The regulatory landscape constantly evolves, and the number of cyber-attacks is rising. Organizations face the challenge of meeting strict and complex requirements for cybersecurity compliance. It is essential for companies to comply with the standards and regulations regarding the safety of information and data privacy that are relevant to the industry and global or local laws.
This article will help you navigate through the compliance protocol labyrinth and show why implementing adequate solutions minimizes the risk of data breaches.
Reasons for complying with security regulations
Cybersecurity compliance is crucial for all companies, regardless of their size. The IBM Data Breach Report found that in 2022, 83% of organizations impacted by IT incidents had multiple data breaches. Neglecting to invest in robust cybersecurity measures leaves vulnerabilities open to malicious actors and increases the risk of non-compliance.
Why should your organization prioritize security regulations?
Avoiding fines and penalties
To protect access to your sensitive data, you must stay up-to-date with industry-specific compliance requirements. Non-compliance can result in substantial fines. The regulatory controls vary depending on the business's location or data processing practices.
Some common compliance regulations include:
European General Data Protection Act (GDPR)
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Payment Card Industry - Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)
International Standard to Manage Information Security (ISO 27001)
System and Organization Controls Standard (SOC TYPE 1 and 2)
Building your business reputation
Companies with access to confidential data are at a greater risk of becoming a target for cybercriminals. Protecting sensitive information is vital for maintaining your customers’ trust and enhancing your organization’s reputation. Potential data leaks or theft can cause significant financial losses and damage your reputation.
Upgrading your data management capabilities
Modern businesses need to upgrade their data management capabilities. This includes implementing encrypted data, resource management features, and access control tools like single sign-on (SSO), biometrics, and two-factor authentication (2FA).
For example, healthcare organizations must with the new HIPAA encryption requirements and ensure all sensitive patient data is unreadable, undecipherable, and unusable to unauthorized individuals or software.
The challenges of security compliance control
Regulatory compliance means following rules designed to keep organizations in line with industry-specific laws. These regulations reduce breach risks, ensure companies are transparent, and protect them from financial losses or legal penalties. Compliance also boosts an organization’s reputation, integrity, and standing in the industry. Our comprehensive guide on compliance gives you a bigger picture of this important topic.
Non-compliant organizations face significant penalties. For example, Uber had to pay $148 million to settle a data breach affecting 57 million riders and drivers. Equifax paid $575 million for compromising the data of approximately 147 million people. Violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can result in fines of up to $ 23 million for companies with EU citizens in their customer base.
Before discussing ways of reducing risks and implementing cybersecurity controls, it’s essential to understand the challenges your organization needs to overcome in security compliance control.
Challenge 1: evolving security environments
Security threats and compliance demands are constantly changing. New regulations are introduced to address emerging cyber risks, making your organization promptly adapt and adhere to updated controls.
Challenge 2: distributed workforce and endpoints
The remote work model has expanded the attack surface, making endpoints the epicenter of threats. Managing and securing many employee devices presents a challenge for any organization.
Challenge 3: larger teams
Coordinating teams and infrastructures across an extensive working environment complicates compliance management.
Additionally, a data breach can result in higher costs and impacts many individuals.
Challenge 4: multiple regulations
Irrespective of the industry, your business must follow many rules and regulations. And companies with employees in different countries must meet compliance regulations specific to each location. For example, processing payments through point-of-service (POS) devices necessitates compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Control Standard (PCI DSS) standards.
Challenge 5: outdated technologies
Relying on manual methods such as spreadsheets and file shares for compliance updates is time-consuming and falls short of cybersecurity requirements. Keeping up with the changing industry regulations demands advanced tools to maintain secure data protection environments.
Understanding compliance protocols
Compliance rules cover various areas, including data privacy and financial reporting, with variations based on industry and location. Ensuring effective compliance with industry-specific regulations can be complex. Through security compliance management, you can bring security and compliance together.
Let’s now explore major compliance protocols that focus on protecting sensitive data, such as personal information, health records, and payment details.
What is it?
HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a federal law in the United States that ensures healthcare providers handle sensitive medical information according to the same regulations. It consists of four rules that provide guidance on achieving HIPAA compliance.
Best practices for HIPAA compliance
Familiarize yourself with the HIPAA requirements.
Create a HIPAA compliance checklist.
Identify and classify your sensitive data.
Establish access controls and implement safeguards for Protected Health Information (PHI).
Consider using a network access solution like NordLayer for easier HIPAA compliance.
With NordLayer's HIPAA-compliant solution, you can meet healthcare industry regulations without requiring complex advanced setups or lengthy deployments. Gain secure access to every endpoint in your organization, locking down essential apps and databases while maintaining user-friendly accessibility.
What is it?
The GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, is a data protection and privacy law that applies to the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area countries. It focuses on protecting the personal data of European citizens and imposes requirements on how companies should handle such information.
The GPDR enables EU citizens to manage their personal data without restrictions. A company must get an individual’s consent before ensuring confidentiality and safety for any data processing activities. Also, the organization informs the affected person and the right institutions in case of a breach.
Best practices for GPDR compliance
Get familiar with a GPDR compliance checklist for companies.
Appoint a Data Protection Officer to stay updated on the GPDR requirements.
Partner with a trusted security service provider.
Map out your GPDR compliance strategy and determine what security measures your company needs.
NordLayer’s compliance solutions are user-friendly, requiring no hardware and offering easy deployment, start, and scalability. One of our solutions, Zero Trust Network Access, provides enhanced security through multilayered network access control. With our Virtual Private Gateway, your traffic is encrypted, and your identity remains hidden while connecting to a public Wi-Fi. Our secret remote access solutions, such as Secure Remote Access and site-to-site connections, ensure secure and convenient remote access to devices and networks.
What is it?
ISO 27001 is a widely recognized global recognized standard for information security management systems. It provides a framework for organizations to handle and protect various data types, including intellectual property, customer, employee, and financial information.
The regulations outlined in ISO 27001 emphasize the importance of identifying and managing cyber risks, implementing security controls, and monitoring the system 24/7.
Best practices for ISO 27001 implementation
Start with your ISO 27001 implementation checklist.
Conduct a risk assessment to identify your system vulnerabilities.
Implement security controls and monitor the system.
What is it?
PCI-DSS, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is a set of rules designed to protect credit card transactions in the payment industry. It focuses on managing risks associated with payment information and requires organizations to implement security controls, such as encryption and access controls, to safeguard cardholder data throughout the transaction process.
Best practices for PCI-DSS implementation
Review the PCI-DSS compliance checklist.
You can then assess your systems and processes to identify vulnerabilities.
Assess systems and princesses for vulnerabilities.
Deploy security measures aligned with PCI-DSS requirements, such as a firewall, traffic encryption, and restricting access to your confidential data
SOC 2 report
What is it?
SOC 2 is a voluntary compliance standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to ensure businesses handle sensitive customer data securely. It provides insights into how a company and its partners manage and secure access to confidential data.
There are two types of SOC 2 reports:
SOC 2 Type I describes the organization's systems and ensures they follow relevant trust principles.
SOC 2 Type II describes the operational efficiency of the system.
Best practices for SOC 2 report
To ensure a successful SOC 2 report and that your valuable customer data and privacy are well-protected, you must implement robust security measures like monitoring, access controls, and encryption.
NordLayer has gone through an independent SOC 2 Type 1 audit. What does it mean for your business? It means that all NordLayer’s tools provide adequate security controls to manage customer data and protect privacy.
How NordLayer helped a full-stack insurtech secure data
Rey. id, first Indonesia’s insurtech start-up is an insurance platform offering various healthcare services, including online and offline doctor consultations. As Rey deals with sensitive and regulated data, it was crucial for them to put appropriate security controls in place.
Rey needed a trusted system that meets the Indonesian regulatory requirements and safely store all data for 25 years. Using NordLayer, Rey seamlessly integrated their systems, enabling secure connections to their app and cloud servers. The hardware-free Business VPN service is now mandatory for Rey’s employees based on their job roles and access permissions, and it requires minimal resources for setup and maintenance. Rey also implemented Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), including Single Sign-On (SSO) for user authentication.
Rey’s team can easily manage new employees, allowlist IP addresses for new servers, and assign specific task groups based on their needs, like code uploading and system deployment. This simplifies the VPN configuration process within the infrastructure, removing its complexity.
With NordLayer, Rey combined security measures with compliance standards, effectively reducing data breach risks. These strong security solutions helped Rey achieve ISO 27001, a huge milestone for a young company like theirs, ensuring the secure handling of confidential data.
Actionable tips and best practices for compliance
Maintaining regulatory compliance in today’s hybrid and remote work environment has become increasingly challenging. Here are some practical tips to help your organization secure access to your sensitive data and ensure compliance.
Encrypt data transfers from untrusted networks. Encryption helps you safeguard data confidentiality, protecting it from unauthorized access. This is particularly crucial for healthcare providers, partners, and subcontractors dealing with Protected Health Information.
Monitor and audit your network activity 24/7. With efficient monitoring, logging, and auditing solutions, you can track secured connections, detect anomalies and prevent security incidents.
Allow only trusted devices to connect to your internal network. You can ensure the network's security and health by monitoring and accessing devices based on predefined security rules. Receive notifications about non-compliant devices to take appropriate measures.
Implement access segmentation to protect resources and limit cybercriminals' movement within your network in the event of a breach. Network segmentation enables you to allocate resource access using private gateways, enhancing overall network security.
Adopt a Zero-Trust solution to strengthen your network safety. This model ensures that only authorized users can access protected data by implementing strict security measures like 2FA, SSO, and biometrics. With this trust-noone-verify-all approach, you can enhance the safety of your network and safeguard your data.
How can NordLayer help your organization achieve compliance?
Modern organizations face now complex digital security rules and regulations. Poor security compliance exposes businesses to risks, including regulatory fines, reputational damage from data breaches, and financial losses.
As you embark on your way to compliance, you must familiarize yourself with the specific regulations relevant to your industry. For example, healthcare organizations should comply with HIPPA, while companies operating within the European Union must adhere to the GDPR.
NordLayer provides advanced and reliable tools that help organizations merge security and compliance effectively. By integrating our solutions into your compliance strategies, you can secure access to sensitive data. Whatever sector your organization operates in, NordLayer can assist in achieving compliance.
To begin your compliance journey, get in touch with our team. Whether you need ISO 20007 certification, HIPAA compliance, or adherence to the GDPR, we are here to support you on every step of the way.