When it comes to compliance, few SMBs understand the full scope of requirements associated with industry mandates and laws, including systems, policies, and procedures. The increasing maze of regulations and rules can be overwhelming and distracting for your clients, affecting their productivity and creating undue stress.
Some business owners simply assume that their IT providers have them covered, and compliance is not an area of concern. Unfortunately, that may not be the case, especially when it comes to email.
With the exponential rise of phishing and malware attacks hitting your clients’ inboxes daily, in conjunction with the rising concerns around secure data storage, they need your help now more than ever. MSPs who can tackle compliance issues related to email are in high demand. Employees are sending and receiving so much information every day that it can be difficult for businesses to know where to start locking it all down without your expert guidance.
Shift to Remote
With the majority of organizations shifting to a work from home environment, employees will be more likely to create workarounds and vulnerabilities that could compromise their company’s compliance with various rules and regulations. They should be protecting their corporate and personal information even more now than before the pandemic and subsequent relocations. Data storage is the perfect example.
Before the remote workforce transition, it was common just to save all their information to a file drive. That same practice from a home office may require permission and be monitored by supervisors or IT professionals due to the increased risks associated with personal networks and devices.
Now is a good time for MSPs to review the compliance needs of each of their clients – especially those in heavily-regulated industries. In the managed services space, it is common to review and test solutions frequently, and your customer’s adherence to industry mandates and laws is no different. After all, there is no guarantee that end-users will follow previously accepted rules commitments when working in a more relaxed environment.
Things to Consider
Several laws affect different industries when it comes to email compliance. For example, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) states that companies should retain and make readily available all email correspondence between registered brokers and dealers.
Similarly, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects patient information, ensuring that any sensitive data is safe from unauthorized individuals. With employees who handle regulated information working from home and offsite locations, there is a higher chance of those professionals taking shortcuts and compromising patient data.
There are inherent risks to the WFH environment. Be sure to check-in more frequently with your clients, remind their employees about all the rules and regulations they must follow, and emphasize how workplace changes can affect their compliance.
Support Clients More in Their Time of Need
One of the worst things an MSP can do is follow the status quo, especially when they are supporting businesses facing unusual issues or tough economic times. It is all too easy for IT professionals to get caught up in all the daily tasks associated with protecting and supporting many businesses and overlook compliance issues.
Now more than ever, your attention, insight, and guidance are needed.
Not just with compliance. Many SMBs are not only struggling with the economic effects of the pandemic but are still coming to grips with all the changes. Most were unprepared for this dramatic upheaval and compliance may have slipped off their radar, but anything you can do to help your clients avoid more sleepless nights will no doubt be valued and deeply appreciated.