New data security and privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA are beginning to have an impact on a global scale. This is forcing many organizations to scrutinize their IT processes and ensure they are compliant.
However, faced with ransomware, malware, and other cybersecurity issues, many IT departments are too busy to keep up with the latest regulations. Here’s a list of four common IT compliance mistakes that shouldn’t be overlooked and that can be extremely costly in the long run.
1. Avoidance of internal IT compliance audits.
Most companies have a long list of operational responsibilities, and checking for IT compliance failures on a daily basis probably isn’t at the top of the list.
However, far too many companies make the mistake of waiting for a regulatory scrutiny before scrutinizing their policies and procedures. That can certainly get expensive.
Instead, companies should incorporate an internal audit into their schedule, and do it routinely. This ensures that IT staff and key executives are aware of the issues well in advance of any major compliance audit.
It allows you to address potential problem areas before they become a threat to your business. By conducting routine audits, a firm is prepared to anticipate observations, answer questions, and be well prepared when a professional regulator visits their firm.
2. Failure to analyze business events.
Customer complaints, the firing of an employee, and missing documents may individually seem like small, independent issues, but when you look at them together, you realize that they are all interconnected.
As a business owner, it’s important to analyze business events and work to connect the dots and recognize when small events could uncover a larger problem.
This process is similar to finding a fire when you see smoke. It helps ensure that a company is not caught unawares by various problems when an inspector shows up at the company’s door.
3. Misguided use of IT compliance policy templates.
There are online templates for almost every document your business could ever need. For a startup, using one of these templates can feel like a huge time and money saver. In the long run, however, these templates can cause problems.
When policies and procedures are based on a template, rather than written with the guidance of a consultant (and legal expert), your organization could be set for a number of problems.
Tailored compliance policies are crucial, especially as your business grows. Consultation with a consultant experienced in drafting these guidelines should be mandatory.
Additionally, any template-based procedures or policies must be scrutinized to ensure they actually work for your organization. Additionally, all of a company’s policies, whether custom written or not, should be regularly reviewed and updated as requirements change.
4. Failure to recognize the impact of compliance on business value.
Entrepreneurs considering the sale or acquisition of their business should not overlook the link between compliance issues and shareholder value.
While this may be forgotten in early negotiations, any due diligence process is sure to uncover compliance issues. They can have far-reaching implications for the valuation of your business and your ability to sell it.
All in all, hiring the services of a professional company that specializes in IT compliance services can help set a business on the right track. It can ensure compliance with the latest standards while providing peace of mind and security for your business.