Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory Compliance

Compliance regulations are a major driver for security in organizations of all kinds. They define not only the scope and parameters for the risk and security architectures of an organization, but also the liability for those organizations that fail to comply.

Current trends in regulatory compliance include the following:

  • Strengthened enforcement
  • Global spread of data breach notification laws
  • More prescriptive regulations
  • Growing requirements regarding third parties (business partners)
  • Risk-based compliance on the rise
  • Compliance process streamlined and automated

The following list describes several examples of compliance regulations. The list has a United States bias. Other jurisdictions may have similar regulations, and the list is not intended to be comprehensive.

  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard: The PCI DSS is a proprietary information security standard for organizations that handle branded credit cards from the major card brands including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB. Private label cards, which are without a logo from a major card brand, are not included in the scope of the PCI DSS.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act: On the healthcare side, the HIPAA legislation, which was enacted in 1996, required the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop a set of national standards for healthcare transactions. These standards provide assurance that the electronic transfer of confidential patient information will be as safe as, or safer than, paper-based patient records.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act: The SOX Act of 2002 is legislation that was passed by the U.S. Congress to protect shareholders and the general public from accounting errors and fraudulent practices in the enterprise, as well as improve the accuracy of corporate disclosures. The law was created in response to several major corporate and accounting scandals, including those affecting Enron, Tyco International, Peregrine Systems, and WorldCom. These scandals resulted in a decline of public trust in accounting and reporting practices.
  • Federal Information Security Management Act: The FISMA of 2002 was intended to bolster computer and network security within the U.S. government and affiliated parties by requiring yearly audits. FISMA also brought attention within the U.S. government to cybersecurity, which the U.S. government had previously largely neglected.
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: The GLBA of 1999 erased longstanding antitrust laws that prohibited banks, insurance companies, and securities firms from merging and sharing information with one another. The idea was that smaller firms would then be able to pursue acquisitions or alliances, or both, that would help encourage competition against many of the larger financial institutions. Included in the GLBA were several consumer privacy protections. Namely, companies must tell their customers what kinds of data they plan to share and with whom, and they must give their customers a chance to opt out of that data sharing.
  • Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act: The PIPEDA the PIPED Act is a Canadian law relating to data privacy. It governs how private sector organizations collect, use, and disclose personal information while conducting commercial business.
  • Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC): The Directive 95/46/EC (on the protection of individuals regarding the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data) is a European Union directive that was adopted in 1995 which regulates the processing of personal data within the European Union.
  • Basel II: Basel II is the second of the Basel Accords, which are recommendations on banking laws and regulations that are issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Basel II, initially published in June 2004, was intended to create an international standard for banking regulators to control how much capital banks need to put aside to guard against the types of financial and operational risks banks face.
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act: The DMCA is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services that are intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, regardless of actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet.
  • Safe Harbor Act: Related to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) principles and their impact on international trade is the regulatory framework of a Safe Harbor Agreement. From the EU perspective, data transfer can happen only if there is a determination of adequate privacy processes and safeguards in place. The EU does not automatically grant that assurance of adequacy for non-EU member nations, like the United States or Canada does. To facilitate data transfer, to enable international trade, and to bridge any privacy differences, the EU, and United States, through the Department of Commerce, have developed a Safe Harbor framework that satisfies the adequacy requirement.
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