HIPAA must be observed by everyone working in the U.S. Healthcare industry and their service providers, while PCI-DSS is mandatory for anyone collecting payment card data. Furthermore, GDPR - a far-reaching data protection law - applies to anyone selling goods to EU citizens and is an obligation for businesses doing business there.
International and industry data privacy regulations are only the start. Many states and localities have their own data privacy laws that must be understood by organizations as well as any changes that may take place to these rules.
By 2024, an estimated 75% of the world's population will have their data protected by privacy regulations.
Every day, governments across the US pass new privacy regulations. By 2023, four new laws will take effect: Colorado, Utah and Connecticut will all implement updated data privacy standards.
Companies must ensure they abide by all data privacy regulations. Businesses could face severe repercussions for failing to adhere to these standards, and data breaches may lead to higher fines if security measures aren't adequate.
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, violations can face fines ranging from $100 to $50,000 for each breached record. If a company proves more negligent than usual, their fine may be increased accordingly.
Does all this sound daunting?
Don't fret! We have some helpful advice that can help you stay on top of data privacy updates that come your way. These strategies will ensure you stay informed and in control at all times.
How to Stay Abiding by Data Privacy Compliance
1. Define What Regulations Must Be Obeyed
Do you know all of the data privacy rules your organization is subject to? These could include regulations for:
- What products or services do you sell (e.g., if selling within the EU).
- State, County or City
- Federal (e.g., for government contractors)
Recognize any data privacy regulations to which you might be subject. Doing this helps avoid being unaware of a data security requirement.
2. Stay Informed of Data Privacy Regulations
Stay ahead of any updates to data privacy rules by signing up for updates via the relevant website. You can find the official site for the compliance authority here.
If your business is in healthcare, be sure to sign up for HIPAA updates at HIPAA.gov. This should be done for each regulation your business must abide by.
Updates should be sent to multiple parties. Your Security Officer, or an equivalent, and another responsible party should also be informed so that no updates are missed when someone goes on vacation.
3. Conduct an annual review of your data security standards
Companies are constantly upgrading their technology, but this may not always translate to major enterprise changes. You could add a server or computer to the mix for added protection.
Changes to your IT environment could present compliance problems. An employee adding a mobile device without adequate protection poses one such risk; similarly, using a new cloud tool for work could present similar issues.
Maintaining data security is of the utmost importance. To guarantee you remain compliant with data privacy regulations, coordinate this review with your annual assessment.
4. Audit Your Security Policies and Procedures
Your policies and procedures should be audited at least once a year, as these documents outline employee expectations. They also offer guidance regarding data privacy regulations as well as how to handle a breach if one occurs.
Every year, audit your security policies. Audit them whenever a new data privacy regulation takes effect - making sure any modifications are accounted for in your requirements.
5. Maintain your technical, physical and administrative safeguards as necessary
It is wise to plan ahead if you receive notification about a data privacy update. Where possible, comply with this notification of an update as quickly as possible.
Three areas are essential for IT security.
- Technical safeguards - Software, hardware and systems
- Administrative safeguards - Policies, manuals, training sessions, etc.
- Physical Security - Door locks, keypads, building security measures - everything!
6. Make Sure Employees Receive Training on Compliance and Data Privacy Policies
It is essential that all changes to data privacy policies are communicated clearly to employees. This information should be included in any training you conduct when notified of a new update.
Maintaining staff cybersecurity training is a wise security measure. This keeps their anti-breach skills sharp and reminds them what expectations exist.
Be sure to provide any updates they require so they are adequately informed.
Register all training activities. It is wise to record the date, employee education and topic covered in case there are ever any breaches. Doing this will provide documentation in case such proof is needed.
Get Assistance Ensuring Your Systems Meet Compliance Requirements
Complying with data privacy regulations doesn't have to be a complex undertaking. Don't feel pressured into doing it all by yourself - our team is highly knowledgeable about these requirements and ready to assist you. Contact us today to set up an appointment and learn more!