Businesses should pay attention to maintaining technology compliance in IT. If proper strategies are not in place, companies can receive significant fines for failure to comply and damage to their reputation. However, understanding and navigating compliance in IT can be confusing since regulations constantly evolve with technology.

Two critical regulations many businesses must address to ensure technology compliance are the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Staff must be trained in both to ensure the business remains technology compliant.

HIPAA Compliance

Established in 1996, HIPAA protects patient privacy by setting national standards prohibiting the disclosure of patient health information without the patient’s consent or knowledge. 

HIPAA covers health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and healthcare providers who electronically transmit health information.

There are five main HIPAA rules; however, the two main rules concerning IT are the Privacy Rule and Security Rule. The Privacy Rule protects the privacy of health information and establishes specific conditions and limits on disclosing information without patient consent.

The Security Rule protects health information created that is received, maintained, or transmitted electronically, known as Electronic Protected Health Information (e-PHI). The rule ensures covered entities maintain administrative, technical, and physical protections to protect the confidentiality and integrity of e-PHI. 

There are many measures businesses can set in place to ensure HIPAA compliance. Training staff, implementing self-reporting HIPAA breaches and documenting risk analysis are some regulations businesses must comply with under HIPAA. 

Policies such as application audit trails, unique usernames and ID numbers can track activity, and data encryption can protect information when transmitting data.

GDPR Compliance

Established in 2018, the European Union (EU) created the GDPR to regulate the collection, handling, and protection of EU residents’ personal data. 

While the GDPR applies to EU citizens, U.S.-based organizations must comply with its policies if they process the personal information of EU residents for the exchange of goods or services or the monitoring of behavior.

The GDPR stipulates eight subject rights concerning the collection of personal data. Each of these rights ensures the subject is aware of the data collection and processing and maintains the ability to withdraw consent or object, as well as transfer, restrict and rectify data.

Businesses must allow subjects to opt-in to data collection by providing accessible consent documentation and allowing EU citizens to withdraw consent to ensure GDPR compliance. Businesses must also ensure they enact policies that align with the GDPR’s subjects’ rights.

Common Compliance Challenges and Mistakes

Maintaining IT regulation compliance is essential for businesses. Not only could failure to comply with standards result in fines of millions of dollars, but it can also cost businesses their reputation when customers’ and staff’s sensitive information is compromised.

Businesses navigating compliance in IT may run into challenges with third-party vendor management, software updates and bring-your-own-device policies. Businesses must enact policies to mitigate the risks when dealing with the above.

A common mistake businesses make when navigating compliance regulations is viewing the auditor as an opponent. Staff training and policy enactment can be much more effective when businesses can maintain a constructive relationship with the auditor.

Navigating Compliance Regulations in IT

Navigating and maintaining compliance regulations in IT can get complicated, but it’s necessary. Businesses that don’t remain technology compliant can result in hefty fines and a hurt reputation if their customers’ or staff’s private information is compromised.

Staying up to date on current regulations ensures businesses can maintain their good standing with customers, staff, and regulatory bodies. By educating staff, staying up to date and ensuring all information transfers are compliant, businesses can prioritize compliance in IT.

Need help with your IT systems or processes? TAG Solutions has a skilled team of managed service providers in the Albany, New York area. We are happy to help talk through your systems and offer suggestions. Contact us today!