The 5 Biggest Compliance Challenges for IT Professionals

If you are an IT professional, you're probably one of the busiest employees within your organization. As if you didn't already have enough on your plate, you also have to ensure that your organization is in compliance with some of the biggest regulatory laws (PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, NIST) in order to keep sensitive material safe. Failure to meet rules and guidelines put into place by compliance standards could lead to a loss of trust, fires, and audits.

Keeping your organization compliant within a specific or multiple industries can be a difficult process that requires a consistent attention to detail. But what exactly are the biggest challenges IT professionals facing while trying to stay compliant?

1. Employees

Employees are a major player in ensuring that your organization remains compliant. They play a key role in protecting sensitive information. They will also be targeted with low-tech hacking and exploitation methods such as snooping, social engineering, and phishing. The best way to overcome this challenge is to educate all employees on each of these low-tech ways and give them tools they can use to protect themselves. If your employees have all of the education and necessary tools then it will make your job much easier to manage.

2. Electronic Devices

It's not uncommon for companies to have remote employees. The majority of these employees utilize a laptop and a smartphone to conduct their work. These two types of devices add a significant risk to your organization, especially if these employees travel often. Laptops should be stripped of all sensitive and secure information in order to mitigate risk. Mobile devices should not be taken lightly as the data that they store can increase the risk of your company.

3. Untrusted Cloud Service Providers

Cloud-based solutions and services have seen a huge spike in interests over the past five years because of their connectivity and availability. However, if you are making a decision to purchase a new cloud service, you need to ensure that they are trusted providers. Before placing your sensitive data in the hands of a cloud server, check to see if they meet the underlying regulatory requirements (HIPAA, PCI, FISMA).

4. Varying Compliance Standards

As compliance continues to rise in importance more compliance standards are implemented on a global scale. This poses a challenge to IT professionals whose organization operates globally. IT professionals need to stay on top of all of the current, new, and upcoming compliance standards so that they can prepare their organization for what's to come. 

5. Third-Party Apps

It's understandable that sometimes you need to use third-party applications in order to make your job easier. These apps can pose a huge threat to your organization because they are outside of the organization's control, ultimately leading to conflicts with the IT department. The best way to avoid this goes back to educating your employees.

IT professionals are faced with a huge challenge as government agencies are starting to ramp up their lawmaking and regulation. The biggest takeaway from these compliance challenges is to ensure that your employees are educated. If they understand how important it is to stay compliant, you and your organization will be better off.

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