Navigating the Landscape of Cyber Law in Your SMB

Cybersecurity compliance is more critical than ever – especially for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs). With limited resources, many SMBs struggle to navigate complex cyber laws and protect sensitive data.

In this article, we’ll cover: 

  • What compliance culture is.
  • Practical steps to foster a strong compliance culture within your organization. 
  • How the Zero Trust security model helps maintain compliance.
  • Valuable resources to help you achieve and maintain cybersecurity compliance effectively.

Table of Contents

Understanding Compliance Culture

A compliance culture is a collective mindset within an organization that ensures adherence to industry regulations and laws for protecting sensitive data. 

Previously, SMBs operated in simpler regulatory environments and were less targeted by cybercriminals, who focused on large enterprises. Now, cybercriminals find SMBs and their remote employees easier and equally profitable targets. 

Regulations impose hefty fines for non-compliance, including: 

The trouble is that nearly 
60 percent of business leaders need help to keep up with the rapidly evolving compliance landscape. Therefore, building a strong compliance culture is crucial for SMBs to mitigate risks and avoid penalties.

9 Steps to Fostering a Strong Compliance Culture

To ensure long-term compliance and effectively face evolving cyber threats, compliance culture must be embedded in every fiber of your organization. This requires more than just bolt-on solutions. It helps if you have a solid foundation.

To help you achieve this ambitious but essential goal, we’ve compiled actionable tips that will set you on the right path and foster a culture of compliance at every level of your organization.

1. Understand Your Compliance Requirements

Completely understanding your requirements will help you create an effective compliance culture.

2. Secure Top-Level Commitment

Get cybersecurity buy-in from C-level executives because they are more likely to disregard them than the average employee.

3. Put in Place Effective Controls

Each organization has different needs and faces slightly different threats. So, it’s essential to avoid one-size-fits-all cybersecurity solutions.

4. Compliance Starts from the Top Down

Senior leaders must embody organizational compliance – from communicating policies with staff to upholding them.

5. Educate Your Employees

Implement regular security awareness training into your compliance initiative. Providing employees with relevant security information reduces the risk of breaches and incidents.

6. Incentivize Cybersecurity Compliance

Motivate employees to follow cybersecurity policies and best practices by offering compliance incentives. This approach encourages consistent engagement and fosters a proactive security mindset across your organization. 

7. Address Violations

Compliance violations should be immediately addressed and reflect the severity and frequency. This ensures that the consequences feel proportionate and fair.  

8. Harness the Power of Modern Technology

Technology can significantly reduce the burden of documenting, tracking, and reporting compliance-related activities within your organization.

9. Incorporate Compliance into the Onboarding Journey

Integrate compliance into the onboarding process. Give them clear guidelines and any resources they need to understand their responsibilities in maintaining a compliant workplace.

Compliance & Zero Trust Security

Data privacy and security regulations are becoming stricter. Traditional models focusing on network perimeters are insufficient in today’s hybrid work environment where sensitive data is accessed from multiple locations. The Zero Trust Security Model, which assumes breach and verifies each request regardless of origin, offers a solution.

Its principles – verify explicitly, use least privileged access, and assume breach – provide a framework for enhanced security.

How to Implement Zero Trust Security

  • Identifying protect surfaces
  • Mapping transaction flows
  • Building architecture
  • Creating policies
  • Continuous monitoring

Partnering with an experienced cybersecurity provider can facilitate this transition – ensuring your business can achieve compliance and robust protection against modern threats.

Valuable Resources for Compliance

Whether you’re a financial firm, a healthcare practice, or a government contractor, ensuring that your cybersecurity measures are robust and up to date is essential. Below are valuable resources tailored to help your organization navigate and maintain compliance effectively.

Financial Firms

For small- to mid-sized RIA firms, ensuring cybersecurity compliance involves more than just checking off items on a regulatory checklist. While tools like FINRA’s Cybersecurity Checklist for Small Firms are useful, they require deeper analysis to be truly effective. This article explores key checklist items and critical follow-up questions to help firms genuinely safeguard their data.

Topics include:

  • The importance of understanding data collection
  • Creating effective passwords
  • Ensuring timely software updates
  • Testing incident response plans
  • Protecting remote devices

Read the Advisor Perspective’s article to ensure your
firm’s cybersecurity measures are comprehensive.

Healthcare Practices

Small healthcare practices face significant challenges – with regulatory compliance ranking high on the priority list. Many organizations struggle to meet these requirements due to a lack of knowledge, staff, skills, and costs.

This article outlines the critical steps every healthcare organization needs to take to achieve and maintain compliance effectively. Plus, learn how to safeguard patient information and foster a strong reputation as a trusted healthcare provider with a free self-assessment.

Government Contractors

For businesses aiming to secure Department of Defense (DoD) contracts, compliance with NIST SP 800-171 is crucial. This set of standards is designed to protect Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) in nonfederal systems. The Supplier Performance Risk System (SPRS) plays a pivotal role in assessing and monitoring compliance.

This article provides essential information on SPRS – including how assessments and scores work, and steps to improve your compliance. Plus, download the free guide to prepare for your CMMC audit.

Get the Compliance Services You Need Today

Teal offers responsive and secure compliance services to SMBs nationally, with local headquarters based in: 

If you’re interested in learning about our premier IT consulting,
contact a Teal business technology advisor.

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