The Benefits of a HIPAA Security Assessment & Other IT Governance Initiatives
Corporate conduct is a natural part of every organization. Good corporate conduct, however, isn’t always present in the workplace. Any honest company will tell you that good business practices start with a strong foundation of ethics and involve abiding by industry compliance regulations. After all, these rules were created with privacy in mind, and, as a business, your customers should be your number one priority. The process of building a successful compliance program for your company can look different depending on what industry you work in. For example, the healthcare sector could require a HIPAA security assessment, while firms in the tech industry might need to be SOC compliant. With that said, businesses across all industries can experience some of the same benefits simply by following compliance regulations such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. Keep reading as we define and explore the benefits of getting compliant.
The term “compliance” was originally only used in the U.S. financial system. Nowadays, compliance applies to nearly all industries. Compliance covers everything related to firms and their employees following the rules and complying with the laws put into place for the sector they are in. However, it is important to note that compliance isn’t just about legality; the concept of compliance also includes recognizing and implementing industry standards and best practices, alongside maintaining your organization’s own set of values. Your firm’s values should consist of strict ethical rules regarding its internal and external corporate conduct.
The Importance of Getting Compliant
While each industry will see a wide array of benefits, below are two key advantages of maintaining compliance in any sector.
You will avoid criminal proceedings.
If you are approaching the process of getting compliant from a business perspective, your strategy may take into account that your company is technically a legal entity that must comply with existing federal and international laws. In 2006, the U.S. Small Business Administration re-launched their site, which contains helpful resources and information about government services to assist companies in adhering to government regulations.
If your firm fails to comply with these laws and regulations, you run the risk of being punished in the form of fines, revocation of licenses, or even prison time. Moreover, failing to follow laws that are relevant to your sector can result in negative employee responses. For example, you might see a higher turnover rate if your employees see that you are not following protocol. In addition to the consequences with your personnel, you might even be faced with claims for damages by your customers and business partners. These external and internal costs can add up quickly, quite possibly leading to the demise of your organization.
The core objective of compliance is essentially to completely avoid or identify and eliminate any criminal behavior that is occurring at your firm. Handling any questionable activity in an appropriate and timely manner works to minimize any economic risk that it might pose. While intentional rule-breaking cannot be entirely avoided, the existence of compliance measures can reduce the liability of your company’s managers and reduce the risk exposure to your clients.
You can better represent your company in terms of social responsibility.
The hot topic of social responsibility in the corporate world has resulted in an ethical component being added to the concept of compliance. These days, stakeholders (including employees, customers, and residents near production facilities) expect enterprises to comply with regulations and adhere to standard industry practices and moral values. This puts businesses in a position where they must consider themselves as more than just an economic figure; modern-day organizations must also serve as corporate “citizens” by practicing corporate social responsibility.
To a certain extent, generally accepted regulatory agencies and codes usually outline what is and is not considered to be socially responsible. However, some industries must be more proactive in their approach to staying compliant. For example, in industries that deal with energy and chemicals, it is crucial that companies communicate their environmental and sustainability standards, as these sectors can have ecological impacts.
Besides the direct financial penalties mentioned in the previous section, violating industry rules and regulations can result in a loss of reputation and trust among your customers and business partners. While you might not notice the monetary blow at first, damage to your firm’s reputation can lead to a loss of sales and hurt your bottom line in the long run.
Clearly, maintaining compliance in the workplace is key in running a successful and ethical enterprise. Here at Contigo, we can create a compliance program that fits your company’s requirements. If your business needs to align their efforts with national and international statutes, we can help. We can run a PCI, SOC, ISO, NIST CSF, or HIPAA security assessment depending on your needs and help you implement the business policies that are necessary to maintain compliance. Contact us today to learn about how we can assist you in employing compliance measures without disrupting your normal operations.