Today, it is more important than ever for businesses to think carefully about how they are managing file sharing and storage. The landscape has changed significantly throughout multiple industries, meaning that companies need to keep a closer eye on how their file sharing and storage processes are being managed because this will have a major impact on their ability to remain in compliance with the latest rules and regulations. Because more people are working from home, businesses need to rely on firm file sharing and storage mechanisms to protect the confidential information of the company, their employees, and their clients.

The Shift to a Work From Home Model

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, more people are working from home than ever before. Even before the pandemic, there was a gradual shift to a work from home model. Employees enjoy working from home because it allows them a greater degree of flexibility to manage their personal and professional obligations. Many businesses enjoy having employees work from home because they can save money on real estate expenses, utility bills, and equipment.

Even though many employees will return to the office once the pandemic is under control, some employees may continue to work from home. Therefore, businesses need to plan now for how they’re going to manage file sharing and storage. When everyone is in the office, the business is in complete control of the security mechanisms employed to protect their confidential information. This is not necessarily the case when their employees work from home.

As a result, it is important to look at several industries where regulatory compliance is critical. Then, businesses need to learn how they can better regulate file sharing and storage throughout the company.

What Is the Role of File Transfers in Compliance?

File sharing and transfers are essential when it comes to business compliance. The goal of compliance is to make sure the confidential data remains confidential. That way, critical information is not tampered with, exposed, or otherwise compromised. Therefore, businesses need to make sure they have the proper controls in place to remain in compliance.

If businesses do not comply with regulations, they expose themselves to potential fines and fees. Furthermore, they could lose the faith of their customers. What regulations impact file sharing and storage across multiple Industries?

What Regulations Impact File Sharing and Storage?

There are numerous organizations and industries that are subject to strict file sharing and storage regulations. Two of the most common examples are government organizations and healthcare institutions. Common themes among the essential regulations include confidentiality and integrity. When file transfer operations do not comply with these regulations, they impact the availability, integrity, and confidentiality update. Many government regulations require organizations, including government and healthcare institutions, to provide specific levels of protection regarding confidential information.

A few examples of major regulations include:

  • The Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX): This act requires businesses to protect the integrity of their data, specifically as it relates to business performance. Companies are required to have controls in place that are designed to prevent and detect fraud. This act also puts into place specific reporting procedures related to fraud. Without proper controls, an employee can change the script on a file transfer, misrepresenting a particular aspect of business performance.
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): This requirement puts rules into place for businesses, requiring them to protect data related to payment cards. This prevents companies from exposing confidential payment information of their customers to unauthorized individuals. For example, businesses need to make sure payment information is encrypted when using the internet.
  • Basel III: This is a specific regulatory requirement that controls risk management within the banking sector. Thanks to the need to ensure the integrity and quality of their performance and risk management information—regulations related to this requirement impact how businesses can transfer their files.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): This is a specific regulation in the healthcare sector that governs how confidential your medical records can be used. Doctors and healthcare institutions are prevented from sharing confidential information about a patient’s healthcare status without permission. The act also puts encryption standards into place when transferring medical records.

These are just a few of the many regulations that could play a role in how compliance is administered across multiple industries. Organizations need to be familiar with these regulations because they could impact how they protect their files.

What Are the Most Common Requirements Across Industries?

Even though these regulations can seem intense, requirements across multiple Industries are relatively similar. Because there is substantial overlap between regulations among various industries, it is important for companies to keep a few best practices in mind. In general, these requirements ask companies to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of certain pieces of data. Then, companies need to provide an audit history when protected data is moved from place to place.

Data integrity is essential because people need to trust the information they are looking at. For example, Healthcare institutions need their doctors and nurses to understand that their medical records are correct. If businesses do not take steps to protect the integrity of the data, this can impact the faith that customers and employees have in that information. This is very important when files are being transferred from one person to another.

Confidentiality is also critical. Companies need to take steps to limit access to private information. The entire goal of this process is to make sure the data is not accessed by anyone who does not have a legitimate reason to do so. This type of requirement is common across all regulations, and it needs to be put into place when information is transferred from place to place.

The data also has to be available when needed. For example, public companies may file public reports related to the performance of the business. Therefore, financial officers who have access to those reports need to have access to the information to compile accurate reports.

Major Regulatory Issues Facing Specific Industries

Every industry needs to make sure they stay up-to-date on specific regulatory requirements. At the same time, several industries are more closely regulated than others. A few examples include:

  • Financial Industry: It is important for financial companies to stay up-to-date on all Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. If financial organizations do not take steps to remain in compliance with these anti-fraud measures, they could be facing fines.
  • Healthcare Industry: As telehealth becomes more common, more patients will be working with doctors remotely. Therefore, all health organizations need to make sure they encrypt their files when providing remote care. Otherwise, they could be facing a HIPAA violation.
  • Government Industry: Government organizations collect information on individuals all over the world. This is confidential information that must be protected, even when people are working from home. Otherwise, government organizations could be facing significant fines and penalties.

What Happens if a Business Does Not Comply with These Requirements?

While it can be a challenge for a business to stay up-to-date on all of these requirements, they need to take every possible step to do so. There are a lot of consequences that could take place if a business is not compliant with these requirements. A few possible consequences include:

  • Reputation Damage: If businesses do not stay up-to-date on these requirements, their reputations could be damaged. Customers want to work with a company that protects its data. If companies do not do so, their public images are going to be harmed. As a result, this is going to hurt their business.
  • Fines and Penalties: Businesses also need to stay up-to-date on these requirements because they could face significant fines and penalties. Many of these regulations carry steep financial penalties. If regulators realize that a company does not comply with these regulations, businesses could be hit with significant fines. There are other sanctions and penalties that companies could face as well.
  • The Loss of Trust from Partners and Clients: Finally, companies will also lose the trust of their customers and partners. Business partners want to work with companies that they know are going to protect their information. If business partners share confidential information with a business and that information is compromised, they will be hesitant to work with that organization in the future. Customers are going to think the same thing. Customers share confidential payment information with businesses. If businesses compromise that information, customers are not going to want to shop with that business again.

Clearly, businesses need to do everything they can to remain up to date on these requirements. That is where a professional-grade file-sharing solution, such as SmartFile, can help.

Rely on Professional-Grade File Sharing Solution 

Today, companies need to make sure they comply with all rules and regulations. Even though it can be a challenge to keep up with these regulations, professional-grade file sharing can make this process easier. One solution is SmartFile. We offer various features that can ensure your organization is compliant with all rules and regulations related to file sharing and storage. A few advantages you will enjoy if you decide to partner with SmartFile include:

  • Granular Permissions: You need to make sure that individuals only have access to the files they require. This is an important part of risk management. With access to granular permissions from SmartFile, you can create multiple access levels for individual files and documents. That way, individuals can only see the information they need to do their jobs.
  • Monitoring and Reporting: You need to track who has access to certain documents, when they access them, and the changes they make. This is an important part of producing a comprehensive audit. With access to monitoring and reporting features from SmartFile, you can stay up-to-date on all the changes made in documents, allowing you to remain in compliance with reporting procedures.
  • End-to-End Encryption: With more people working from home, you need to go the extra mile to ensure confidential information is adequately protected. That is why you can enjoy end-to-end encryption when you work with SmartFile. That way, you know your files will not be intercepted when they are sent from place to place. This is an important step in protecting confidential information as it is transferred from person to person.
  • HIPAA Compliance: Finally, if you are in an industry where you work with confidential medical records, you need to make sure you comply with the latest rules and regulations related to HIPAA. By partnering with SmartFile, you make sure that your file sharing and storage methods comply with HIPAA. This can reduce your level of regulatory risk, positioning your organization as an authority in the field.

If you take advantage of these advanced features from SmartFile, you can ensure a greater level of trust and confidence in your organization from business partners and clients. Furthermore, you can maintain a significant edge over other companies in your field that may be struggling to remain in compliance with these regulations. 

As the world becomes more spread out and global, file sharing and storage will only become more important. If you want to position your company to succeed in the modern era, then you need to upgrade your file sharing and storage solutions by leveraging SmartFile for your needs. Take a look at the features today.

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Related Topics & Tags: File Management File Sharing

About John Hurley

I am the CEO and Co-Founder of SmartFile. My role is to find the right people and give them the right tools and resources needed to grow both professionally and personally.

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