Understanding Regulatory Compliance for Government Agencies
Welcome back to our series on regulatory compliance! Last week, our team provided an overview of what regulatory compliance is, how it varies based on industry, and what steps you can take to ensure your business prioritizes compliance as you move forward. This week, we are focusing on regulatory compliance for government agencies. If you didn’t know already, our operations software platform, Intra, is used by many government agencies, including VA hospitals across the country and the United States Air Force. For local, state, and federal government agencies, handling of confidential and sensitive materials is common, and having the proper precautions in place is an absolute necessity. Today, our team of government facilities software experts at SCLogic will be discussing specific compliance laws for government agencies and provide a guide to help your facility understand compliance for information technology.
Study Key Regulations Government Agencies Must Comply With
Yes, this may sound very straightforward, but before creating a full compliance plan or discussing strategies with your team, decision-makers at your government agencies should gain knowledge on the main regulations that affect government agencies and employees. This way, you can confidently teach your management team best practices and provide a clear and straightforward explanation of these regulations, because let’s face it, laws and regulations can be confusing, even for government employees. Below are some of the main organizations and regulatory agencies that work with regulatory compliance for the government.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Probably the most well-known institute, NIST, or the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is a non-regulatory government company that improves technology, metrics, and standards to encourage business competition among United States-based organizations. NIST also creates principles to help government agencies meet the requirements of the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), which we will discuss below. Furthermore, NIST creates the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS), under FISMA, which the Security of Commerce accepts, and which government agencies must abide by. At SCLogic, our team has been certified in NIST certifications for Developing Security Plans for Federal Information Systems (800-18), and Recommended Security Controls for Information Systems and Organizations (800-53), to ensure that our software is created with government safety and compliance at the forefront.
Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA)
In short, FISMA is used to require government agencies to develop, implement, and document an information security protection program. FISMA updates the federal government’s cybersecurity practices by codifying the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) authority to administer the implementation of security policies for non-national security Federal Executive Branch systems, including technical assistance and deploying new systems. Additionally, FISMA requires agencies to report major information security incidents and data breaches to Congress as they occur annually, and continuously update reporting requirements for information security incidents.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)
This standard may easily be overlooked by government agencies but is exceptionally important in the protection of consumer data. The PCI Standard was founded in 2006 by large corporations including American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa, and JCB International who share equal ownership and responsibility in the execution of their council’s management. This standard was created to protect consumer data from any card breaches, meaning any government agencies that take card payments for provisions must abide by this standard as well.
Prioritize Compliance Strategy & Management with Your Team
Regulatory compliance is not a “one-and-done” checklist item. While you may have a compliance manager that focuses on compliance changes specific to your industry, your entire management team should always remain up to date with compliance procedures and courses, as one mishap may result in extensive repercussions. Now, this doesn’t mean that you must spend time every day ensuring you’ve met compliance standards, but rather establishing a proactive strategy to keep your team feeling confident and capable of maintaining regulatory compliance.
Automate Compliance Training
If you do not have a dedicated compliance manager, it can be difficult to know where to start with teaching your employees. There are different state and federal requirements, as well as specific industry-related needs. To alleviate some of this confusion, you can use tools or resources that sort by profession and show accredited courses, as well as create a template for future trainings to save time. Additionally, make compliance training more convenient for employees by providing online or hybrid courses, as well as auto-enrolling employees in courses so they don’t have to worry about remembering themselves.
Create Transparent & Collaborative Processes
One area that is often a gap in government agencies is communication and transparent processes. So often, departments tend to remain independent of one another, as they should in some instances, however, this can be a downfall for government agencies if policies, training, and expectations are not met across the board. If certain departments are unaware of compliance protocols or do not address cybersecurity and data issues proactively, your entire organization may be held liable in the event of a failed compliance audit. By prioritizing transparency in protocol and daily communication, your team will likely be able to avoid unintentional compliance breaches.
Invest in Software that Prioritizes Security & Efficiency
Outside of daily communication and training, investing in long-term solutions can be a huge benefit to your team. With inefficient tools and technology, mishaps within your department or organization can become more likely. Dated software means more time taken away from your team, as well as a lower level of security. While it is a larger upfront cost, investing in modern, innovative, and configurable operations software such as Intra alleviates many of the pain points your team faces daily. In turn, you are able to expedite your processes and feel confident that all sensitive information is protected.
Learn More About Regulatory Compliance for Government Agencies with SCLogic
Regulatory compliance can be a difficult area to master, and we understand that. Because of this, our team here at SCLogic has made it a priority to incorporate industry-specific compliance standards within our software platform, Intra. After working with government agencies for the past twenty-five years, we have mastered the art of adapting to continued changes in regulations, as well as emerging technology. If you are looking to update your current facility operations software, wouldn’t you want the help of a team that has expertise in your sector? Yeah, we thought so. If you’re ready to learn more, email [email protected] or schedule a demo with us today! [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]