Compliance standards like the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), or even the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are part of everyday living.
The world has become obsessed with compliance, primarily out of necessity. This has changed how many industries, employees, and businesses view regulations. Enterprise government, risk, and compliance (eGRC) will have a projected market value of $75.24 billion by 2028. Larger firms report that the average cost to maintain compliance can be up to $10,000 per employee. The real and often hidden opportunity in this market lies with helping organizations maintain their compliance standards. Channel partners can play a critical role in managing the numerous cybersecurity, risk management, and IT responsibilities associated with regulatory compliance, particularly in payment processing and healthcare.
A Partnership Approach to Payment Processing Compliance
Every retailer in the U.S. that processes payments must conform to PCI DSS, comprising a set of 12 requirements. These dozen requirements are designed to protect data that is processed, transmitted, and stored during manual or electronic payment transactions. Many smaller businesses can easily integrate with PCI DSS-compliant payment processors, such as Square or Stripe.
However, larger businesses have a more extensive technology footprint that requires constant maintenance of equipment, processes, systems, and personnel. While it might be tempting not to pursue full PCI compliance, the risks of getting hacked and being found not in compliance make a bad situation worse. This is where a channel partner, reseller, or managed service provider focused on payment processing services can help.
As PCI compliance becomes more complex, with tighter regulations on customer data, being a reliable compliance channel partner is more important than ever. Versatility is also key; after all, compliance calculus is as much about data protection and privacy as it is about technology integration. According to a recent source, “It’s important to find a partner that can provide all options — whether it’s a quick button that takes your customer to a different website, a single sign-on experience, or a secure tokenization widget that can be embedded into your complex workflow.” Channel partners should focus on getting into the game and teaching organizations how to successfully comply with applicable regulations, helping them to avoid the worry of random industry audits.
Navigating the Complexities of Healthcare Compliance
HIPAA is a set of federal regulations designed to protect patient rights and data. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers have adopted increasing telehealth and remote work options, adding to the complexity of HIPAA compliance and technology integration. Channel partners can assist with HIPAA compliance, but many find keeping up with ever-changing regulations to be challenging.
Previously, MSPs would focus on the technology, and their clients would retain expertise in HIPAA. But those days are over. Sam Ingalls highlights the urgency and opportunities in the new healthcare compliance landscape: “According to the HIPAA Journal, over 2 million Business Associates and subcontractors aren’t aware of their HIPAA obligations. This gap presents an opportunity for MSPs to offer HIPAA compliance tools to an ocean of organizations that could face penalties for noncompliance.”
Traditionally, MSPs and VARs focused on the technology part of the equation. But the people side of the HIPAA business also needs a lot of attention. Channel partners can gain quick traction by offering healthcare companies customized education and compliance training. This can range from training employees who handle PHI on industry best practices to security awareness workshops on avoiding phishing schemes. Awareness of the top HIPAA IT compliance tools is also an important starting point for advising clients on the best integration of people, processes, and technology across their organization.
At the end of the day, HIPAA compliance is a wide-open market with immense opportunities for those with the knowledge, interest, and savvy to offer these specialized services. As one MSP-turned HIPAA expert has shared, “Channel partners should not be afraid of compliance. It’s not difficult. And if you can use your knowledge to stand out from the competition, you can talk to prospective clients about HIPAA as opposed to servers and desktops. It’s a good way to seize the market opportunity and grow your client base.”
Companies fear compliance audits and fines almost as much as being hacked or breached. As the eGRC market continues to rapidly expand, qualified channel partners who can help navigate the tricky compliance landscape will find no shortage of opportunities. Those who combine expertise in security technology with customer-centric and employee-focused training will easily set themselves apart by enabling organizations to raise the compliance bar far above a hacker’s easy reach.