How Managed IT Services Help Businesses Maintain Compliance
Helping you navigate Internet regulations with confidence
If your company engages in Internet commerce, you must comply with a wide range of regulations or face substantial penalties as well as civil liability. Internet commerce regulations touch on a number of complex topics, such as:
- Consumer privacy
- Data security
- Trademark use and infringement
- Copyright protections
- Taxes on goods sold
- Advertising practices and standards
- Contracting over the Internet
- Electronic transfer payments
Within the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the agency that develops most e-commerce regs and initiates most enforcement actions. But some states, such as California, are also aggressive in their oversight.
Many regulations are industry specific; manufacturers must comply with regulations that include the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) and Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), and healthcare providers and insurers must abide by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH). Banks and financial services companies have numerous regulators at the federal level, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), as well as agencies on the state level.
Most small businesses in the United States are only subject to U.S. and state laws, but if you do business internationally, you must contend with national and regional regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union.
The crippling cost of e-commerce noncompliance
Now, if you’re wondering what can happen if your company’s practices don’t comply with regulatory requirements, here are just a few of the eye-popping penalties some companies were given for lax security that led to data breaches:
- Facebook: $5 billion
- Didi Global: $1.2 billion
- Amazon: $886 million
- Equifax: $700 million
- Epic Games: $520 million
- T-Mobile: $500 million
- Home Depot: $200+ million
- Capital One: $190 million
- Google: $170 million
- Twitter: $150 million
Of course, the FTC isn’t going to hit your small business with these kinds of sanctions, but any fine scaled to your company’s size can put you in a world of hurt. So, should you start brushing up on Internet privacy and security law all across the globe? That’s probably not practical, if you’re trying to run a business. The best way to protect yourself from noncompliance is to consult a professional whose business depends on having the answers.
Top ways managed service providers keep small businesses in compliance
There’s no reason for you as a business owner to take on the burden of regulatory compliance, when a professional MSP, like KMF Technologies, can do the job reliably and at a reasonable price for your company. When you contract with a reputable MSP, you can expect the following benefits:
- Knowledge of the current regulatory landscape — Regulations are constantly changing, and unless you are in the trenches, you are unlikely to notice a shift in the terrain. MSPs make it their business to know, consulting with experts in the field to stay ahead of any new requirements.
- Industry specific protocols — Your business compliance strategy depends on the regulatory regime you’re under. That regime depends on your industry, location, and the global reach of your business. When you contract with an MSP, you tap into a wealth of knowledge that ensures you are operating at industry standards for wherever you do business.
- Compliant infrastructure and software tools — When you contract with an MSP for data storage, you spare your company the expense of purchasing equipment that might be noncompliant in two or three years. An MSP will constantly monitor and upgrade its systems to make sure you meet current standards, and your data is secure.
- Cutting-edge security measures — Your MSP knows that cyberthreats are continually evolving. To stay at least one step ahead, an MSP constantly monitors security related events, analyzing information the system generates on suspected malicious activity. A risk assessment quickly follows leading to a proactive response.
- Establishing cybersecurity policies — An MSP can help company leadership formulate appropriate protocols for handling sensitive information. Your policies can include strong passwords (frequently changed), multi-step authentication, restricted access, and regularly scheduled backups.
- Employee training — You want your network security to be foolproof, but as The Main Ingredient once sang, “Everybody plays the fool some time. There’s no exception to the rule.” The best equipment in the world won’t keep your network safe if employees don’t know or don’t follow safety protocols. Training and appropriate retraining are fundamental for lasting security.
And, finally, an MSP delivers all these benefits at a cost that is reasonable and does not require a huge upfront investment.
If you want to learn more about the many ways an MSP can keep your small business in compliance, contact an IT professional at KMF Technologies today.