In this blog series, we will be taking a closer look at the various standards that currently affect our customers, provide information to help your business stay compliant and best practices to keep your customer’s information safe and secure.

Compliance requirements can be difficult to navigate at best. For many small business owners, the various compliance requirements and how best to meet them can be confusing.

We have touched on the subject in our November Newsletter and previous blog posts, but with some form of compliance affecting so many types of businesses, we feel it's an important subject to discuss.

To start, let’s take a look at some of the common misconceptions concerning compliance:

Compliance requires a simple, one time solution  There is no “magic bullet” when it comes to compliance and security.  Compliance is an ongoing process of risk assessments and improvements.  Your business may need to change current operating procedures to ensure compliance.

Outsourcing = Compliance  Third party credit card processing does not relinquish your responsibility of becoming compliant.  Compliance is a matter of security.  Considering one of the leading causes of data breaches is internal mishandling of sensitive customer information, it is clear that compliance must always be an in-house priority.

I own a small business, compliance standards do not apply Wrong.  Compliance standards apply regardless of business size or volume.  Your scope of business and the nature of the data you handle determine what compliance standards your business must meet.

Being compliant guarantees my data is safe  There are no guarantees.  New ways to invade networks and steal information are constantly evolving.  Compliance is crucial, but data security requires constant vigilance.

My firewall and antivirus software makes me compliant  The in-house procedures and how your organization handles sensitive information in your office can have the ability to negate the security your technology provides. Noncompliance may impact every aspect of your business, from accounting to marketing.  Being complaint is a company wide effort.

It’s pretty clear that misconceptions about compliance are widespread.  The 2015 Verizon Compliance Report reveals that in the payment breaches investigated by Verizon over the last 10 years, not a single organization was compliant at the time of the breach.

Be sure to check back for our next article in the series, where we will be taking an in depth look at HIPPA compliance and providing information on best practices for keeping  your business HIPPA Compliant.