Keeping Compliant: How MSPs Can Protect SMB Customers

April 4, 2011

3 Min Read
Keeping Compliant: How MSPs Can Protect SMB Customers

By Matthew Graven

In an article for Risk Magazine, Clive Davidson looks at how software-as-a-service (SaaS) may save smaller financial firms. He describes the current climate where firms, big and small, are preoccupied with changing systems and processes to comply with regulatory changes.  “But,” Davidson points out, “there is only so far the resources at many smaller institutions can be stretched.” Could a managed service be the solution to their problems?

The underlying problem has to do with the systems these firms use. Financial institutions often have custom installations that are very complicated. Altering and maintaining these systems to meet regulatory standards can require significant, costly work. Whether it is a case of hiring internal specialists to implement changes and maintain systems or a need for third-party developers, smaller firms often struggle with the financial burden brought on by dealing with regulatory changes. But the changes, which effect businesses of all sizes, are important and necessary.

More than just financial firms, Davidson’s point applies to all industries that deal with sensitive data and are therefore subject to regulatory compliance. Take healthcare providers, for instance. A private medical practice, a medium-sized clinic, and a large hospital all face the same compliance issues. But they don’t all have the same resources for updating systems and processes.

Like in the financial industry, small- and medium-size medical practices are also feeling the pressure. Fortunately, there are MSPs looking to help these organizations. On April 6, Palisade Systems, a company that specializes in data loss prevention (DLP), will be hosting a free online panel discussion covering this very topic. Titled “How Mid-Sized Health Care Organizations Can Achieve Regulatory Compliance and Rapid ROI,” the conversation will focus on the importance of having a DLP strategy.

Palisade Systems is one of those SaaS providers that can help smaller organizations to be compliant. While the company offers enterprise-level DLP solution (as an expensive appliance), Palisade Systems also offers a cloud-based monitoring solution geared for small- and medium-sized businesses. The service, called ComplianceSafe, identifies sensitive data—such as Social Security numbers, personal health info, and financial information—in outgoing email messages to prevent accidental and malicious data leaks.

Many MSPs are offering services that can help businesses to deal with DLP strategies. Some are focused specifically on DLP, like Palisade Systems, while others are adding DLP capabilities as features for larger suites of services. (Network Box USA recently added new DLP options to its services, Symantec offers a variety of cloud-based security services including email filtering and data protection, and so on.) The upcoming panel discussion, however, demonstrates a savvy approach to addressing this requirement. Businesses in all sectors can benefit from a DLP solution, and Palisade Systems sells its products and services to many industries. But next week, rather than trying to solve the problems of every business, Palisade Systems will be addressing the needs of a single niche market.

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