4 IT compliance mistakes to stop now

Emerging data privacy and security laws, such as GDPR and CCPA, are beginning to have an impact on a global scale. This is forcing many companies to take a close look at their IT processes and make sure they are compliant.

However, with ransomware, malware, and other cybersecurity issues to worry about, many IT departments are too busy to keep up with the latest regulations. Here is a list of four common IT compliance mistakes not to be overlooked, which can be extremely costly in the long run.

1. Avoid internal IT compliance audits.

Most companies have a wide menu of operational responsibilities, and on a day-to-day basis, IT compliance bug checking is probably not at the top of the list.

However, too many companies make the mistake of waiting for a regulatory audit to take place before closely examining their policies and procedures. To be sure, doing so can be costly.

Instead, companies should run an internal audit on their schedule and do it routinely. This ensures that IT staff and key executives are aware of issues well in advance of any major compliance audits.

It allows you to work on potentially problem areas before they become a threat to your business. By conducting routine audits, a company will be ready to anticipate observations, answer questions, and be well prepared when a professional regulator visits your company.

2. Do not analyze business events.

Customer complaints, termination of an employee, and missing documents may seem like small, independent issues individually, but looking at them together helps to realize that everyone is connected.

As a business owner, it’s important to analyze business events and work to connect the dots, recognizing when small events could reveal a bigger problem.

This process is similar to looking for a fire when you see smoke. It helps to ensure that a company is not surprised by various problems when a regulatory official shows up at the door of the company.

3. Misuse of IT compliance policy templates.

There are templates online for almost every document your business may need. For a startup, using one of these templates can seem like a huge time and money saver. However, in the long run, these templates can cause problems.

If policies and procedures are based on a template rather than written under the guidance of an advisor (and a legal professional), your business could be setting itself up for a number of problems.

Custom compliance policies are crucial, especially as your business grows. Consulting a trained advisor should be mandatory in creating these policies.

Also, all template-based policies or procedures need to be closely scrutinized to ensure that they actually work for your business. Additionally, all company policies, custom written or not, need to be periodically reviewed and updated as needs change.

4. Failure to recognize the impact of compliance on business value.

Business owners who plan to sell or acquire their business should not overlook the connection between compliance issues and business value.

While it may be forgotten during the first few negotiations, any due diligence process is sure to reveal compliance issues. They can have a far-reaching impact on the valuation of your business and your ability to sell it.

Overall, utilizing the services of a professional firm trained in IT compliance services can help put a business on the right track. You can ensure compliance with the latest standards, while providing peace of mind and security for your business.

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