White Paper

How the Right Tools Can Help Organizations Comply with Data Regulations

Automated solutions can simplify compliance in a complex regulatory landscape.
by: Eric Ludwig |
February 14, 2020

As new regulations such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act join older mandates such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and HIPAA, many organizations face challenges in complying with them all. 

Experts recommend that organizations take a proactive approach to compliance. In years past, a tactical approach was most common, in which organizations would react to individual regulatory mandates. But given the number of regulations most organizations now need to comply with, the sheer complexity of all the requirements, and the always-accelerating rate of change in technologies, reactive approaches can’t keep up anymore.

There’s also increasing recognition that compliance shouldn’t be the primary driver for security and privacy. Focusing on compliance first typically causes organizations to implement a large number of individual security and privacy controls without coordinating the controls throughout the enterprise. This means duplication of effort and wasted resources not only for initial deployment, but throughout the entire lifecycle of the controls. Every time another regulation becomes relevant to the organization, the reaction is to implement another wave of security and privacy controls, which only increases the control complexity and long-term effort needed.

A more effective approach to compliance involves strategically analyzing relevant security and privacy risks, using data from that analysis to predict issues, and then addressing those issues within an organization’s security and privacy programs. This gets the organization ahead of compliance requirements. By the time regulations emerge, the organization has already put the appropriate measures in place, and ensuring compliance with new regulations should not require much effort. An organization’s compliance program and its security and privacy programs should work closely together and ultimately be fully integrated as the organization’s compliance maturity improves. An effective compliance strategy will break down silos within an organization and create an atmosphere of knowledge-sharing and collaboration that benefits everyone involved.

Nearly 250,000

The number of complaints of potential HIPAA violations the Health and Human Services Department has received since April 2003. HHS has fined offending companies over $111 million and referred more than 800 cases to the Justice Department for criminal investigation.

Source: HHS, “Enforcement Highlights,” December 2019

Finding Solutions and Services for Addressing Compliance Needs

Addressing an organization’s compliance needs means leveraging automated solutions that provide support at all times. The scale of compliance can’t be handled through manual means. Automated solutions that are particularly helpful include:

  • Asset management technologies that track what and where an organization’s data assets are and what systems and services (both internal and external) the organization uses 
  • Security technologies that protect data, prevent data breaches and identify problems, such as cloud, network and endpoint security products; email encryption utilities; and vulnerability scanners
  • Disaster recovery solutions that minimize operational disruptions while also ensuring data remains properly protected
  • Governance, risk and compliance (GRC) solutions that monitor the enterprise to identify potential security problems so they can be remediated before a breach occurs

Specific services can also help organizations address their compliance needs. For example, CDW offers gap analysis services, during which CDW experts assess an organization’s gaps in meeting the requirements of security and privacy regulations. CDW and its partners also offer compliance assessment services in which they look at how effectively and efficiently an organization carries out its compliance responsibilities, then recommend how the organization can change its technologies, processes, policies and other components to improve its compliance program.

To learn more about how you can better meet the demands of your industry regulations, read the CDW white paper “Overcome Your Compliance Challenges.”