Compliance can be a scary word, especially when you aren’t prepared for the requirements you face or are caught by surprise as policies change and become worried about addressing them in a short time frame.
In the case of small businesses, this can be even more challenging as you may not have the resources or the fast access to a lawyer that can adequately frame the compliance issues you face as an SMB. Specific to policies like HIPAA, FINRA and PCI, you need to understand your particular regulatory requirements, and how quickly you can address them with the IT tools you use.
Disclaimer: this article in no way qualifies as legal advice, and we are not qualified to speak to the legal compliance challenges faced by each and every reader of this article. Be sure to discuss compliance issues with an appropriate attorney and act based on what they offer.
Without serving as a definitive guide, this article is meant to serve as a guide to core issues that confront SMBs in their efforts to achieve and maintain regulatory compliance. Here they are:
Advanced Device and Data Malware Protection
Both PCI and HIPAA cite the need for protecting devices and important data from being exposed to malware and other malicious attacks designed to exfiltrate data from your organization. Everyday anti-virus doesn’t make the cut in this respect, particularly in the case of targeted attacks. Vircom’s modusCloud offers advanced malware detection and real-time dynamic analysis features, along with active sandboxing for both URLs and attachments, that stop email malware and phishing attacks from harming an organization before they even reach inboxes.
Identifying and Protecting Sensitive Data in Email Communications
modusCloud allows organizations to use smart identifiers and managed dictionaries which enable quick and easy construction of policies that protect organizations from data breach, pre-configured based on the industry standards that exist for regulatory compliance, whether it’s in healthcare, financial services, real estate, retail or others. Data Loss Prevention policies can also be introduced with modusCloud, automatically scanning outbound emails for sensitive terms and stopping them from leaving the organization, eliminating the risk of data breach via email.
Secure Transmission of Protected Data via Email
HIPAA and other policies mandate the secure transmission of protected data, whether it’s Personal Health Information, credit card and social security numbers or identifiable, regulated terms. modusCloud allows organizations to create policies that trigger encryption of sensitive messages, rather than blocking their sending, depending on the specific processes they want to create.
modusCloud’s encryption employs SMTP over enforced TLS in transmission, while data is stored to ISO 27002 data protection standards at rest – all accessed through a secure portal. modusCloud also allows users to trigger encryption themselves with a subject line tag or Outlook plugin. All of these features allow your organization to maximize both the security and usability of email for regulatory compliance and eliminate the concerns that emerge from day-to-day transactions involving protected data and regulatory compliance.
Email Continuity and Policy Violation Visibility
HIPAA regulations require the ability to continue critical business processes in an emergency, including the ability to protect PHI. In the event of a network outage, whether on-premise or through cloud services like Office 365, modusCloud’s Emergency Inbox allows email communications to continue flowing, permitting both normal operations and enforcement of security and filtering policies to continue without interruption. Aside from protecting your organization in the case of broad emergencies, modusCloud also allows for alerts to potential policy violations, along with detailed logging which permits owners or management to track end-users and educate them, whether they inadvertently or intentionally violate policies.
Record Retention and Email Production through Email Archiving
Various regulatory regimes in financial services and other sectors require the maintenance of contract and transaction records for 7 to 10 years or even in perpetuity. With modusCloud’s Email Archiving, organizations are able to utilize a tamper-proof offsite email archive with 10-year unlimited storage and customizable record retention policies, permitting specific compliance to record retention requirements without hassle or worry.
modusCloud’s Email Archiving also includes fast search and eDiscovery features (particularly when compared to that available with Office 365) which allows for quick and accurate production of email records for either legal suites and proceedings or when trying to maintain transparency and good faith in the face of regulatory scrutiny – a critical feature in resolving such regulatory issues as they emerge.
Compliance with GDPR and Data Protection Policies to come
While the GDPR “apocalypse” has come and gone, few SMBs have yet to be directly affected, but the rapid advance of legally enforced data protection policies around the world have made life a little more uncertain for “the little guy”. With the introduction of GDPR, modusCloud introduced updated libraries that permitted for the protection and secure transmission of specifically enumerated new classes of protected data. As regional and less comprehensive policies will emerge, modusCloud will continue to stay ahead of the trend. Introducing up-to-date data protection doesn’t have to be a challenge when you have the right solutions at hand!
With all the above discussed, there are still more issues around SMB compliance which should compel you to consult with an attorney. In the meantime, consider giving modusCloud a try with a free trial and seeing how well the solution can help you address the issues you face.