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8 Elements of a Business Impact Analysis for Compliance

A compliance program helps businesses like yours minimize risk and increase business efficiencies. It also ensures that your business complies with relevant laws and industry regulations.

An essential element of an effective compliance program is Business Impact Analysis (BIA). It measures the impact of a disruption (due to an accident, disaster, etc.) on critical business operations.

You must conduct a BIA to:

  1. Identify gaps in the existing compliance agreements (whether regulatory like HIPAA, GDPR or CMMC).
  2. Ensure compliance with cyber liability insurance policies and other IT compliance policies unique to your organization, industry, geography, etc.

Conducting a BIA for compliance

There is no fixed method for conducting a BIA. It varies from one business to the next. However, to achieve compliance, a BIA must:

  1. Identify critical processes and functions.
  2. Draft a roadmap for business recovery.
  3. Find out resource interdependencies.
  4. Track the flow of sensitive data.
  5. Determine the impact of an incident on operations.
  6. Sort processes and functions based on their necessity for business continuity.
  7. Establish recovery time requirements.
  8. Evaluate the impact a disruption will have on compliance.

To get started, you can ask challenging questions, such as:

1. What steps do you need to take immediately to become compliant?

This question helps detect the compliance gaps that need urgent attention. A few common compliance gaps you may encounter are: 

  • Improper firewall management.
  • Lack of documentation of sensitive data flow.
  • Poor incident prevention practices.
  • Failure to document preventative measures.
2. Do you have a data governance strategy in place that considers compliance requirements relevant to your organization?

An effective data governance strategy ensures that data gets managed well, making data management compliant with internal and external regulations.

3. How long will it take to bridge known compliance gaps?

It is essential to fill compliance gaps as quickly as you can. If it's going to take too long, you should consider outsourcing your compliance matters to an experienced IT service provider like us.

4. Do you have in-house expertise?

If you have a compliance specialist employed at your business, they can manage the compliance gaps efficiently.

5. Even if you have in-house expertise, can the work be completed within an acceptable timeframe?

Having in-house expertise won't be helpful if filling the compliance gaps takes too long. The longer the issues remain unresolved, the more opportunity there is for vulnerabilities to result in data exposure and data loss incidents and could attract regulatory fines.

6. Does it make sense to have a partner to accomplish your compliance goals?

Sometimes, having a partner who can effectively manage your compliance-related issues will be more convenient for your business. With the help of a partner, you can address vulnerabilities much faster and reduce the likelihood of your organization suffering non-compliance-related fines.

In addition to conducting or refreshing your BIA at least once a year, you must ensure that regular risk assessments are part of your non-compliance hunting strategy. Using BIA and risk assessments ensures that nothing inadvertently falls out of compliance.

Regular risk assessments help detect, estimate and prioritize risks to an organization's individuals, assets and operations. While a risk assessment lets you know your business's risks, a BIA helps you understand how to quickly get your business back on track after an incident to avoid severe damages.

Implement an effective compliance program

Achieving and maintaining compliance on your own can be challenging, especially if you don't have the resources and expertise to keep up with changes in compliance frameworks. This can lead to inefficient processes and increased risk. By partnering with an experienced IT service provider like us, you can effortlessly enhance your compliance program without spending a fortune. Contact us now to schedule a no-obligation consultation to see if we're the right partner for your business.