Regulatory compliance is staying within the guidelines and restrictions of state and federally mandated rules. There are several categories out there, but the three most important categories are HIPAA, SOX, and PCI DSS. While each class is rather detailed, if you’re an organization who is required to adhere to one (or all!) of these categories, it is of the utmost importance you stay within regulatory compliance. Wonder why? We’ll be happy to show you.
Regulatory Compliance in HIPAA Law
In its most basic form, HIPAA law covers the privacy of an individual’s medical records. Think only doctors have to adhere to HIPAA law? Think again. According to HIPAA, every single organization who comes into contact with anyone’s medical records for any reason – whether it be for transmission, sharing, or storage – must adhere to the rules and regulations of HIPAA law. That includes businesses who work with doctors and hospitals. Again, if your company does pretty much anything with medical records, you’re required to stay within HIPAA regulatory compliance. If you’re not – you’re looking at severe fines and penalties, the potential for losing your right to handle medical records within your business, and even possible jail time for more egregious acts.
Regulatory Compliance in SOX
Basically, SOX regulatory compliance exists to keep corporations honest in their accounting and other financial reporting. As sad as it is, many large companies have thought they could use some creativity with their corporate books to cover certain things they didn’t want others to know about. What kinds of things, you ask? Oh, how about hiding massive company losses so your enterprise’s stock doesn’t plummet and you don’t get called on the carpet for it? How about secretly pocketing around $100,000,000 or so? (Yes, that’s not a typo: one hundred million dollars.) SOX regulatory compliance makes cheating the books a more difficult task and imposes some rather harsh fines and punishments for violations. If you’d like a few examples, check out how Bernie Madoff is doing these days, along with companies like Enron, Tyco International, Adelphia, Peregrine Systems, and WorldCom. Yeah, don’t be like them.
Regulatory Compliance in PCI DSS
This is a significant category: anyone involved in taking credit or credit card payments, or who stores or transfers that information, must adhere to PCI DSS regulatory compliance. If your organization takes payments, chances are you’re expected to stay within compliance. Failure to do so may mean very stiff fines and fees, the loss of your company to take payments, and possibly more. But even without that, think about the other aspects of losing others’ credit data or allowing it to be stolen? Instantly, you’ve lost the trust and respect of your clients, your new and old business will almost certainly plummet, and you’ll likely have to pay restitution for any out-of-pocket expenses your clients have incurred due to dealing with the problems your non-compliance has caused. All of this is even before any civil or criminal lawsuits are brought against you or your company.
Is it Worth it to Operate Outside of Regulatory Compliance?
The answer is simple: No. Never. Forget It. No Way. Staying within regulatory compliance is likely one of the most important things you can do for your company. If you’re unsure about how to stay within regulatory compliance, give us a call. At Troinet, we’re vastly experienced in HIPAA, SOX, and PCI DSS regulatory compliance. We’ll be happy to review your current measures and construct a particular system for your exact needs. Let us help you. The alternative is . . . Less than appealing.