The Data Compliance Sandwich: A Recipe for Protection


A survey published by Manta reveals that 87% of small-business owners don’t feel that they’re at risk of a cybersecurity attack, and 1 in 3 small businesses don’t have the tools in place — firewalls, antivirus software, spam filters or data-encryption tools — to protect themselves.

Data security has transitioned from the era where a business could “play dumb,” expect a slap on the wrist, pay minor fines and resume business as usual. Now a central pillar of any organization’s success or demise and with the risks as high as they are now, SMBs need to address their data policies and practices immediately.

In a nutshell, if you are a small business the reality is that you know there’s huge value in your customers personal data. And if you don’t protect it…someone may take it.

Sandwich = Data Compliance? Yup.

“Data compliance” means: What rules and regulations, whether from government(s) or your industry, must your data security comply with, and what do these regulations identify as the minimum necessary protection(s)?

Data security means that your company’s sensitive data is secure from being read, copied, changed, or deleted by snoopers, thieves and other cybercriminals.

Navigating the recent changes in data security standards that affect businesses can be overwhelming. Data Security isn’t the hot sauce you add on the side. It’s a key ingredient to any business, and it’s something you need to think about from the very beginning

It’s like making a good sandwich: You’ve got great bread. You’ve got great meat. You’ve got great cheese. Sure, you could enjoy them separately; but putting them together creates something far better.

A Recipe for Protection

There’s probably no food item that has seen more variation than the good ole’ sandwich. Sure, you can use one ingredient without the other—but then you’re not making the most of a well-rounded combo. Likewise, in your business you’re combining requirements to run the day-to-day (i.e. paperwork, reports, fees, etc.) to be in good standing and kept up to date and on file with all federal, state, and local applicable laws and requirements.

For some time, government has let companies off the hook for negligence in cyberspace, waiting until after an incident to act. Changes to data breach notification laws hold businesses more accountable for data breaches. Meaning that businesses have to work harder for the consumers to keep their information safe or they may have to pay a hefty fine for it – Arizona data breach notification law imposes civil penalties of up to $500,000 per breach.

While most business owners dread the idea of spending time, energy and money on meeting a new compliance, if at any point in time your business is out of compliance, you face damaging your business, your brand, your future success, and even your personal assets. You could lose your home, personal bank account, and anything of value that you own.

Think about the data you collect. You can understand its value to your business. Whether your organization is large or small, soaring or declining, it’s critical to revisit data security policies and procedures.

Easy DIY

Just like selecting a type of bread for making a sandwich to your taste, customizing your solution is the easiest and most affordable way to go. If your goal is to meet compliance standards and data protection, you don’t need expensive consultants for using DIY options like SyberSafe’s online solution.

We offer the peace of mind of working continuously, without fear of losing your data—and give you the tools you need to help you prevent and protect against potential damages from a data breach.

This involves:

  • Taking an assessment to identify data security risks.
  • Implement a customized protection plan with procedures and policies.
  • Create a breach/incident response plan to mitigate potential damage.
  • Educate your employees regarding what they have to do — and not do — as part of compliance. For example: Don’t take sensitive company, customer or patient data records off-site unless they are properly encrypted.
  • Get affordable cyber liability insurance giving you peace of mind knowing you are covered when a data breach happens.

The Wrap-Up

You can very easily go overboard customizing a simple sandwich instead of focusing on whether the sandwich will meet its most basic goal: satisfying hunger.

How much and what type of data security do you need? One answer is: enough to keep your data secure. But that’s too vague an answer to be useful. One place to start is, “What will satisfy my company’s legal obligations?”

There are good financial reasons to secure your data as tightly as possible. HIPAA fines alone can run up to millions of dollars; other costs can include having to pay for a year or more of identity theft protection for every member impacted by such a breach. There are many compliance regulations, at the national, state, and industry levels. And you can’t ignore regulations from countries that your business isn’t located in — like the GDPR — if you have customers or supplies there, you may have to add these to your comply-with list.

The effects of non-compliance can be devastating for you, your business, your employees, your clients, and your brand. Get your free risk assessment score and find out how vulnerable your business is to a data breach: