Data management is a common area of concern when it comes to risk management and regulatory compliance. Business leaders in all industries and sectors will need to confront the issue of data management sooner rather than later if they are to avoid regulatory fines, penalties, and even some serious legal troubles.
From a regulatory compliance and risk management perspective, data management is easily one of the most challenging areas to address within a company’s operations. This is due to the ever-changing technology and the highly-technical nature of data management as a whole.
What’s more, you’re dealing with a high-stakes asset when it comes to company data. While many business leaders don’t realize it, a company’s data may very well be its most valuable asset. Consider what would happen if suddenly, an e-commerce shop’s inventory and customer data was corrupted or taken “hostage” by a hacker. Operations would grind to a halt and the business would be forced to start from scratch, losing lots of money in the process. The loss or corruption of mission-critical data can be devastating for a business; a fact that underscores the importance of addressing data security challenges with risk and compliance solution companies.
Data Security and Its Impact on Data Management Practices
Countless laws and regulations govern the manner in which data is collected, transmitted, stored, and utilized, making this a central area of concern for companies in all industries and business sectors. Security is an issue that impacts virtually every region of the data management landscape. For this reason, it is essential that data security is addressed in conjunction with other aspects of a company’s data architecture and data management practices.
An experienced risk management and regulatory compliance solutions provider will evaluate different aspects of a company’s data management practices and strategy. Here are a few areas where they will consider data security as it relates to regulatory compliance and cybercrime risk level.
Data Collection – Data collection practices are strictly regulated, both in an ethical sense and by regulatory organizations. A risk management and regulatory compliance consultant will evaluate a company’s data collection practices to ensure they align with the standards set forth in the local laws and in the applicable regulations. They may also examine data sources since they too can pose a risk.
Data Transmission – Security is a very real risk management and regulatory compliance concern when it comes to data transmission. For example, certain types of encryption must be used for certain types of data — namely financial information, personal information, and healthcare-related data. Violation of the applicable laws and related regulatory standards leave a company vulnerable to significant fines for non-compliance and damage in the public relations arena. And this says nothing of the cybersecurity nightmare that can easily arise when data transmission systems lack sufficient security measures.
Data Storage – Data is most at-risk when it is being transmitted from one source to another, but a company’s data storage infrastructure is also at high risk of being targeted by cybercriminals. For this reason, it is prudent to work with risk and compliance solution companies that have experience evaluating data storage for security threats and compliance issues. In fact, there are many regulatory compliance requirements that impact data storage. For example, HIPAA regulations require that patient data is stored separately from all other data. You must also have the ability to audit the data and generate reports on the data within your storage system to prove compliance for some regulations.
Data Access – When it comes to data access, the best practice is to provide the fewest people with the least amount of access required to complete a task. When done properly, this approach dramatically improves your data security across the board. But actually implementing this best practice in an effective manner can be very challenging, resulting in a high degree of risk from unnecessary data exposure. For this reason, a thorough evaluation is prudent as part of your work with a risk management and regulatory compliance consultant. They may also examine your user permissions policies and what measures are in place to prevent unauthorized data access. Something as simple as implementing double-factor authentication and geofencing can dramatically improve security for your data.
Data Retention – Recordkeeping laws and industry-specific regulations often specify a minimum timeframe for retaining certain types of data. For this reason, it is important that an organization has a data retention policy that addresses these requirements in a way that aligns with any applicable laws or regulations. This way, you can avoid non-compliance-related fines and potentially serious legal issues.
Data Backup and Recovery – Data backup and recovery are closely tied to security since these systems need to kick in if your security measures fail. The best risk and compliance solution companies will evaluate your backup and recovery systems to determine if the backup frequency is sufficient and to evaluate whether the systems are isolated in a way that protects them from security breaches, hackers, and other cybersecurity threats.
Addressing Data Security Challenges With Risk and Compliance Solution Companies
Data management is a key component of risk management strategy and regulatory compliance. By creating a highly-secure data management landscape, companies are placing themselves in a position where they can simultaneously achieve regulatory compliance. This reduces risk, leading to a far better risk management position too. The top risk and compliance solution companies are equipped to guide your company through the process of addressing data security challenges in a way that helps an organization to achieve these goals.
The right technology is also essential for addressing data security, regulatory compliance, and risk management in the long term. At iTech, we specialize in data management and risk management technology, such as governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software, and specialized enterprise risk management software platforms. We invite you to contact the team at iTech today to discuss your company’s risk management and data management needs. Then, we’ll work with you to identify the perfect technology to meet your unique needs.