If your business is to excel at cyber security compliance, it's critical you understand what regulations and legislation apply to you. From there, you can build an efficient framework that maps to those obligations.
Because compliance is a process, it needs to be managed, and your goal should be to implement a program that clarifies all requirements and obligations, as well as the data you must collect and report, and how often.
Your first step should be to confirm the industry regulatory frameworks you must answer to. Some of them may be imposed by the government at the international, federal, or state level, while others are dictated by industry and standards bodies. Depending on the nature of your business, here are examples of regulations and standards that might influence your security compliance:
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): This federal privacy legislation safeguards protected health information (PHI), so it has an impact on the compliance of healthcare organizations, including hospitals and labs that handle patient information.
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Although this legislation was drafted and implemented by the European Union, its jurisdiction is broad and may apply to any organization worldwide that processes the personal data of European data subjects. Other examples of privacy legislation are the California Consumer Privacy Act and Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which may or may not impact your business depending on where it operates.
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (CSF): This set of cyber security best practices and recommendation provides guidelines to help you better understand threats to your security and bolster your defenses.
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): This is an information security standard for organizations that process credit cards from major card issuers. For instance, any organization that handles consumer transactions via a point of sale (PoS) terminal or e-commerce site will need to comply with the standard, including retailers and hospitality organizations.
The good news is that many of these standards and others overlap when it comes to the foundational requirements and best practices. However, there's also a good chance that more than one of them applies to you, which means implementing a program to be security compliant may seem overwhelming at first.