Cybersecurity Compliance – Understanding Your Legal Obligations

Businesses are often subject to various cybersecurity standards and securities regulation law requirements. These vary based on the industry and country and may overlap. Strict adherence to regulations helps companies minimize the cost of data breaches. It also helps them protect their brand reputation with multi-cloud security solutions, maintain consumer trust and build customer loyalty.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) governs merchants, processors, acquirers, issuers, and service providers that store, process, or transmit credit card data and sensitive authentication information. It requires various measures to protect credit card information, including strong access control measures and creating an information security policy. This standard also requires companies to perform regular scans and vulnerability testing and implement patch management processes. Businesses must have a firewall to protect against unwanted traffic that hackers could use to gain entry into internal networks and steal cardholder data. This requirement also asks companies to change manufacturer passwords on routers, modems, point of sale (POS) systems, and wireless devices, as hackers can easily find these default passwords.

PCI DSS requires that all activities dealing with storing, processing, and transmitting cardholder data and primary account numbers (PAN) be logged. Fortunately, there are software products that can help with this task. This standard also asks organizations to create and maintain an information security policy that defines the rules and procedures related to cardholder data.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Businesses in the healthcare industry must follow HIPAA regulations, which cover data protection and information security for personal health information (PHI). Cybercriminals are targeting the healthcare sector to steal PHI for sale on the dark web. Compliance regulations include risk assessments, documentation of cybersecurity policies and assigning a chief information security officer to manage the program. Remembering that these regulations constantly evolve is important, so your company must monitor these rules and standards for updates.

A business’s reputation, financial standing and customer loyalty are all at risk after a data breach. Having robust cybersecurity compliance measures in place can help you minimize the risk of attacks and maintain compliance, so you can avoid fines and legal proceedings often resulting from violating these regulations. These regulations protect your business from expensive fines and legal action and are necessary to ensure that your customers’ sensitive information is safe with your company. Having clear systems for managing, storing and accessing your customers’ data can boost customer trust, build loyalty, and allow you to operate more efficiently.

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

The CCPA is the state’s data privacy law that gives consumers more control over their personal information. It’s modeled after the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. It requires businesses that collect consumer data to disclose how it’s used, allow consumers to request their personal information be deleted, and create internal processes for promptly honoring requests.

The CCPR also states that companies must demonstrate they have implemented “reasonable security” measures. It is important to mention that the standard is not specific, but it can be accomplished easily by thoroughly evaluating cybersecurity risks. These assessments are performed by professionals who can complete audits, inventory your infrastructure, and calculate risk analyses. They can then guide the building and implementation of appropriate security controls. The CCPA applies to any business with annual gross revenue of $25 million or more that either sells or provides California residents’ personal information to third parties for commercial purposes or earns at least 50 percent of its annual revenue from selling California residents’ personal information. However, experts theorize that similar data privacy laws will soon be passed in other states, meaning that even organizations that don’t work with California data should look into CCPA compliance to prepare for potential future regulations. They should also understand the impact of non-compliance, as the state’s attorney general has broad civil enforcement powers for CCPA violations.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

It’s crucial to have policies in place that are based on your company’s unique needs and regulatory requirements. For example, if you collect data on 1,000 website users but only 100 of them ever log in to your site, you may need to eliminate those unnecessary consumer records to reduce your storage costs and focus on your core, logged-in consumers. The same goes for cybersecurity risks and compliance standards. Cybercriminals constantly work on finding new ways to get into your network, so you need to set up the right defenses that will block them.

Regulatory requirements differ by industry and can be complex. But most are based on similar methods that create rules that can easily adjust to your business’s technology environment and safeguard sensitive data.

For instance, most of these regulations require businesses to have a robust governance process for assessing, monitoring, and responding to cybersecurity risks. Documenting continuous monitoring and response activities can ease conversations with your internal or external audit partners and help demonstrate that you have the proper governance structure.

Non-compliance with cybersecurity laws and regulations can result in significant fines, damage to your reputation, and loss of third-party trust.