Many organizations have done a remarkable job of transitioning to remote work — virtually overnight. IT teams who may have had limited experience working with remote workers found themselves grappling with virtual private networks (VPNs), collaboration platforms, and cloud-based applications and data storage. They deserve a giant pat on the back for keeping their organizations operational during this crisis.
The fact that regulatory compliance functions may have slipped through the cracks isn’t a big deal. Or is it?
Compliance requirements haven’t stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the contrary, government agencies and industry groups have stressed the critical importance of compliance as employees work from home. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra declared that enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) would begin on July 1, 2020, as scheduled, and that organizations should be especially mindful of data security during this crisis.
The Growing Regulatory Burden
The CCPA is California’s version of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which mandates protection of consumer data and gives consumers a great deal of control over how their information is collected, stored and used. Organizations must comply with the CCPA if they maintain the data of California consumers, regardless of where they’re located.
Other states are also considering or implementing strict privacy statutes. But state-mandated data privacy is just one regulatory concern. Most organizations must comply with an ever-growing array of laws and industry mandates or face potential fines and other penalties. Many of those regulations require ongoing compliance as opposed to just an annual assessment or audit.
However, few organizations have the in-house resources or skill sets to meet the latest regulatory requirements. How do you implement the processes needed to ensure compliance while also supporting stay-at-home workers?
Partner with an MSP
You can offload some of the compliance burden by partnering with a managed services provider (MSP) such as SSD. Qualified MSPs have security pros on staff who understand the latest threats and can recommend tools and best practices for compliance management. You gain access to these valuable skill sets without the substantial cost of hiring full-time security and compliance experts.
A key aspect of regulatory compliance is ensuring that only authorized and authenticated users can access sensitive data. Data must be protected against loss and accidental or intentional disclosure. Your MSP can help you implement robust security controls and other monitoring tools to help prevent a data breach.
Of course, regulatory compliance isn’t just an IT issue — you need to ensure that users follow security best practices. That can be difficult when employees are working remotely. Without effective oversight, users can be tempted to work around security controls and use “shadow IT” services that put data at risk. Your MSP can help you establish security policies and procedures for remote workers and ensure that they are uniformly enforced.
Compliance requirements have not been put on hold during the pandemic. They have become even more important due to the data security and privacy risks of remote work. If your organization lacks the in-house resources and skill sets to ensure that regulatory mandates are met, we invite you to contact SSD for a confidential consultation.