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Privacy is always at the front of everyone’s minds as people transition to keeping their personal information in online databases. Therefore, they require a higher level of safety to feel confident about who they trust.

Just one data breach can change people’s minds about a business or organization, but having a plan can ensure you keep consumers safe while benefitting your business. Make sure your company is compliant with all standards relating to it — for legal and financial purposes.

1. HIPAA Compliance

Health information is some of the most sensitive information an organization can hold. HIPAA compliance usually ensures organizations continue to protect health data while adopting new technology and procedures.

Data breaches could lead to discrimination against patients and health care facilities, negatively affecting the individual and decreasing trust in the hospital or office. Furthermore, because of the crucial information patients trust organizations with, companies must follow a HIPAA Breach Notification Rule and can pay around $50,000 in fines if they don’t.

Have a data breach plan in place in case the worst happens and follow every procedure to comply with HIPAA. Luckily, HIPAA has all its regulations online, so you can easily access the information and decide how to fall within its standards. These include the Security, Breach Notification and Privacy rules — which are necessary for compliance.

2. GDPR Compliance

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) primarily affects those in the European Union. The EU created it to ensure customers have certain privacies protected — and if you have consumers there, you must comply with it.

The GDPR’s website has checklists for every sort of business — whether located in the EU or elsewhere — so your organization can best comply with their guidelines. Above all, you should be transparent about what you plan to do with consumers’ data and create a plan in case of a data breach.

3. CMMC Compliance

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) sets a certain standard for cybersecurity necessary for businesses who want to use governmental supply chains. It features five levels, each building upon the last with more cybersecurity measures.

To become compliant, you must develop and test a security plan. Following this, you should improve on your assessment’s results and submit them to the Department of Defense (DoD)’s Performance Risk System. Only after identifying your scope and finding a third-party testing organization can you then apply for CMMC certification.

CMMC compliant companies should expect Interim Assessments to ensure they are still CMMC compliant as CMMC 2.0 rolls out in the near future. Prepare examples as to how your company is compliant. This certification might be the most challenging to obtain, but you can ensure you’re keeping everyone involved safe and receive a bonus of being DoD certified.

4. NIST Compliance

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) compliance regards federal agencies and how they process data. Any companies working with federal agencies should strive to be NIST compliant.

You can work toward following their guidelines by checking out the self-assessment handbook or cracking down on data security. To become compliant, you must first assess your current security risks and work to repair them.

5. State-Specific Privacy Laws

Other privacy laws you need to look out for include ones enacted by states. These protections typically only cover residents of that area.

California is the best example of these, as it enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The legislation lets consumers know how companies use their data and who they share it with. New York followed suit just a few years later and many other states now have laws protecting their residents’ private information.

Business owners must know how these laws can affect the data they collect online. Always allow consumers to opt out and give them an option to see how you’re using their data. Even if you have buyers residing in states without these privacy laws, you still want to abide by the best privacy regulations you can follow.

Making Compliance Simple

Some of these regulations and laws may have multiple parts, but you must follow them. You can hire professionals to help you get ready for certifications or you can figure it out yourself using self-assessment tools and handbooks.

Whatever the case, these regulations are in play to protect consumers and businesses. Even if they’re complex, you shouldn’t overlook them. Do what’s best for everyone involved and learn how to comply with these guidelines.