Every business has data that they need to protect against any breach or hacking attempt. The types of data today’s businesses store are sensitive customer information, financial data, and confidential agreements or trade secrets. In order to protect this data, businesses are making sure that their internet-facing assets are secured and follow certain data security regulations and compliance. These regulations are known as data security compliance standards. 

There are many different types of data security compliance standards, but each one is important in protecting your business’s sensitive information. This blog post will discuss why data security compliance is important and what are the different types of compliance standards for global organizations that rely on the internet.

What is Data Security?

Data security is a subset of cybersecurity. It is implemented to protect any electronic information (in rest or in transit) against any unauthorized access. 

This can include physical security, which protects against theft of equipment and data, as well as logical security, which protects against hacking and other cyber attacks. Data security is important for businesses of all sizes, as it can help to prevent data breaches that could lead to identity theft, financial loss, and reputational damage.

What is a Security Compliance?

Security compliance is a set of guidelines that businesses must follow in order to ensure the safety of their data. These guidelines are put in place by some reputed governments and other standardized organizations. These organizations can include standards for how data is collected, stored, and transmitted, as well as requirements for employee training and security measures.

Who Needs Security Compliance?

  • Online businesses of all sizes need to comply with security standards in order to protect their data.
  • E-commerce stores selling retail and wholesale on Shopify, WooCommerce, and any other platforms.
  • SaaS companies store customer data in the cloud.
  • Banks, credit unions and insurance companies.
  • Healthcare organizations handle patient data.
  • Any business that collects, stores, or transmits sensitive data.

Why is Compliance Important for businesses?

Compliance with data security regulations is important for businesses because it helps to protect their sensitive information from unauthorized access. By following the guidelines set forth in these compliance standards, businesses can help to prevent data breaches that could lead to identity theft, financial loss, and reputational damage. Additionally, compliance can also help businesses to avoid fines and other penalties that may be imposed if they fail to meet these standards. Read our guide on top 5 business benefits of cybersecurity compliance to know more.

What Are the Risks of Non-Compliance?

There are many risks associated with non-compliance, including:

Fines and penalties: Perhaps the most well-known risk of non-compliance is the possibility of being fined or penalized by the government or other regulatory bodies.

Loss of customers: Another risk of non-compliance is the loss of customers. This can happen if customers lose trust in your business due to a data breach or other security incident.

Damage to reputation: Non-compliance can also damage your business’s reputation, which can make it difficult to attract new customers and partners.

These are just some of the risks associated with non-compliance. 

Different Types of Data Security Compliance

1. PCI-DSS

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) is a set of guidelines for businesses that do financial transactions on their platform or accept credit card payments. These guidelines cover topics such as data storage, encryption, and access control. PCI-DSS compliance is important for businesses because it helps to protect customer credit card information from being stolen.

2. HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a set of guidelines for businesses that handle protected health information. These guidelines cover topics such as data storage, encryption, and access control. HIPAA compliance is important for businesses because it helps to protect patient privacy and prevent medical identity theft.

3. SOC

The AICPA’s System and Organization Controls is a set of guidelines for businesses that want to demonstrate their commitment to data security. These guidelines cover topics such as data storage, encryption, and access control. SOC compliance is important for businesses because it helps to build trust with customers and partners.

4. ISO 27001

The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 27001 is a set of guidelines for businesses that want to implement information security controls to secure themselves. These guidelines cover topics such as data storage, encryption, and access control. ISO 27001 compliance is important for businesses to meet certain recognizable standards in the industry they belong to (for example, IT security, cloud security or SaaS platforms). This compliance makes sure the compiled entity is secured against any unauthorized access.

5. GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of guidelines for businesses that collect, store or process personal data on their websites and ecommerce stores. GDPR is mandatory for all companies that have customers from European Union (EU) countries. GDPR guidelines cover topics such as data storage, encryption, and access control. GDPR compliance is important for businesses because it helps to protect the privacy of EU citizens.

Each of these compliance standards is important in its own way and can help to protect your business from different types of risks. By understanding the different types of compliance standards and what they entail, you can make sure that your business is taking the necessary steps to protect its sensitive information.

How Can My Business Comply with Data Security Standards?

  • Encrypting data: The most common technique to protect data from any unauthorized access it to encrypt it using a strong algorithm or using encrypted software. This will help only authorized individuals access the encrypted data by decoding it.
  • Restricting access: Another way to protect data is to restrict access to it. This can be done by implementing user roles and permissions, as well as physical security measures such as CCTV cameras and locked doors.
  • Training employees: It’s important to train your employees on the importance of data security and what they can do to help protect your business’s information. Conduct data security awareness training and educate employees on security measures to take while surfing the internet or opening an email and more.
  • Implementing policies and procedures: It is always a best practice to document data security policies and procedures for your organizations. This will cover all the data security requirements including an incident response plan in case of any data breach, taking periodic data backups and more. 

Implementing the above steps can help your business to comply with the different types of data security compliance standards. By doing so, you can help to protect your business from the risks associated with non-compliance.

Conclusion

We see the news on data breaches happening every day and it is not stopping. By implementing compliance and security standards, businesses can improve their data security posture and protect their customers’ information against a data breach. To implement a strong cybersecurity infrastructure, compliance and security standards are a good place to start, but businesses should also consider using other methods such as encryption and penetration testing to further secure their data.

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