Major Privacy Regulations and COVID-19

The task and responsibility of managing confidential data during COVID-19 are not for the faint of heart. With increased pressure from cyber attackers with more remote workers, telemedicine, and digital-first initiatives across highly regulated industries, it's critical to reevaluate and increase support for your efforts to maintain compliance. From HIPAA to PCI DSS, SOX, and CIPA, here is a rundown of big regulatory mandates and how your organization can keep up with privacy requirements in the age of COVID-19.

HIPAA Compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requires healthcare providers to protect the privacy and security of their patients Protected Health Information (PHI). With data breaches on the rise, organizations are now required to take extra steps to ensure network security, as compliance with HIPAA has become more stringent. A violation of the regulations could result in an enormous penalty. 


To remain compliant, you should work with an IT company specializing in security within the healthcare industry. They will put in place those endpoint security measures to protect your patient's data and private medical records. You should also conduct an annual risk assessment, perhaps with the aid of an IT professional, to check for any vulnerabilities in your computer systems. You should also focus on application security, such as those apps you use within telehealth, to ensure there are no bugs present. Again, reach out to a professional for support. 


PCI DSS Compliance

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) promotes standards that ensure the protection of cardholder data. If you accept, process, transmit or store credit card information at your facility, you need to adhere to the standards set. If you're not compliant with their regulations and a data breach occurs, you could face a fine of up to $500,000.


There are a number of things you can do to remain compliant, the first being to maintain the security of your computer systems. You should also restrict unauthorized employees from access to card data, with ID systems in place that are only accessible to those allowed access. Again, talk to a third-party security company like Emerge if you need help setting up a breach defense. 


SOX Compliance

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was brought into being after a number of corporate and accounting scandals. All publicly-traded companies are now required to comply with SOX regulations, and some of the Act applies to private companies too. 


To comply, you need to implement good financial reporting. You also need to have proper security controls in place to monitor and protect your financial data. To ensure you remain compliant, get in touch with both accounting and IT security professionals for more advice and practical support.  


CIPA Compliance

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was brought into being by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children's safety online. It requires schools, libraries, and other institutions where children are present to incorporate technology protection measures to support the safety of their young computer users. 


To comply, you should use web filtering features to protect access to any harmful content. You should also seek the assistance of an IT security company well-versed in CIPA compliance.

For more advice on each privacy regulation, visit the website of each regulating body in question. With detailed compliance information available on each site, you will be able to take the steps necessary to protect the needs of your business and the people who use it.