Like taxes, regulation is a necessary evil. Rules exist in order to protect people. For that reason, they are critical to enforce. When people’s money, privacy, and even their lives are on the line, there’s no room to mess around. All this doesn’t mean that compliance isn’t a giant headache, though.
Here a handful of regulations your organizations might have to comply with:
- HIPAA – Requires that actors in the health care industry keep individuals’ personal health information confidential.
- HITECH – Calls for stronger enforcement of protected health information (PHI) security, creating penalties for “willful neglect” of data.
- PCI DSS – Establishes security standards for organizations that accept credit and debit cards or have access to cardholder information.
- GLBA – Requires financial institutions protect their customers’ sensitive data and inform them how their information is shared.
- SOX – Creates regulations for internal controls and procedures to preserve the integrity of financial information.
- SOC 2 – Establishes an auditing procedure to ensure service providers respect and protect customer data, privacy, and interests.
- GDPR – Regulates data collection and protects rights of data owners in the EU.
Any solution that would help reduce the burden of adhering to government regulation is desirable. One smart place to start is enlisting the help of a trusted managed service provider, or MSP. Using a trusted MSP can help keep you and your organization stay compliant.
The growing popularity of MSPs is no surprise. As a whole, they offer organizations meaningful cost savings over non-managed IT systems, tools that increases their efficiency, and strategies that keep them secure.
Not all MSPs are created equal, however. They should be a light in the dark for your organization—and should never leave you in the dark. Ask yourself if you and your MSP have strong or weak communication. The consequences for non-compliance, from fines to ethical concerns, are too severe to risk having an MSP that is not there for you whenever you need it.
At the most basic level, your MSP should be preparing you for audits and assessments (both planned and unexpected) by helping your staff identify and solve problems. Your MSP and staff should work together to develop a compliance plan that cover all your needs.
What does this look like in practice? A key service that helps all aspects of your organization—not just compliance—is remote monitoring and maintenance. This allows your service provider to proactively keep an eye on your network, workstations, and servers, updating software as soon as it’s out-of-date (eliminating the uncertainty associated with trusting employees to do it) and fixing other potentially critical issues.
An MSP reduces risk for your business—risk of non-compliance, yes, but also security risks. Pushing patches to your systems via remote maintenance tools as well as backing up your data so it can be restored in the event of disaster are two ways to successfully reduce risk.
When you go to file your taxes, you don’t want to hear your advisor say, “I don’t know. What do you think would be best?” If they did this, you’d be right to think, “What am I even paying you for?” Government regulation can be as confusing and overwhelming as taxes, if not more so. When looking for some help with either, you need a candidate with expertise and a lengthy record of experience.
Small- to medium-sized business and organizations often have IT departments that struggle to keep up with the demands placed on them. Compliance is one of the important but annoying necessities that you wish your IT staff weren’t occupied with frequently. The services of a trusted MSP can help with that, not only offering critical expertise, but taking a lot of the grunt work out of compliance.
By following the industry’s best practices, an MSP can facilitate compliance. Information technology is an MSP’s entire business, so they should be able to justify all their systems and procedures in a manner that satisfies you as a customer. If one of their systems isn’t working for you, will your MSP work with you to make changes?
Are you starting to notice some cracks in your relationship with your MSP? Let us explain how we can do a better job. With two decades of experience under our belts, Machado Consulting will work with you to create the strongest possible plan to keep your organization compliant. Reach us here or by phone at (508) 453-4700.