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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Don't take a chance with compliance

To avoid facing serious repercussions for failing to meet compliance standards, it is imperative that firms do not take any chances with their data handling procedures. To this end, secure file transfer solutions are key.

Category:   Secure File Transfer

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Without a doubt, the business world has become more data-driven in recent years. The rise of big data analytics, business intelligence (BI) tools and a wide range of other information-based systems have made raw data more valuable than ever before. Data that would previously have been either discarded or held onto purely for precautionary reasons is now potentially a great source of tremendous insight.

To effectively leverage these information resources, businesses in every industry need to have the means of transferring this data between personnel, departments and organizations. Such behavior can potentially increase the chances of a data breach occurring. Many governmental entities, acknowledging this chance and the need for consumers to be protected from risky behaviors, have subsequently increased their oversight and mandated compliance regulations.

To avoid facing serious repercussions for failing to meet compliance standards, it is imperative that firms do not take any chances with their data handling procedures. To this end, secure file transfer solutions are key.

Compliance issues
Data security compliance has become an issue in a huge range of sectors. Take, for example, the healthcare industry. In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was implemented, with its primary focus being health insurance fraud and availability. However, in the years since then, HIPAA has become at least, and perhaps more, important to healthcare firms because of its standards concerning the protection of sensitive patient data. This is largely due to the fact that the digitization of healthcare information in the form of electronic health records (EHRs) has made patient data more easily accessible for doctors and, unfortunately, unauthorized personnel, as well.

Countless hospitals and other institutions have experienced data breaches due to their handling of EHRs. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has subsequently levied countless fines and other sanctions to those institutions which have been found to have violated HIPAA's data security provisions. These fines can reach well over $1 million.

The healthcare industry is not alone in this regard. Just about every sector has its own governmental oversight agency, and firms in these areas will almost certainly face fines and other penalties if they fail to meet compliance standards and experience data breaches as a result.

Achieving compliance
When combined with the other consequences of a data breach, including the loss of intellectual property and a tarnished reputation, it is obvious that organizations of all kinds should take extreme steps to prevent these incidents. Striving to achieve compliance standards can be a critical part of such an effort. After all, compliance regulations are created as a means of reducing the likelihood of breaches. Achieving compliance is therefore ideal not just for the immediate benefit of avoiding sanctions, but also as a means of limiting the likelihood of a data exposure.

In this vein, secure file transfer solutions are a necessity for just about any business. Data is often most vulnerable when it is in transit, and so it is essential for organizations to invest in tools that can guarantee that even moving information sets remain protected at all times.