Managing compliance in a highly regulated industry
Organizations operating within highly regulated industries such as healthcare facilities, law offices, and financial institutes are subject to a far greater range of safety and security requirements. This creates a high barrier to entry for new companies and makes it difficult for even well-established organizations to manage compliance. This article will discuss best practices for using technology to manage compliance in highly regulated industries.
1. Partner with industry experts
There’s a reason healthcare organizations are required to have HIPAA security officers, and it’s that these experts can be trusted to understand the complex landscape of modern patient data security. The same goes for cloud faxing for regulated industries. In this example, the healthcare organization would need to find a cloud faxing service provider that is directly committed to upholding the standards laid out in HIPAA and to sign a business associate agreement.
2. Keep up with changes to regulations
Because many of the rules that apply to highly regulated industries relate to technology, they often change fast. Keeping up with those changes is another key to ensuring compliance because it allows businesses and other organizations to make appropriate alterations to their workflows to accommodate them. The fintech industry is one of the best examples because regulatory changes happen just as fast as advances in technology.
3. Ensure data persistence
Most regulatory bodies require some kind of audit trail, which, in turn, requires a level of data persistence not always matched by companies in less regulated fields. Backups of documents and data should be stored on the cloud to ensure information will not be lost should a natural disaster or, even worse, a successful cyberattack, occur. Be sure that any changes to the data are also saved and timestamped.
4. Safeguard both current and historical data
People tend to pay a lot of attention to data protection when the information requiring protection is being created and while it’s in transit, but less gets paid to historical data. It’s just as essential to ensure that historical data can’t be tampered with and any modifications made by authorized parties are tracked carefully. It should always be possible for authorized parties to access information about who is responsible for changes to both current and historical data, as this information can help to identify responsible parties and potential consequences should a breach occur.
5. Take advantage of technology
While it’s true that modern technologies have necessitated the switch to more stringent regulatory requirements in industries that routinely handle sensitive data, it also provides effective solutions. Take advantage of technologies that make it easier to track data within organizations, secure it while it’s in transit, implement risk management plans, and optimize workflows to ensure compliance.
6. Train all employees adequately
Even the best data compliance plan won’t make any difference if all of an organization’s employees are not able to follow it. Make sure everyone in the organization understands both the importance of maintaining compliance and how to do so in a full range of circumstances.
Avoid serious consequences
There are good reasons that some industries are subject to strict regulations regarding data security and privacy, and that large fines may be levied against those who fail to maintain compliance. The consequences of data breaches can extend far beyond the walls of the company’s building to impact patients, clients, or consumers potentially across the globe. Don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining compliance and avoiding those consequences.