Cyberattacks have never been more common, making cybersecurity a top priority for many organizations. With the frequency of these data breaches constantly rising, many government institutions require businesses to comply with certain technical standards. As a response, many businesses are developing cybersecurity policies and investing in cybersecurity services through experienced cybersecurity experts.

IT Security and IT Compliance

Before committing to the proper IT systems for your business, it’s essential to understand the differences between IT security and IT compliance and to know what compliance regulations apply to your business.

In terms of technology, security refers to the protection of your company’s data from cybersecurity threats and attacks, while compliance means that your business is adhering to the regulations of cybersecurity.

Malicious entities are always looking for ways to hack information, steal sensitive data, and do other damage to companies. IT security allows businesses to block these attempts with firewalls and cyber protection services that keep hackers out of your system. 

Comparatively, compliance is a necessary part of your business operations, it doesn’t protect against cyberattacks like IT security does. To adequately protect your business from legal ramifications and data breaches alike, it’s essential to be compliant and secure with your information.

Industry-Specific Compliance Regulations

While there are compliance regulations that affect all sectors, like PCI-DSS and there are some regulations that are more industry-specific than others.


Law firms deal with highly confidential information and data breaches can harm human life. Because of that, there are strict rules and regulations for cyber-compliance.

When it comes to the legal sector, the following regulations will apply:

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Regulations: regulates those who sell and trade securities, protecting investors to maintain fair and efficient markets.
  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX): secures the public against corporate fraud and misrepresentation by overseeing financial reports.


The healthcare industry deals with a wide variety of patient information, from medical records, prescriptions, and even genetic makeup. There are many compliance laws governing the healthcare industry, a sampling  of the cyber-compliance laws in the healthcare industry includes:

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): regulates the electronic creation, storage, and transmission of protected health information from healthcare organizations and any organization that partners with them.
  • Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA): protects individuals against discrimination based on their genetic information in health coverage and in employment.


The financial sector is full of highly confidential information. Because of this, regulatory agencies hold financial companies to especially high standards. Some may or may not apply to your business needs:

  • Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLBA): protects personal financial information by requiring financial institutions to disclose what consumer information they share and why.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): regulates how companies manage personal customer data and ensure businesses can only access data after an individual has explicitly opted in.
  • Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC): prevents unauthorized disclosure within a bank’s internal networks and among shared external networks.
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction (FACT) Act: requires reasonable written policies and procedures regarding the accuracy and integrity of the consumer information that protects against identity theft
  • Patriot Act: requires businesses to properly identify the identity of any person seeking to open an account using verification.


Schools and institutions across the United States face a difficult balance of protecting students’ data while ensuring staff has open access to the tools and information they need.

Here is a list of compliance laws in the education sector:

  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): a federal law that protects the privacy of students’ educational records.
  • The Clery Act: requires schools to provide public notice of on-campus crime, report crime statistics, and take steps to prevent crimes.
  • Title IX: prohibits sex-based discrimination at institutions receiving federal funds for education programs.
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA): stipulates how businesses ought to collect and store the personal data of individuals of children under 13 years of age.


Local governments need to be aware of the complex legal and technical challenges that threaten their success and should keep up compliant with industry regulations to ensure a smooth operation.

Common compliance laws for the government sector include:

  • US breach laws: protects consumer privacy that changes from state to state.
  • European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR): affects any organization that processes personal information of any EU residents in order to maintain their privacy
  • Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA): developed by NIST, it ensures that information security management processes from federal agencies are integrated with specific planning processes.

Challenges with adhering to industry compliance

One of the most significant challenges following cybersecurity compliance is that each industry is subject to its own specific rules and regulations. If you are an employee or small business owner, you are not likely aware of the differences in rules specific to your business.

Ensuring security and compliance can save your business millions of dollars in potential fines and data breaches which can provide the longevity of your business, which is why it’s important to work with an MSP to find the best compliance integration for your business.Ready to get started? Contact our cybersecurity experts at Innovative Network Solutions Corp to get your business compliant.