Understanding Regulatory Compliance and Making It Work on Your Web Site

September 5, 2022

All companies, regardless of their industry or size, must operate in compliance with specific government rules and regulations. In fact, regulatory compliance refers to a set of rules that businesses must abide by under the law. For instance, it could entail following the guidelines the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established to provide a secure working environment for your staff members. Or it could require adhering to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) regulations that guarantee impartial hiring procedures.

Some regulations are specific to certain industries—for instance, food-industry regulations that cover the entire supply chain—and ensure the safety of specific types of products. Of course, food-industry standards are very different from those for the financial-services sector—some of which concentrate on cybersecurity and the secure handling of sensitive data.

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What Is Regulatory Compliance?

Regulatory compliance refers to an organization’s observance of rules, laws, directives, and specifications that pertain to its operational procedures. The federal government frequently imposes fines and other legal penalties for regulatory-compliance violations.

Laws and regulations that cover compliance with regulatory requirements include the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Why Is Regulatory Compliance Important?

Since the turn of the century, the numbers of rules that businesses must follow have increased significantly, so regulatory-compliance management has grown in importance for many businesses. Organizations have created corporate, chief, and regulatory-compliance officers, as well as other compliance-management jobs, as a result of these developments. Hiring personnel whose sole responsibility is making sure that a firm complies with strict, complex legal requirements and relevant legislation is one of the main job functions of these positions.

Regulatory compliance processes and strategies guide organizations as they work to achieve their business goals. Audit results that demonstrate compliance aid businesses in promoting themselves to clients. Vendors can demonstrate compliance with rules such as SOX, for instance, by using Service Organization Control 1 (SOC 1) reports. Encouraging client trust in your business by being open and honest about your compliance procedures could also help your company be more profitable.

Why Do You Need to Make Your Web Site Legally Compliant?

It is indisputable that companies must now have an online presence. Their Web sites are necessary tools that enable them to become visible in the digital world. The number of restrictions governing how organizations can join this online market is growing, along with the growth in Internet usage. Businesses that violate data-protection laws risk receiving large fines.

Web Designers Must Also Know the Legal Requirements for Web Sites

Given the extensive technical, design, and marketing knowledge that one needs to learn Web design, it is understandable that some Web designers might find it burdensome to become aware of the legal requirements for the Web sites they’re building for their clients as well. But knowing these requirements is a crucial aspect of operating a Web-design business.

An error in a Web site’s design could result in legal issues for both the Web designer and the Web-site owner. In addition to ensuring that Web-site owners avoid exposure to any regulatory-compliance issues, being able to effectively demonstrate their awareness of the legal requirements for a Web site could give Web designers and their Web-design businesses a competitive edge.

Benefits of Implementing Regulatory Compliance in Your Business

Implementing the policies and procedures that are necessary to achieve compliance has a number of advantages. A thorough policy and compliance-management program can assist your organization in developing internal procedures that not only help you receive the necessary certification but also benefit your business as a whole. This can enhance the attainment of your business goals. Read on for information about some specific benefits of regulatory compliance for your organization.

1. Minimizes Risks

Compliance with data laws not only guarantees that you meet regulatory requirements but also safeguards your company against the potentially disastrous impacts of a data breach. The reputational harm and severe financial losses that can be the result of a data breach could be catastrophic for your business.

2. Ensures Higher Efficiency

Efficiency is necessary for all businesses. Increasing revenues or cutting costs are the two major strategies for boosting your profit margins. Comprehensive policies and compliance-management procedures that help satisfy regulatory standards can help your organization achieve greater efficiency. Tracking Web-site changes can also be helpful. Plus, regulatory compliance can make your Web site and business more adept at data management and security, ensuring the effective transmission, storage, archiving, and deletion of data.

3. Improves Brand Reputation

Any successful business is built on a foundation of trust. Customers rely on an organization to deliver the goods and services they request and, in this Internet age, to safeguard their private information as well.

Staying compliant increases the confidence that customers and stakeholders have in your Web site and brand. Compliance also signifies that your Web site and business have met specific criteria to satisfy regulatory standards, thereby enhancing your brand’s reputation.

4. Enhances the Alignment of Insights and Business Strategy

In business, you can manage only what you can measure. By providing the data that you need to organize and manage your operations, regulatory-compliance procedures can give you better insights into your company. They can also help you to develop new strategies to expand your business, improve efficiency, and ward off any potential risks by gaining a thorough understanding of your company’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as its opportunities and threats.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your Web site in compliance with the many rules and regulations that exist—from cookies and consent policies to your standard privacy policy—might feel like a chore. But, in the end, you’ll save yourself and your business time, money, and hassles if you prioritize meeting Web-site legal requirements and regulatory compliance.

However, keep in mind that ensuring your Web site complies with all applicable laws and regulations is a dynamic process that calls for ongoing learning and maintenance. Regulatory compliance is not typically a one-off process. Therefore, if you want to make sure that your business succeeds, it is imperative that you continuously assess and stay current with local, national, and international regulations. 

CEO of Fluxguard

Portland, Oregon, USA

Peter BrayPeter is an AI practitioner with a keen interest in competitive intelligence and Web change monitoring. His Portland-based company, Fluxguard, provides a unique type of cloud-based Web change monitoring to protect business Web sites.  Read More

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