Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world

-Ginni Rometty, the former Chairman, President and CEO of IBM

Today, security regulations are essential for protecting both individuals and businesses from a variety of risks. As households and businesses become more connected and dispersed, cybersecurity risks increase. Along with ongoing digital transformation and the proliferation of cloud, there comes another high-priority challenge every business that exists in this digital era should spotlight is cybersecurity

According to the 2022 Ponemon Institute State of Cybersecurity and Third-Party Remote Access Risk Report, 54% of organizations have experienced a cyberattack in the last 12 months.  

Data breaches, cyber threat, phishing attacks, click-jacking, typo-squatting, DDOS attack. 

Does any one of these words you just read sounds familiar to you? Even if you are not, well, it is always better late than never. This blog walks you through the need for having a strong cybersecurity strategy in place is a core component of staying resilient and future-proofed in times of disruption.  

The rise of cybersecurity regulations: 

As more and more sensitive information is stored and transmitted electronically, the risk of this information falling into the wrong hands has also increased. To address this risk, governments and regulatory bodies around the world have begun to implement cybersecurity regulations to ensure that organizations take appropriate measures to protect sensitive information. These regulations have become more prevalent as the number of cyberattacks have continued to increase, and as the potential consequences of a data breach have become more severe, including financial losses, reputational damage, and loss of customer trust. As the need of technology has been an essential part in our daily lives, the protection of personal data is of the essence for government and private organizations that work together in the pursuit of innovations that improve human and nature’s well-being.   

Why are cybersecurity regulations important in our global threat landscape? 

Considering the rate at which cybercriminals are launching attacks on companies is intimidatingly alarming. With the current global threat landscape where cybercrimes are evolving at an unprecedented speed, it stands to reason that companies need stringent data privacy and cybersecurity regulations now more than ever before. With strict regulations come restricted access to data an organization holds in. Regulations provide organizations with the guidance and framework they need in order to effectively protect their systems from attack. Identifying major potential risks or vulnerabilities before an organization is in the grip of cyber warfare is half the battle won.  

When organizations that handle sensitive customer data, rain or shine, the onus is on them to lay the foundations for data privacy on the off chance there is no privacy for data they are accountable for. When it comes to business, a company’s reputation plays a vital role in many ways, from marketing to customer retention. As data privacy is the meat and potatoes of cybersecurity, framing strict cybersecurity regulations provide organizations with the tools and resources necessary to improve their cybersecurity posture.  

Four cybersecurity frameworks that help organizations build a sense of trust and loyalty for their customers: 

Now that you know the importance of cybersecurity frameworks in place, here are some of the main cybersecurity regulations that companies should be in compliance with: 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 

The GDPR regulates the handling and processing of personal data of individuals within the EU, and applies to any company that processes the data of EU citizens, regardless of where the company operates from. By adding more power to the rights of individuals as to their personal data, GDPR requires companies to oblige to a number of obligations when it comes to data privacy. Organizations that are not in compliance with the GDPR can be subject to significant fines, up to 4% of annual global revenue or €20 million.  

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 

This American-based cybersecurity framework regulates the handling of personal health information and requires companies in the healthcare industry to implement specific security controls and comply with strict standards for protecting sensitive information. It aims to protect the privacy and security of individuals’ health information, also known as protected health information (PHI). The HIPPA applies to “covered entities,” which include healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses that handle protected health information.  If firms that are supposed to be compliant with the HIPPA, they can be subject to penalties and legal ramifications. In some cases, the HIPPA can prosecute companies over data breaches and ransomware attacks. 

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 

PCI DSS is a set of cybersecurity guidelines aimed at ensuring companies that handle credit card information to keep a secure system. This regulation framed by leading credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, aim to strengthen the controls around cardholder data to decrease credit card frauds. PCI DSS is a mandatory cybersecurity regulation for all merchants and service providers in most states of the US. Failure to comply with the standard can result in hefty fines, penalties and even termination of the company’s ability to accept credit card payments. It’s important for companies that handle credit card information to understand and comply with the PCI DSS standards to help protect themselves and their customers from credit card fraud. 

The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)  

The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) is one of the main cybersecurity regulations in the US that is designed to help companies protect their information systems from cybercrimes. By adhering to the FISMA, companies can be confident that their crucial business and customer data are protected with the highest level of confidentiality and integrity. Moreover, the FISMA mandates organizations to develop, document, and implement an information security program to protect their information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction. It also requires organizations to perform periodic risk assessments to identify security vulnerabilities and provide appropriate security controls. By following the guidelines of this cybersecurity regulation, companies can help protect their information systems and steer clear of cybercrimes. 

Wrapping it up… 

There is no doubt that the pandemic has catapulted an unprecedented level of digital transformation, but it also increased the incidents of cybercrimes and security breaches in the IT industry. As the world is becoming more digital as days go by, the need to institute strict cybersecurity regulations are indispensable. 

It is an alarming fact that ransomware threats are all around us. In the corporate world, not only the ransomware attacks cost a fortune but also damages the hard-earned reputation of an organization. The only way companies can do to move the needle forward as to cyber-threats is doubling down on the current cybersecurity regulations and compliances to keep their data out of cybercriminals and hacktivists.

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