and regulatory agencies have established compliance standards for the financial, legal, healthcare and energy sectors. Other organizations abide by best practices for data protection and improving system security. Whether mandated or not, the goals remain similar:
- Educate employees.
- Identify vulnerabilities.
- Improve security protocols.
- Prevent breaches.
- Reduce losses.
- Maintain customer trust.
- Increase access control.
Any shortcomings in the above list can mean compliance concerns, industry fines, customer churn and brand reputation damage. Being proactive about these four common issues can benefit your companies.
Common Issues that Thwart Compliance
Companies with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies save $350 annually per employee, according to CISCO, but the cost savings are not the only reason organizations are embracing BYOD. Letting people use personal mobile devices at work improves productivity and engages employees.
Yet allowing BYOD in the work environment can make the organization more vulnerable. There is greater risk of:
- the spread of malicious applications or viruses;
- employees accessing business materials using unsecured Wi-Fi;
- people who have left the company continuing to have access to proprietary systems.
None of these are good from a compliance point of view.
Unless properly controlled, personal devices may not have the same security protocols and access controls as business owned computers. This makes them more vulnerable if lost or stolen.
This brings us to a second common compliance concern: physical security. A business may do a great job of securing its devices with onsite firewalls, security updates installed regularly and a proper password policy. But what happens if a laptop, mobile phone or USB drive is stolen or lost?
All computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones accessing your business systems and networks from off-site should use mobile device management. With remote monitoring and management, IT staff can control security configurations regardless of the end-user environment. Mobile device management allows your IT team to secure, locate or erase any mobile device used for business.
Counting on Others for Compliance
A major concern is third-party connections that you may deal with. Your business may be top of the class as far as the five core functions of cybersecurity (Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond and Recover) are concerned, but what if your partners or suppliers security isn’t up to the basic standards.
Do you have business partners that are storing your sensitive data or does a supplier have access to personally identifying customer or employee information? Third-party risk is a real thing, ask Target, cyber criminals stole data for over 40 million debit and credit cards via the retailer’s HVAC company.
Cybercriminals could use a third party’s lax security to target you. Make sure that your third party connections are taking cybersecurity as seriously as you do.
Even in your own business environment, limit the number of people who have access to sensitive data. Yes, you have hired people you think you can trust, but you can still better ward off the insider cybersecurity threat by:
- Limiting staff access to data, network or systems based on necessity.
- Informing employees about the importance of strong passwords, securing devices and physical security.
- Educating people about social engineering (e.g. phishing emails or fraudulent business communications).
- Having a policy to immediately revoke access permissions and reclaim devices from any employee leaving the company.
Ensuring compliance takes technical knowledge and awareness of the evolving threat landscape. This vigilance, communication, and education require time and effort but you can put the right policies and procedures in place with our help. Contact us today at 08 8326 4364 or firstname.lastname@example.org!