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Tech Intelligence: Turn by turn

For business owners, keeping up with cybersecurity and other compliance matters can seem like maneuvering through a maze, thanks to the proliferation of new rules. Each decision counts, since a wrong turn can lead to such significant consequences as hefty fines, reputational damage, and legal entanglements. But companies that work with an experienced cybersecurity partner will be aware of common pitfalls and are more likely to stay on the right side of the law. To help, here are

Failure to keep up with regulations. The regulatory environment is constantly evolving as new laws and amendments, including the California Consumer Privacy Act, which gives consumers more control over the personal information that businesses collect about them, and the EU’s GDPR — or General Data Protection Regulation, which governs how personal data can be used, processed and stored — emerge regularly. This churn means organizations must actively monitor changes relevant to their industry to ensure compliance. Periodic compliance audits and collaboration with cybersecurity and legal experts can provide valuable insights into regulatory updates, helping you to stay ahead of the curve.

Losing focus on cybersecurity. In an era when data breaches are rampant, cybersecurity is paramount. Organizations must take steps to safeguard sensitive information from unauthorized access. Conducting regular security assessments, promptly applying patches, implementing network segmentation, and enforcing multifactor authentication are crucial steps in fortifying cybersecurity defenses.

Underestimating the power of information governance/ Effective information governance — the framework for handling information securely and confidentially — is essential for compliance, particularly in industries like health care and financial services that are subject to stringent data retention and privacy requirements. Working with a trusted cybersecurity partner can help you to successfully implement robust information governance practices, gain visibility into your data, streamline classification, and apply appropriate policies for retention and encryption.

Overlooking employee training and awareness. Human error remains a significant factor in compliance violations, since individuals who do not understand the rules and regulations that apply to their roles may unwittingly invite a data breach. For example, employees may share sensitive information inappropriately, or they could click a malicious link in a phishing email. Therefore, providing engaging compliance and security awareness training tailored to different learning styles and roles is essential. Periodic updates to your cybersecurity and other training content will ensure your employees stay informed about evolving regulations and industry standards.

Forgetting to review vendor contracts. Third-party vendors are key partners for many companies but consider that such regulations as CCPA and the GDPR also apply to the actions of third parties. So, your vendors may pose compliance risks if their actions result in breaches or non-compliance. Carefully monitoring vendor contracts to ensure they adhere to security standards and regulations is crucial. Additionally, you should be aware of all points of access third parties may have to your networks and data.

Neglecting to leverage compliance technology. Investing in cybersecurity technology can streamline and automate various compliance-related tasks, such as data collection, classification and analysis. AI and other tools can help you to automate such key tasks as data collection and classification more efficiently, so necessary changes to internal processes can be identified and implemented in a timely, effective manner.

Today, achieving and maintaining compliance is a non-negotiable aspect of modern business operations. By avoiding common compliance mistakes and implementing proactive measures, organizations can navigate the regulatory maze with confidence. Partnering with compliance experts and leveraging advanced technology can further bolster compliance efforts, ensuring the security and integrity of sensitive data. In a world where compliance is king, staying vigilant is the key to success.

Carl Mazzanti is president of eMazzanti Technologies in Hoboken, New Jersey, providing IT consulting and cybersecurity services for businesses ranging from home offices to multinational corporations.