Achieving and Maintaining Cybersecurity Compliance in Your NYC Business

Achieving and Maintaining Cybersecurity Compliance in Your NYC Business

Companies around the world rely on data to improve their overall efficiency, carry out analytics, and ensure their employees have the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Cybersecurity compliance laws and regulations are designed to protect your NYC company’s data and networks from phishing, malware, and other types of attacks. Achieving and maintaining this compliance presents complex challenges that companies must overcome.

Tech Alliance is a NYC-area managed services provider with the tools and knowledge to help your business meet and even exceed cybersecurity standards. Our managed cybersecurity services are designed to keep your business’s networks and data safe without hiring an in-house IT and cybersecurity team.

What Is Cybersecurity Compliance?

Any business that is exposed to the internet – almost every company in business today – is responsible for achieving and maintaining cybersecurity compliance. In short, this involves adhering to the cybersecurity laws, regulations, and standards that are mandated by one or more authorities, who are usually government groups. Businesses must develop, implement, and maintain cybersecurity solutions that adhere to these ever-changing standards and laws.

These standards and laws require companies to implement controls to mitigate cybersecurity risks that could impact data’s Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (CIA). These controls apply throughout data’s lifecycle, from capture to storage.

The Importance of Complying with Cybersecurity Standards

Businesses that achieve and maintain cybersecurity compliance benefit in countless ways. Some of the most important benefits to consider include:

  • Improved client and customer trust, leading to a stellar reputation
  • The ability to prepare for and identify potential breaches before they occur
  • A better overall security posture
  • Avoiding fines, sanctions, and other repercussions associated with non-compliance
  • Ensuring business continuity by avoiding cybersecurity threats like ransomware and malware

Types of Data Subject to Cybersecurity Laws and Regulations

Global cybersecurity standards are designed primarily to protect sensitive individual data, which falls into three broad categories.

  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII): PII is any information that could be used to identify an individual. Some examples of PII include Social Security numbers, birthdates, places of birth, mothers’ maiden names, and biometry, just to name a few.
  • Protected Health Information (PHI): The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) defines PHI as information concerning health status, the receipt or provision of healthcare, and payments for healthcare that can be linked to a specific person.
  • Financial Information: Financial information covers information like credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and income data.

It is also important to note that cybersecurity compliance may look different from one industry to the next. For example, companies in healthcare are required to comply with HIPAA, but law firms must comply with state and local regulations that deal with personal and financial records.

Top Problems NYC Businesses Face with Cybersecurity Compliance

Although cybersecurity compliance is important, it is not without its difficulties. Businesses in NYC and around the world face numerous challenges that can be hard to mitigate:

Regulation Complexity

One of the biggest challenges companies face is the complexity associated with cybersecurity standards and laws. More often than not, simply understanding these regulations – much less complying with them – is a burden, especially on small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) without ample staff.

Frequent Changes

Aside from being complex, cybersecurity regulations also change frequently. The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) adopted a second amendment to its Cybersecurity Regulation in late 2023, including six key updates that mandate audits, access privileges and management, and monitoring, among others. Navigating these changes has proven difficult for many NYC companies.

Cross-Functional Participation

Many cybersecurity standards require cross-functional participation, which means that multiple teams and departments, such as legal, compliance, information technology, and others, must work together to ensure cybersecurity compliance. This can be challenging for many companies – particularly those whose time and funds are already stretched to the limit.

Obligation to Report Incidents

Most modern NYC cybersecurity laws require businesses to report virtually any cybersecurity event to not only the individuals impacted, but also to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. If more than 500 residents of the state or area were impacted, the company is also required to notify the media. These cybersecurity standards apply to primary locations as well as affiliates and third parties, making reporting difficult to manage.

Expanded Governance Requirements

Cybersecurity compliance requires board members to take on additional duties and obligations in order to properly oversee the company’s governance programs. This includes implementing cybersecurity awareness training from the top down. Businesses without strong governance structures must build them, which requires these companies to allocate time, money, and other resources – even if they are already stretched thin.

Technical Requirements

Cybersecurity laws and regulations set standards for technical and administrative standards, which can be incredibly difficult for many companies to implement without resources and/or expertise. For example, laws that require compiling and maintaining a Software Bill of Materials (SBoM) detailing the software across systems can require changing the way companies develop or acquire their software.

Potential Penalties

There are two types of penalties associated with failing to maintain cybersecurity compliance: financial and reputational. State and federal agencies impose heavy fines and sanctions, and in some cases, criminal liability may be a factor. Cybersecurity breaches also damage companies’ reputations, which can have a long-lasting impact on operations.

Leverage Managed Cybersecurity Services for Your NYC Company’s Cybersecurity Compliance Needs

Cybersecurity compliance is both dynamic and complex, requiring NYC businesses to develop critical frameworks with often limited resources. Tech Alliance supports companies’ compliance efforts from designing a critical framework to responding to potential attacks. Learn more about how our managed cybersecurity services can help your company achieve and maintain cybersecurity compliance.