For many businesses, the most secure and affordable way to handle their network is by utilizing an external company’s expertise. By using managed IT services, companies are able to focus on their business, while simultaneously meeting compliance and security standards. In the age of network breaches and cyber attacks, it is more prudent than ever for businesses to understand how managed IT compliance and managed IT security differ and why it matters.
The Ins and Outs of Compliance and Security
Prior to learning about the differences between managed IT compliance and security, it’s imperative to understand IT compliance and security.
Compliance Is External
“IT compliance is the business of making sure that everyone is following the rules. The question is, what rules are they compliant with?” – Chapter President of ISSA – Chattanooga
The external rules facing companies are typically found in the form of statutes or laws. These can be laws relating to specific industries such as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for Education or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for Healthcare. Other standards are used as a means of risk management for national security. A prime example of this is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This standard was put in place to protect credit card users from schemes.
Rather than focusing on the technical needs of the company, compliance is used for reporting purposes and aimed at meeting regulations to keep legally running their business. With hundreds of IT standards to meet, companies often enlist managed IT compliance services from another company. This decision allows them to focus more of their time and energy on their operations, while the IT services ensure the company’s IT network is meeting the benchmarks set by their respective regulatory committee to avoid paying fines that can reach up to $1.5 million per violation each year.
Security Is Internal
Whereas compliance focuses more on satisfying an external entity, security is about protecting the company’s internal network and confidential information. A company that provides IT security to businesses, when broken down into its simplest form, finds ways to mitigate any network issues and prevent harmful threats from ever occurring. Essentially, the company is hiring someone who has a broader range of capabilities and offerings to protect their business. While internal IT may have some ability to safeguard a business’s network, they may not have the manpower to handle a company-wide security threat. Managed IT services have teams dedicated solely to protecting the client’s entire company from threats. This kind of security guarantees that a business’s data and sensitive information is safer than it would be using the capabilities it possesses in-house.
The Security and Compliance Relationship
Compliance standards are all about ensuring companies are meeting certain levels of security in order to protect individual users on a national, and sometimes international, level. There is a certain level of IT security that a business inherently has when they are meeting regulatory compliance. From this standpoint, security and compliance seem to go hand in hand with one another. While meeting the compliance benchmark may seem to provide a sufficient amount of security for a business, this is often not the case.
“Being compliant does NOT mean you are secure, as many recent breaches have shown.” – Chapter President of ISSA – Chattanooga
Meeting bare-minimum compliance standards in an effort to reduce costs associated with information security leaves a company vulnerable and highly susceptible to a cyber attack. Another reason to avoid simply meeting compliance targets is the ever-changing nature of Information Technology. A business is never truly finished protecting itself. Constant upgrades and improvements are being made to protect businesses from threats that are more adaptive and intelligent in design.
Why Managed IT Is the Proactive Solution
Compliance benchmarks, though they may be updated periodically, are reactionary in nature. After a large breach, action committees need to get additional laws and amendments passed to alter the original law. Unfortunately, this process takes time and requires evidence of need -such as a large breach- before it is enacted. Needless to say, simply being compliant prevents a business’s IT security from being up to date. As formerly stated, managed IT services help put a company’s focus back on managing their business rather than staying compliant. When a company employs the help of managed IT services for regulatory compliance, they acquire a team of IT professionals. This team uses its expertise to provide an advanced-network security program that not only meets compliance standards but exceeds them. They proactively seek out potential hazards in the pipeline in an effort to eliminate any threat before it happens.
Is your business safe from the next wave of cyber threats? Learn more about how RJ Young’s Managed IT Services can help your business stay secure and meet your industry-specific regulatory requirements by filling out our contact form or calling us at 800-347-1955.