Fortify and Comply

Unleashing the Power of Secure IT Services

Organizations, including non-profit organizations, face unprecedented challenges in safeguarding sensitive information and valuable assets in today’s ever-evolving landscape. This page explores the essential aspects of cybersecurity and compliance and how an experienced managed IT service provider with CIO-level expertise like TenisiTech can help. Click here to set up a complimentary consultation and take the first step toward personalized solutions for your organization.

Some leaders may confuse cybersecurity with compliance, and while these two concepts are interconnected, distinct differences exist.

Defining Cybersecurity and IT Compliance

Cybersecurity is the practice of proactive intervention of potential security threats. It safeguards networks, data, and computer systems from unauthorized access or attacks. Organizations can employ a wide range of measures to mitigate cybersecurity attacks, including but not limited to antivirus software, user education, and encryption used to protect digital assets.

Conversely, IT compliance relates to particular regulatory standards and guidelines established by governing bodies, legal authorities, or internal standard operating procedures. Regulatory compliance can vary by location or industry, and it’s just as crucial for non-profit sectors. Some common compliance protocols are CCPA, HIPAA, PCI DSS, GDPR, and SOC 2. Compliance procedures involve strict implementation, auditing, and reporting.

Cybersecurity’s primary concern is shielding an organization from cyber threats, be it a multinational corporation or a local non-profit, while IT compliance concerns meeting regulatory standards. Cybersecurity measures can contribute to IT compliance by protecting data and systems. However, IT compliance is a broader area that extends beyond cybersecurity, taking into account important details such as privacy and risk management.

Foundational Practices for Security and Compliance

Training and enforcement should be your organization’s top priority. You want to ensure that your staff is as well trained in IT security and cybersecurity compliance as they are with your business operational compliance. Many businesses wait until everything is on fire before they treat compliance and security with the gravity they deserve. Don’t wait until you receive a fee demand from the Attorney General’s office, or even worse, are facing a data breach incident to start thinking seriously about IT compliance and security. 

A significant first step in any compliance program is developing a set of written policies that you and your employees can reference at any time. Education is your first line of defense with any compliance program. Users should be familiar with rules and expectations. These written policies should include proper training protocols for different roles. Remember, it only takes one mistake from one improperly trained team member to leave a system vulnerable to attacks or the business open to costly litigation. 

It’s important to understand that those old Hollywood depictions of hoodie-clad hackers hunched over their keyboards while they break into a database are wildly outdated. Real-life cyberattacks can come from anyone and are often a product of successful social engineering. 90% of attacks start with a simple phishing email. Suppose a hacker can trick an employee, even in a non-profit, into handing over access to a system. In that case, there is a good chance they will succeed in their disruption, whether by stealing data, injecting harmful code, or even acting as that employee should they get access to an email address. 

While various security and IT compliance aspects can differ by industry, you should always employ foundational practices. These foundational practices will help protect your business from cyberattacks like dangerous phishing attempts, ransomware, and security breaches. Similarly, a robust compliance program will mitigate operational interruption. 

Let’s explore the benefits of engaging an IT managed service provider such as TenisiTech to ensure comprehensive compliance coverage and cybersecurity for your business, or non-profit organization.

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Introduction to Ransomware Protection

Security Breach and Risk Mitigation

Foundations of Cybersecurity

Learn More About Ransomware

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IT Roles in Compliance

Any company’s compliance programs expand past cybersecurity. Every industry has its own set of rules and regulations that need to be complied with. Enforcing compliance within these sets of regulatory rules is imperative to any business. Organizations risk potentially damaging legal ramifications if compliance isn’t followed, including high fees, shutdowns, and reputational damage. When you take compliance seriously, you signal to potential clients, vendors, and partners that you are trustworthy. That’s why IT roles in compliance are essential. 

Compliance is a complex and far reaching area of any business, and varies by industry. In this section, we will cover Soc 2 Type 2, CCPA and other privacy regulations, industry-specific compliance protocols such as HIPAA, and PCI DSS. 

SOC 2 Type 2

SOC 2 Type 2 (Service Organization Control 2 Type 2) is a very popular certification that helps build trust in your company. It shows third-party validation that your organization adheres to strict protocols that evaluate controls and processes to protect data and information. Businesses typically work with a firm to assess the organization’s controls. The criteria include security, processing, confidentiality, and privacy, measured over a specific continuous period, usually over six months. The final SOC 2 Type 2 report details the company’s controls and effectiveness. The report will also highlight any gaps in the process or areas of improvement. You must address these gaps immediately. SOC 2 Type 2 is not a one-and-done certification. It requires ongoing monitoring and renewal. 

CCPA & Evolving Privacy Regulations

Many companies have been scrambling to align with California’s CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) since its inception in 2020. Any organization doing business in California must adhere to the CCPA or face serious legal ramifications. Compliance with CCPA includes following rules such as cookie consent banners, privacy policies that indicate compliance and options for customers to request or delete their data, and a well-trained team that can handle these privacy requests. If your company has no privacy policy already in place, it’s time to get writing.

You may now think, “I don’t do business in California, so who cares?” You would be wrong. California set the stage with the CCPA, but several other states have followed suit. You must also worry about Colorado (CPA), Connecticut (CTDPA), Utah (UCPA), and Virginia (VCDPA), with many more to follow. It’s likely that within the coming years, the federal government will pass a privacy law. Will you be prepared when it does? 

Industry-Specific Compliance Standards

Many compliance standards vary by industry. Do you work in the healthcare field? If so, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) should be a compliance standard you live by and should reflect in the way your systems are managed and protected. Do you work in the motor vehicle industry? The DPPA (Driver’s Privacy Protection Act) must be adhered to strictly, less facing high fees and other punitive measures by regulatory bodies. 

Every industry has its own set of regulatory compliance standards. A deep understanding of the corresponding regulations for your business is paramount before writing and enforcing policies. 


Another standard set of regulations is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or PCI DSS. The PCI DSS is a set of rules protecting consumer debit and credit card information. There are 12 requirements for PCI compliance, many of which are foundational cybersecurity rules. While the PCI is not a government organization, PCI compliance is mandatory for compliance with the major credit card brands. The last thing you want for your business is for Visa, Mastercard, or American Express to deny you processing rights. 

IT’s Role in Compliance

All of these regulations involve data collection and security, which puts them under the purview of the IT department. They align closely with standard cybersecurity rules, although each requirement may differ. 

The great news is that you can leverage many fantastic SaaS-based compliance frameworks to help build and maintain regulatory standards, and we would love to recommend our favorites to you!

Many third-party IT providers focus on security and technical support, but a rare few, including TenisiTech, include compliance in their services. Our IT programs are ISO27001 compliant, and we’re incredibly familiar with HIPAA, NIST security, SOC 2 Type 2, CCPA, GDPR, PCI, and more! Let us be your partner in building and maintaining system and compliance integrity. 

Maintaining Compliance Through Internal IT Audits

Internal IT audits are one of the most essential services we provide and are integral to the security of your system. Simply put, an internal audit is your opportunity to check on your cybersecurity and compliance programs to ensure that everything is sealed up and secured. Like phishing simulations, you will want to test your security before a hacker starts testing it! Don’t leave yourself open to these malicious attacks. Similarly, you don’t want to face litigation from a consumer with compromised information in ways that may violate certain laws or regulations. 

An IT security provider will often take on the internal auditor role because we know exactly how the system should run. An internal audit involves visiting different departments within your organization and looking deeply into their processes and protocols. For example, we might ask the HR department to show us evidence of recent background checks on new hires to ensure the collection of all critical data before the employee’s start date. If your company is CCPA compliant, we might look at the data collection diary to ensure everything is properly documented and handled. We want what’s best for your business, which means preparing you for any gaps in your processes. 

Some companies prefer to handle their own internal audits, but many choose to bring in an outside managed service provider like TenisiTech. An internal audit is a wonderful practice run before initiating an external auditor for attestation reviews (such as with SOC 2 Type 2 reports). Internal audits help discover hidden gaps, especially if you have your own cybersecurity team. Getting an outside viewpoint on your system can help you spot flaws and holes you might never have noticed.

It’s easy to set up a secure and compliant system when working with professionals. However, internal audits are an essential piece of the puzzle to maintain security and compliance. Think of cybersecurity and compliance as living, breathing entities in your organization that will evolve over time. You don’t want them to collect dust and become outdated, leaving you vulnerable. Be sure to stick to a strict schedule of audits and enforce them with your team. We recommend quarterly audits. 

The greatest danger in the cybersecurity world is complacency. Now is not the time to relax and assume your systems and operations have no gaps. That line of thinking will leave you dangerously open to ransomware or other cybersecurity attacks. You don’t have to be alone in this. TensiTech is here to help. 

What’s Next?

Now that you have a comprehensive overview of cybersecurity and compliance foundations, you know that the best defense is a good offense. Be proactive! Provide written policies and training to your employees, and then enforce them. The frequency of cyberattacks increases exponentially every single year. Ensuring your data is secure and fully compliant with regulatory compliance standards has never been more critical. 

The worst thing any business can do is become complacent about security. Are your employees using MFA? What about using a password manager? Could your password rules be improved? Is your organization using next-gen antivirus software? Are you running phishing simulations regularly? Are you patching and updating software often? If you’re unsure or unhappy with the answers to these questions, it’s time to get proactive about security! The scammers, hackers, and bad guys are becoming more sophisticated daily. Stay ahead of their insidious games. 

We know that managing IT can be tough. If you need cybersecurity help, TenisiTech is always here to assist. Don’t settle for a reactive service provider when you can have a proactive one. We’ve been helping businesses with IT services for over ten years and are thrilled to bring our knowledge and experience to your organization. 

Learn more about how working with the right IT security provider can improve your cybersecurity. Reach out today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We look forward to partnering with you.