Does My Business Need Compliance Services?
Whatever holdouts there were among the over 32 million small businesses in America, the Covid pandemic drove most of them into the arms of information technology. Many business owners discovered that what was a purely survival-motivated move became a profitable revenue stream for many them.
Of course, it isn’t all roses and sunshine. Yes, going online and embracing e-commerce saved many businesses. It also created new challenges for those businesses.
Some businesses faced compliance regulations that didn’t apply to them before going online. To manage those requirements, some business owners turned to IT compliance services.
Not familiar with those services? Keep reading for a quick breakdown of what you need to know.
What Is IT Compliance?
Not every single business falls under the umbrella of all IT compliance laws. Yet, almost all of them fall under specific IT compliance laws.
Healthcare providers must comply with HIPAA regulations that protect individuals’ health data. Finance businesses that deal with specific data types must meet encryption standards for that data under Sarbanes-Oxley. PCI DSS sets out requirements for card payment transactions.
In broad terms, IT compliance means that you meet any standards set out that apply to your industry or business type.
What Are Compliance Services?
Since compliance has legal ramifications, businesses with a legal and IT department will often have those departments work together to make sure they meet compliance standards. Of course, many small businesses lack both an IT department and on-staff lawyers.
That’s where IT compliance services play their role. In essence, they offer compliance as a service, where they take on the role of ensuring that your business meets whatever compliance needs apply.
Types of Compliance Services
Most compliance services specialize to some degree. For example, one company might specialize in regulatory compliance services, while another specializes in more general business compliance services. The service may also break down by industry, such as:
- Healthcare Compliance
- Finance Compliance
- Retail Compliance
Industry specialization helps the compliance company ensure that they stay on top of any relevant changes in a specific area.
Does Your Business Need Compliance Services?
The question of whether or not you need compliance services varies by industry. Let’s say that you run a small e-commerce website. Odds are good that the third-party shopping cart and payment processing you use already meet those standards.
If you run a business in the healthcare or finance industry, the odds go way up that you need compliance services.
Compliance Services and You
Whether you know it or not, odds are good that your business falls beneath at least one compliance regulation. If nothing else, if you take credit card payments, you’re probably subject to PCI DSS. The businesses that typically need compliance services, however, are those operating in specialized areas like healthcare and finance.
Remember that different rules can apply when doing business outside the US. Europe has the GDPR rules about data storage, for example.
Looking for more business IT tips? Check out the posts in our Business and Tech section.