Keeping compliance prioritized in a small business

December 20th 2013

Small companies need to improve their data protection stance if they want to optimize performance and remain competitive with larger enterprises. Because small businesses tend to have different challenges and mindsets than larger firms, however, it is important that executives do not get sidetracked and lose focus on long-term objectives.

As the IT landscape evolves, executives need to adapt and potentially transform processes to adhere to more recent policies and requirements. By following several steps, small firms can be sure they stay on the same page as other organizations within their respective industries, which presents them with new opportunities to experience growth and reduce risk.

Keep up to date with compliance

Every industry has its own set of unique compliance requirements that businesses in that sector must meet. This is no exception for small companies, though many managers believe simply viewing compliance as a list of checkboxes will suffice. Unfortunately, this is not the case and small business executives need to proactively ensure that information protection and compliance regulations align and do not contradict one another.

Across North America, there are numerous governing agencies that update compliance expectations as technologies and societies change. It is up to business leaders to track these adjustments and make the necessary internal changes to ensure all guidelines are met. This sometimes requires executives to think outside of the box and consult with third-party vendors to develop, procure and deploy new tools or strategies to avoid the consequences of breaching industry regulations.

Keep employees in the loop

While organizations around the world encounter a broad range of complications throughout their tenure as a business, one of the most common reason for compliance or security complications is the simple fact that executives made changes to policies or practices without informing employees. As a result, workers will often continue operating in the same fashion until the company as a whole is called out for failing to meet expectations. Fortunately, there is an easy way to eliminate this conundrum: educate the workforce.

Training is and always will be a critical part of ensuring business success, especially when those programs target data or endpoint protection priorities and compliance necessities. An intelligent workforce that is aware of industry and corporate requirements will be better prepared to tackle new mandates or challenges without impairing operations or introducing significant performance hurdles that can hinder success. This will be critical for firms that intend to continue growing in the long run, regardless of external circumstances.

Small businesses are often considered the lifeblood of the private sector, as they represent a massive percentage of all of the moving parts within a variety of industries. If these organizations fail to meet compliance requirements, they will encounter substantial problems that can impact the entire business world. For this reason, executives within smaller firms need to take the time to understand compliance and ensure the workforce is aware of how these regulations may change over time, as neglecting either of these two aspects will only create unnecessary problems.