Compliance as a competitive differentiator: why regulations aren’t all bad

Octavio Hernandez

Can regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA help you sell more?

Compliance/ Regulations: the bane of every small business, right? All they’re good for is putting obstacles in the way to moving fast and innovating. Except when they’re not.

Take Europe’s new privacy regulation that comes into force next year in May 2018. The text of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – we’ve read it so you don’t have to – explicitly states that they want businesses to get more sales from it.

Wait, what?

The line of thinking goes, the regulation will help businesses ensure their customers’ privacy. And if European consumers trust that their personal data is safe, they’ll be more likely to buy things online. Everyone wins. How enlightened is that?

Even if you’re not affected by the GDPR, there’s plenty of other legislation that’s taking greater account of data privacy. According to the Federal Trade Commission, “most states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands have enacted legislation requiring notification of security breaches involving personal information. In addition, depending on the types of information involved in the breach, there may be other laws or regulations that apply to your situation.”

Data on your mobile devices must comply too

It is easy to only think about securing the data held on your servers or in the cloud services. What about your mobile devices and the data on them?

In many ways, this is the harder part of the problem to solve. The very solution that helps you work anytime, anywhere can compromise the success of your business by exposing your customer data. So far mobile security solutions have been only a nice to have. Now regulations like GDPR are making this a necessity.

For the first-time companies really need to consider how they are protecting mobile devices both in terms of physical access to the device, and when the device is being used online.

With Asavie companies are secure in the knowledge that they are protected.

mobile security video

We physically protect the device with Password Protection/Lock/Wipe.

We protect the data on the mobile network. Our Mobile Threat Prevention works across both Cellular and Wi-Fi.

Asavie is an essential part in helping business across the globe comply with local regulations on their smartphones, tablets and other SIM enabled devices. Customers can get a simple all-in-one solution that covers both device management and online protection.

Breach disclosure

Some businesses may need to meet specific requirements under certain state or federal laws. Industry-specific regulations like HIPAA also mandate disclosure for breaches involving electronic health information.

Here’s where mobile comes in. The lines are thoroughly blurred between work and personal devices. The smartphone in your pocket has, at the very least, your work email account and all of the associated attachments. Is your tablet is synced to the Dropbox account you use to catch up on business documents while traveling? Those devices are a trove of valuable data in the wrong hands, not to mention a potential unprotected back door into your organization for cybercriminals.

Compliance benefits

So, if the rules say you need to plug those gaps, getting better security is a good outcome – and a good reason to obey. But that’s far from the only benefit. Going through the process of complying with regulations is like spring cleaning for your business. Identify all of the places where you’re storing data, and where the appropriate protection needs to be put in place. For mobile devices, sandbox vulnerable apps so they’re ring-fenced from the rest of the device. Apply other security measures that ensure a lost device can be wiped remotely to avoid the risk of data becoming exposed.

Compliance isn’t just table stakes. Doing business right, in a compliant way, increases consumer trust. It’s a competitive differentiator.

Winning trust

Your customers will have greater confidence in you. You’ll understand your business better, you’ll potentially save money by eliminating unnecessary storage, and you’ll reduce your risk exposure along with the potential for fines or sanctions.

If your business has had to go through the process of becoming certified to a quality management standard like ISO 9000, you may remember the relief you felt when you passed. Well, now’s the time to think of regulations in the same way. If you insist on seeing them like a mountain to climb, then remember the exercise is good for you, and the view is amazing when you get to the top.

Asavie Moda simplifies compliance on mobile devices by building it into every day activity.

If you’re a Mobile Network Operator interested in developing a Security as a Service proposition, you may be interested in downloading our ebook.