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Best Practices for Creating an Effective IT Compliance Policy

it compliance policy

There are few attributes of a business more important than its reputation. Even a single incident could erode the trust consumers have in a brand. One of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make is overlooking IT compliance obligations.

Aside from reputational damage, this can also result in substantial fees and legal consequences. The good news is you can avoid these issues by establishing an effective IT compliance policy.

While this might seem like a daunting task at first, it's more straightforward than people anticipate. Let's explore the key information you should know about IT compliance.

Use a Dedicated Team

Using a compliance team is one of the most important steps to take. You shouldn't limit this to only IT professionals, though. Attorneys are a valuable asset you can't overlook.

Working with an attorney typically involves hiring them only when needed, such as during monthly reviews or if contingencies arise. Your team's responsibilities should include enforcement, monitoring, policy development, and communication. This goes a long way toward catching issues before they evolve into something greater.

Identify Applicable Standards

If you don't have a strong understanding of applicable standards, you'll have trouble adhering to them. To clarify, you'll be much more likely to make oversights leading to complications. To pinpoint your IT standards, consider your company's size, industry, and operations.

Obligations will vary substantially from one company to the next. For instance, businesses and the healthcare space must follow the guidelines set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Conduct Frequent Risk Assessments

It's imperative to frequently assess the risks of your business IT system. There should also be a hierarchy for the risks your company faces. This helps establish different levels of priority in your responses.

You can adjust the frequency of your assessments based on your overall risk. The more threats your company deals with, the more often you should examine your security architecture.

Properly Train Your Team

Your policies can only go so far if you don't properly train your team. It's imperative to help each of your workers understand the standards in place.

Even a single mistake by one person can have enormous consequences. Imagine a scenario where your team is improperly trained on how to recognize phishing attacks. One of your employees receives an email from a hacker masquerading as the CFO.

They then provide the criminal with sensitive information leading to a major data breach. This can have a large number of consequences, and they can be impossible to recover from in certain situations.

Integrate Active Monitoring

Active monitoring allows you to discern threats as soon as they arise. It often only takes a few minutes for an unnoticed problem to wreak havoc on your company's systems.

This inevitably leads to compliance issues, especially if sensitive consumer data is compromised. It's best to establish active monitoring that alerts you of suspicious activity. You can leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to help you achieve this goal.

These both minimize the chance of human error and increase efficiency. However, it's essential to hire a professional to review the results for you. This can eliminate false positives and help ensure you take the appropriate action.

Document All Relevant Information

Having access to comprehensive archives of your information is essential for getting the best results. This allows you to examine key data that can help you avoid issues in the future.

It can also help you emphasize strategies that work and avoid those that don't. For example, you'll avoid repeating compliance issues when you have insight into past complications. You should also back up your data in multiple locations to keep it safe during contingencies.

Using a combination of external drives and cloud servers can likely meet your needs with little issue. Implement different forms of access control for this data to add an extra layer of protection. It's best to use a zero-trust policy to fully verify each login attempt.

Continually Strive to Improve

Data security trends are constantly changing, which means so will your compliance obligations. Don't neglect your responsibility to improve your compliance strategies as time goes on.

This can quickly take your performance to the next level. Competitor research can help you improve your compliance strategy, as many companies proudly advertise the steps they take to remain compliant.

Work with a Professional

Hiring a professional is one of the best ways to make sure your company maintains IT compliance. They have the tools and resources to assess your operations and make the appropriate changes.

When looking for someone to work with, it's essential to research their past reputation. This will provide valuable insight into what you can expect. You should also check their level of experience.

Ideally, they'll have been in the industry for at least a decade. This can help eliminate options that will fall short of your needs. Pricing is another attribute to keep in mind.

You typically get what you pay for when hiring a professional IT firm. However, you should avoid budgeting for the most expensive options on the market. There's a point of diminishing returns when you spend exorbitant amounts.

Instead, look for someone in the middle of the price range. This can help you meet your needs without overspending.

Prioritize highly communicative companies. Getting left in the dark when problems arise can be frustrating. They should have no trouble establishing how often you'll hear from them and how they plan to get in touch with you.

Never Neglect Your IT Compliance Policy

Without the right IT compliance policy in place, you put your company at unnecessary risk. The tips in this guide will help make sure you develop the right strategy and avoid pitfalls you may have otherwise encountered. You can also keep your reputation unblemished.

Eagle Point prides itself on providing top-tier IT professionals to businesses in need. We carefully consider potential candidates to ensure we connect you with the ideal worker for your situation. You'll learn more about the benefits we offer when you book a consultation with us today.


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