As a telecommunications services provider (TSP), you are often faced with lots of challenges, but there are two that stand out from the rest: regulatory compliance (especially in terms of data privacy), and a rapidly-changing business environment.
The dilemma here is that making non-competitive business decisions could put you at risk of losing to your competitors. On the other hand, failing to ensure regulatory compliance could result in serious losses in terms of fines or damaged reputation.
So, how do you manage and ensure your regulatory compliance while still making sure that your business thrives amidst all the competition in an unpredictable business environment? Below are a few proactive measures you can take to ensure your regulatory compliance and prepare for a changing business environment.
1. Comprehend the rules
One of the most important steps is to know what rules you have to follow in order to remain compliant with the law(s) that your business falls under. Every region has different data privacy laws, so be sure to understand the specific requirements of the region that you operate in.
2. Identify the data that you need
You should determine the data that is important to the operation of your business, but that’s not all. Be sure to pay attention to the methods that you have to use to collect and process the data.
Doing so will allow you to decide where the boundaries of compliance lie. You may even choose to go over this with your legal team.
3. Know where the data is
It’s imperative to identify the sources of the data, how it’s collected, who processes it and how, where it goes after that, etc. This will allow you to devise processes that ensure secure storage and usage of all sensitive information without infringing upon the data privacy laws.
4. Educate your employees
Be sure to train all of your staff so they know how to handle sensitive information and preserve its integrity and confidentiality at all times, especially in cases where customer data needs to be shared with third parties (sub-contractors).
5. Maintain secure hosting of data
Another important step in managing telecom regulatory compliance is to maintain strict policies that govern the hosting of all customer data. This includes keeping it securely on servers that can guarantee its availability and confidentiality.
This also means choosing the right third-party service providers to work with. There are also specific rules about who can have access to customer data, so make sure you only give the permissions necessary for the tasks at hand.
6. Know your cyber security procedures
It’s crucial to ensure that your company has a cyber security strategy in place, which includes all the necessary firewalls, online database security systems, etc.
You should also have an incident response plan ready for any eventuality. This means knowing what needs to be done when data gets compromised or stolen by hackers.
7. Have a business continuity plan
It’s also important to have a plan in place for when you experience downtime or an unexpected business interruption. With the mobile-first business environment, this is more important than ever, so keep on top of it.
8. Test your data security measures
Remember that data security measures are only useful if they’re actually used and tested every time. To ensure that they actually work, you need to perform regular penetration tests and vulnerability scans.
This will let you know about any gaps in your data security measures and give you a chance to fill them before they become a problem.
9. Keep track of your applications
Pay close attention to the cyber security measures of all onsite or cloud-based applications that you use to handle sensitive information. Make sure your service providers can guarantee the same level of security that you do for all data-handling processes.
10. Be proactive in data management
The final step is to make sure you implement the latest technological advancements when it comes to storing or handling data. This means adopting new security measures, new storage methods, etc., so that your processes are up to date and compliant with the latest data privacy laws.
Most importantly, work with experts
Most companies avoid hiring telecom regulatory compliance experts or consultants, thinking it’s too expensive or not worth the money.
However, their insight is invaluable for carrying out all of the necessary procedures and tasks in a timely manner without infringing data privacy laws.
Today, telecom regulatory compliance is an ongoing process that needs to be handled carefully at every step. It’s also extremely complex, so having experts from a company like FAStek(Inteserra) on board is the best way to go.
In addition to helping with communications regulatory compliance, telecom regulatory compliance consultants will also make sure that you are remitting the required communication taxes. That way, you can concentrate on your core business without worrying about whether or not you are compliant.