BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
Ugh. It’s 5:30am again.
Time to get out of your comfy bed, put on your running shoes, and go to the gym (Why is your bed always SO much more comfortable early in the morning?).
Why would someone choose less sleep and early mornings when it’s so much easier to just stay in bed?
Well, don’t ask us first thing in the morning (the temptation of a cozy pillow is PRETTY persuasive), but benefits of regular exercise outweigh the inconvenience of a bit more sleep.
As least they do *most* mornings.
Cybersecurity compliance requirements are similar to getting regular exercise. Following compliance requirements is a proactive way to reduce (major) risks, with benefits to your company and customers.
Like choosing not to hit the snooze button, many businesses (technically) have a choice about whether or not to follow compliance requirements.
But also like a daily morning jog, implementing compliance requirements is a positive choice to safeguard your business operations and data — and to avoid heavy penalties and fines.
What are compliance requirements?
Although it varies depending on your industry and sector, cybersecurity compliance requirements are regulations, standards, and best practices to protect against data breaches and cyber threats.
Here are some of the common compliance frameworks that we at Varay have helped businesses implement to ensure the security and integrity of their sensitive data.
CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) is a cybersecurity compliance framework developed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for defense contractors. It specifies the cybersecurity practices and controls that defense contractors must follow to protect controlled unclassified information (CUI).
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a U.S. regulation that mandates the protection of sensitive healthcare information. It includes security provisions that healthcare providers, health plans, and business associates must implement, and it covers areas such as risk assessments, access controls, and incident response.
PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) is a set of security standards that major credit card companies established to protect cardholder data. Any business that handles payment card information needs to implement these security measures — including network security, identifying potential weak spots in your security, and limiting who can access sensitive data.
Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) is a U.S. federal law that establishes security requirements for federal agencies and contractors handling federal information. It involves risk assessments, security controls, incident response planning, and continuous monitoring.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework is a voluntary set of guidelines, standards, and best practices that organizations can follow to manage and improve their cybersecurity risk management processes. You can assess your level of cybersecurity compliance with a self-assessment or get an evaluation by a cybersecurity expert (like Varay).
FTC Safeguards Rule
In addition to these frameworks, it’s also important to mention the Federal Trade Commision (FTC) Safeguards Rule. According to the FTC Safeguards Rule, businesses must take certain measures to protect their customers’ information — especially financial data.
While this particularly applies to financial institutions, any business that collects and maintains customer information may also be subject to these data protection requirements. An MSP (like Varay) can help make sure your business is following the required guidelines and frameworks.
Should you comply?
If you’re a government agency, defense contractor, healthcare organization, or financial institution, you must follow the required framework to protect digital assets and sensitive information — or you risk heavy penalties, lost contracts, and even the loss of your business.
If you KNOW you need to implement CMMC, HIPAA, PCI, or other requirements, Varay offers compliance as a service to assess your security and make sure you’re protected and ready to go.
But even if you don’t HAVE to follow security guidelines, following at least baseline requirements is really a good idea for any business!
Big benefits vs. heavy risks
We all know the benefits of regular exercise — even if we choose not to do it! But what are the benefits of implementing cybersecurity compliance guidelines like CMMC or NIST (whether or not it’s required)?
Like choosing to exercise regularly, getting cyber-secure has overall health benefits for an organization.
1. Being proactive about your (cyber) health
Choosing to follow CMMC requirements (like a daily jog) is a way to be proactive about your security. By assessing your cyber health and actively working towards improving your cybersecurity compliance, you can help prevent phishing attacks, ransomware, and other threats to your sensitive information. Healthy digital practices can reduce the risk of data breaches and security incidents down the road, protecting your business and reputation.
2. Implementing best practices
Cybersecurity compliance guidelines like CMMC and NIST are based on established standards and best practices.
Do your employees (and you!) know how to identify a phishing email?
Are your passwords easy to guess?
Have you installed the most current software updates?
Is your business using a firewall?
Are you sure your mobile devices are following security policies?
An MSP (like Varay) can help your business identify gaps in security, get you the necessary tools to be secure, and monitor your data 24/7 to catch issues before they become major risks.
Our V-Secure services can help your business assess and address common security issues so that you’re following best security practices.
3. Be prepared for whatever may come!
In today’s world of cybersecurity threats, we can just expect that attacks will happen. But instead of being worried, be prepared! Implementing security guidelines prepares your business to respond to any threat quickly, effectively, and with minimal downtime.
Like a daily exercise routine, prioritizing your cyber well-being is a way to make sure your business can face whatever threats may emerge.
So why do businesses hold off on cybersecurity?
Many businesses know that it would be a good idea to protect their (and their customers’!) data. So why isn’t every business following cybersecurity compliance regulations?
Sometimes, businesses make the mistake of thinking cyberattacks and data breaches won’t happen to them.
But there are other companies that just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
The original CMMC requirements were (let’s be honest) a huge pain. They were hard to understand and burdensome and expensive to implement.
The CMMC requirements have since been simplified and are much more user-friendly, but the requirements (and penalties for NOT following them) haven’t been finalized. Some organizations are waiting to implement CMMC protections until they have this information.
However, with high stakes like expensive penalties, damage to your reputation, or even the loss of a business — it doesn’t really make sense to wait!
Getting in shape with cybersecurity compliance
Just like healthy exercise habits have long-term and wide-reaching benefits, following compliance guidelines can help businesses stay cyber-healthy and secure. And also like exercising, the best time to start is now!
Whether your business needs help getting in shape for a CMMC compliance audit or an assessment of your data security and infrastructure to identify gaps, Varay can be your personal cyber-health trainer to get you compliant, protected, and confident in your security.
We’ll help you boost your cyberhealth with compliance requirements and get into top shape to face whatever security challenges may come!
How’s your business’s cybersecurity and compliance health? We’d love to help you get your cybersecurity system in great shape. Contact Varay today for a free assessment!