As we approach the end of a year of dramatic change, attention turns to the future. To look at the coming year and what it may hold in store for IT services. Particular attention will be in relation to IT compliance. The need for systems and organisations to operate on the right side of the regulations in an era of data protection and cyber-threats will be more acute than ever.
So, let’s have a look at some of the areas in which we believe attention will need to be focused, and some ideas to ensure your business remains compliant through 2017.
The Focus on Data Protection
It’s already a key component of IT compliance, but data protection is set to remain in sharp focus in the coming year. 2016 has seen global data breaches reach an unprecedented level. In just the past couple of months there have, in the UK alone, been major breaches at Tesco, Three Mobile and Sage, putting the personal data of millions of individuals at risk.
The success of hackers to gain access to systems and the data within, with the rise of ransomware and spear-phishing attacks, will likely turn to increasingly strict adherence on good practice and diligent protection measures being in place within the working environment.
The Tesco Bank breach should have sent the alarm bells ringing for anyone operating within the financial sector. So devastating was the attack that banking needed to be suspended following money removed from customer accounts.
And it’s something that FCA are likely to take an extremely dim view of.
Using the RBS precedent – where they were fined £56m in 2014 – if any failures or lack of adequate diligence is found in the Tesco system, then hefty financial sanctions are likely to follow.
Such an unprecedented attack on the integrity of a high street bank account, reinforces the need across the industry to have the highest standards of due diligence in place, under the threat of potentially crippling sanctions that could hit both the bottom line and the reputation.
As more businesses migrate to cloud-services, either in whole or part, then the issue of staying on the right side of compliance will take greater prevalence into the future.
The issue likely faced by businesses, is in choosing the right suppliers. Working with reputable providers who can demonstrate robust security across all platforms, and who can satisfactorily answer your key queries, should remain a focus of a business’ due diligence.
Tips for Compliance
- Education and Training – All users of the IT system should be appropriately trained in safe usage, focusing on awareness raising of potential breaches from phishing and similar threats
- Multi Layered Security – Adopting high-level security across all devices and which can deliver peace-of-mind protection when using internal or third-party applications (such as Office 365) should be a high priority when it comes to compliance
- Secure Cloud Usage – Working with a cloud-provider who can deliver a secure, yet adaptable service delivers reassurance that you are taking appropriate measures for compliance while operating in a productive and effective environment.
The events of 2016 and the rise of cyber-threats globally have demonstrated the need for ever-increasing adherence to FCA compliance measures. With threat-levels almost certain to rise further into 2017, the priority for businesses will be to ensure the eye is never taken from the security ball. That measures are kept diligently in place and ever-updated.
IT compliance is already criticaland will continue to be so in the year ahead. With failures liable to come at a hefty cost. Find out more about our regulated IT services by clicking below...