Your customers are facing increased scrutiny from regulating bodies when it comes to data management. Learn how to assist your customers on the road to compliance with tools and support.

5 Min Read

Modern consumers have more options than ever when it comes to selecting whom to conduct business with. While people may have once been confined to the options in their geographical vicinity, advancements in eCommerce and rapid order fulfillment mean that your customers are competing on a much larger scale to win business.

To differentiate themselves in the marketplace, organizations of all sizes are increasingly relying on technology, applications and collection of consumer data that will allow them to tailor their offerings to specific audiences. These customized experiences help organizations stand out among the competition and create positive interactions that facilitate customer loyalty and retention.

While this all seems positive, the collection and use of consumer data across various solutions and platforms can have drastic unintended consequences for your customers should a data breach occur, including fines and loss of consumer trust. To protect consumer privacy, regulating bodies from various industries and governments have created rules and guidelines regarding how this data can be stored and collected. Noncompliance with these regulations can subject your customers to heavy penalties and fines.

With this in mind, partners and MSSPs must have the tools and expertise needed to support customers who aim to secure business-critical data in accordance with various regulations.

Data Management and Security Requirements

The growing number of data management regulations that your customers must contend with derives from the trend of consumer empowerment over the past several years. Consumers want more say over who can collect their data and how it can be used, to avoid instances of fraud and other consequences of data breaches.

This has resulted in the creation of rules such as GDPR, PCI DSS, California Consumer Privacy Act, HIPAA, FISMA and more. Not all of these regulations will apply to all of your customers, based on where they conduct business and their industry. However, for others, several of these regulations will apply. Partners will need to help customers sort through which regulations are applicable and how to meet compliance for several disparate standards.

One of the main challenges your customers will encounter when tackling regulatory requirements for data management is getting visibility into how data is used and where it is stored. Many organizations are leveraging tools and applications to communicate with consumers, while others are adopting hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

This increases the chances that data is being stored in multiple places or that duplicate data may exist across the network. This network complexity adds risk due to lack of visibility into where data is stored, the level of security in place across each of these locations, and who has access to this data. Generally, a security best practice when it comes to compliance is to limit data access to only those who require it to perform their jobs.

How Partners Can Help Customers Meet Regulatory Requirements

There are a host of ways that partners can help their customers ensure compliance with regulatory standards. Partners should consider the following strategies as they work to bring their customers into compliance:

Cyber Threat Assessment: Partners and MSSPs can offer guidance on which regulations apply, and where customers will need to fortify their defenses in order to achieve compliance. An effective way to do this is to conduct a cyber threat assessment. For example, with the Cyber Threat Assessment Program, Fortinet Partners can deploy a FortiGate Firewall to monitor the customer network for a few days. The threat assessment will then reveal where security gaps exist in the network. By cross-referencing this information with compliance standards, partners can establish a clear roadmap for which security controls must be deployed to meet data management needs without increasing network complexity.

Network Access Controls: Partners can also help customers avoid third-party risk. As stated, many of your customers are partnering with third-party vendors that may be deploying applications or devices within the network. These devices and apps increase the attack surface and are harder for IT teams to secure as they are not company-owned. Regardless, a breach or mishandling of data due to a third party will still put your customer at fault with most regulating bodies. Partners can work with their customers to deploy network access controls (NACs). NACs offer visibility into every device on the network, as well as evaluations of the level of security that exists on these devices. If devices or users exhibit suspicious behavior, the NAC can automatically isolate the device from the broader network to ensure it does not gain access to critical areas of the network.

Access Management and Intent-Based Segmentation: Partners and MSSPs can also help customers determine effective trust policies and deploy access management controls that will keep unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data. Leveraging the concept of intent-based segmentation, partners can enable customers to dynamically segment their networks using internal segmentation firewalls based on a variety of security policies. This policy-driven segmentation will allow IT teams to assign various levels of inspection across devices and users. This is especially helpful where multiple regulations are at play, as each policy can be applied.

Using an architectural security fabric approach, each tool can be integrated to ensure visibility and minimal complexity. Each security control is connected, allowing them to work together to respond to security events with regular updates on new attack trends and vulnerabilities.

Final Thoughts

The collection and analysis of consumer data is what allows organizations to provide the custom offerings that modern consumers demand. However, with regulations increasing with severe penalties, a focus on compliance and security it essential. This is where partners can create value for their consumers–identifying at-risk areas and bringing them into compliance.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Read more about:

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like