Emerging data security and privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA are beginning to make an impact on a global scale. This is forcing many businesses to closely scrutinize their IT processes and ensure they are compliant.
However, with ransomware, malware, and other cybersecurity issues to worry about, many IT departments are too busy to keep up with the latest regulations. Here then are a list of four common IT compliance mistakes which should not be overlooked, ones that can be extremely costly in the long run.
1. Avoiding internal IT compliance audits.
Most companies have a long menu of operational responsibilities and, on a day-to-day basis, checking for IT compliance mistakes probably is not at the top of the list.
However, far too many companies make the mistake of waiting for a regulatory audit to come around before they take a close look at their policies and procedures. Doing so can surely be costly.
Instead, businesses should generate an internal audit into their schedule, and do so on a routine basis. This ensures that IT personnel and key executives are aware of issues far in advance of any major compliance audit.
It enables you to work through potential problem areas before they become a threat to your business. By conducting routine audits, a firm will be ready to anticipate observations, answer questions, and be well prepared when a professional regulator visits their company.
2. Failing to analyze business events.
Customer complaints, laying off an employee, and missing documents may seem like small, independent issues individually, yet looking at them together helps one realize they are all connected.
As a business owner, it’s important to analyze business events and work to connect the dots, recognizing when small events could reveal a bigger issue.
This process is similar to looking for a fire when you see smoke. It helps ensure a business is not blindsided by various issues when a regulatory officer shows up at the company door.
3. Misguided use of IT compliance policy templates.
Online templates exist for just about every document your business could ever need. For a startup, using one of these templates can feel like a huge time and money saver. However, in the long run, these templates can cause problems.
If policies and procedures are based on a template rather than written under the guidance of an advisor (and legal professional), your business could be setting itself up for a series of issues.
Customized compliance policies are crucial, especially as your business grows. Consulting an advisor skilled in creating these policies should be mandatory.
In addition, any template-based procedures or policies need to be closely scrutinized to ensure they actually work for your business. Moreover, all of a company’s policies, custom written or not, should be reviewed and updated regularly as needs change.
4. Failure to recognize the impact of compliance on business value.
Business owners who have plans for their company to be sold or acquired, should not overlook the connection between compliance problems and business value.
While it may be forgotten during early negotiations, any due diligence process is sure to reveal compliance problems. They can have a far-reaching impact on the valuation of your business and your ability to sell it.
In all, utilizing the services of a professional firm skilled in IT compliance services can help put a company on the right track. It can ensure compliance with the latest standards, while providing peace of mind and security for your business.