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As a small insurance agency, you may find it challenging to navigate matters concerning regulatory compliance for data security. Large organizations with more than 100 employees may have different security processes than an agency with a staff of 10. However, both companies must comply with security regulations.

Data security is about maintaining control over sensitive information, such as clients’ financial details, types of employees, medical questionnaires, and credit card information. Those areas of sensitive data have federal protections. As a small agency owner, the more you know about complying with these regulations, the more prepared you will be for a cybersecurity audit. Here we will cover the main compliance concerns for small agencies in more detail. 

What Is Data Security Compliance & Why Is It Necessary?

Data security means all sensitive, non-public information your company receives cannot be read, copied, deleted, or altered by non-authorized persons, including cyber criminals and hackers. It remains secure whether the information is on computers and storage systems or traveling across wireless and cellular networks.

Securing devices and networks along with encryption are crucial for protecting information. Not only will locking down sensitive data reduce the likelihood of exploitation from hackers, but it’s also a legal requirement. 

Your agency will be in compliance when it adheres to the federal and state government and insurance industry’s minimum data protection regulations. 

Types of Compliance Regulations Your Small Business Should Cover

Several compliance concerns for small agencies will apply to you, regardless of the nature of your agency, including: 

  •     Data protection and cybersecurity
  •     Payment Card Industry (PCI) for credit payments
  •     Global governance for agencies dealing with international matters

Who Has the Regulatory Compliance Burden?

A common misconception small agencies have about compliance regulations is that the IT personnel are responsible for implementing security practices. However, the burden falls on the agency’s owner. 

The IT team has no liability for the company’s security practices and compliance policies. If compliance issues are present, cybersecurity auditors will look to the agency’s owner because it is their responsibility to ensure that the company follows all necessary statutes, laws, and best practices. Even if you delegate the task to the IT team, you’re still responsible for your staff’s actions or inactions. 

How to Keep Your Small Insurance Agency in Compliance

Ensure that your insurance agency is compliant with data security regulations by:

  • Identifying and complying with laws and industry policies that affect your business and clients
  • Determining if your existing IT infrastructure, activities, policies, and data comply with the laws and policies
  • Selecting additional cybersecurity products and services to meet minimum compliance requirements if necessary
  • Obtaining necessary certifications for security products, services, and your agency’s compliance status

Training employees about compliance requirements and developing agency policies is another essential step. For instance, you can train workers how to protect sensitive information on computers using encryption. 

Understanding data security compliance and ensuring that your agency falls in line with federal, state, and industry regulations can be overwhelming for agency owners. That’s why it’s best to contact a professional IT company with a positive reputation for helping companies identify and address compliance issues. 

Whether your insurance agency consists of five people or 5,000 people, data security compliance is a must. Vine IT specializes in cybersecurity services, including compliance by industry. Schedule a consultation with Vine IT today to get started and learn more about other compliance concerns for small agencies.