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IT security compliance. Is it really necessary for small and medium sized businesses?

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Many owners of small and medium sized businesses don’t feel like they need to pay much attention to IT compliance. Which is completely understandable since obtaining a security certification is often not part of their operational priorities. But in this case, the old adage is true: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Read on to find out more.

What does “being compliant” mean for an organization?

It basically means adhering to certain regulations or standards that apply to a specific industry or required by some clients.

Ex.: Some organizations that store credit card data are subject to PCI security standards.

IT compliance mainly relates to security and to certifications such as:

  • ISO 27001 to ensure the security of IT systems
  • ISO 27018 to protect personally identifiable information in the cloud
  • ISO 27017 to ensure the security of cloud services

For many small and medium businesses that are not in the tech sector, these security standards may seem unnecessary.

Small and medium business leaders may have the following misconceptions about IT compliance:

This isn’t for me, it’s not mandatory for my sector of activities.

Fair enough. But because more and more organizations are adopting digital tools, protecting your IT system, your staff, and the data of your clients and partners may become vital. Have you made sure your company’s remote work practices are properly secured? What about your new e-commerce platform?

This doesn’t concern me. I don’t have a business that provides computing services/solutions.

Sure, but just like any other company, you do have something you need to protect. Whether it’s a secret recipe for a product, a confidential list of suppliers, or a unique manufacturing process: a security certification will allow your company to screen your processes, systems, and IT continuity plan and make sure they are all safeguarded against unauthorized access.

I don’t need this. I’ve never been attacked!

Are you sure about that? Hackers don’t leave a business card when they gain entry to your system! Complying with security standards – in a way that is relevant to your activities – will allow you to identify any potential weaknesses because the points of entry into your IT systems will be thoroughly tested. The other option is to remain in the dark.

Certification costs too much (and doesn’t pay off)

Certification has an associated cost depending on where you’re starting, where you want to go, and what you want to protect. But how much would it cost to recover your data if you were the victim of ransomware? Or if your data were stolen? You should see certification as an investment, just like insurance. You should also keep in mind that security systems are unfortunately never 100% infallible.

May companies still think of IT compliance as a constraint, or a useful yet unnecessary project when in fact, it’s an in-depth process that is an opportunity to continuously improve an organization’s services.

 

What advantages come with an IT security certification?

  1. Increase your level of security, no matter your starting point
    For business owners, improving their company’s processes, systems, and general awareness about IT security means making this critical issue a key part of internal considerations. You don’t need to attain perfection during your first certification attempt. You simply need to progressively increase the maturity level within your organization. To get the most out of the process, define the certification and settings that are the most suited to your core business.
  1. Inspire confidence in your clients and partners
    Compliance will have a major positive impact on your corporate image. A certification can help you attract new clients or prevent you from losing clients. That’s because these days, some clients may request compliance in their call for tenders while others see it as a competitive advantage in a supplier. This is the proof, which has been endorsed by a third party, that you are striving to safeguard your business relationship and care about avoiding making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
  1. Focus on sustained performance
    IT security compliance is part of good corporate governance. It’s also one of the aspects that is analyzed when assessing a company’s overall health. It’s an additional tool to anticipate problems, make informed decisions, and ensure the organization’s longevity.

 

At R2i, we take IT compliance very seriously. We are certified ISO 27001 and 27018 and have the expertise to help you achieve these two certifications to make sure your organization complies with the highest standards of security in your industry. Get in touch with us today.

 

 

 

 

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