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5 common compliance standards enterprises should know about

In this post, we’ll spell out the five most common compliance standards for organizations today, including tips on how to improve your compliance policies.

Amy Kirkham
By Amy Kirkham Content Marketing Manager

Workplace compliance can be a headache to understand. There’s a lot to learn and make sense of, and regulations can change as soon as you get your head around them. Compliance standards exist to make sure you follow all the rules and regulations—without cutting corners. 

For enterprise organizations especially, it’s important to stay on top of the most common workplace compliance standards. Despite their confusing acronyms, compliance standards are designed to protect your organization, including your sensitive information and data. 

In this post, we’ll go over five of the most common compliance standards enterprises should know about. What’s more, we’ll share with you some tips and tricks to improve your compliance policies. Let’s dive in.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDPR is a personal data privacy regulation from the European Union (EU), created to protect the privacy of European citizens. The EU passed it in response to corporate abuses in sales and disclosure of user information for marketing and research. If your company offers goods or services to EU citizens, then GDPR applies to you: any entities that process the personal data of EU citizens need to comply.

This can be as simple as having a customer, client, or vendor from the EU visit your workplace. In order to keep your visitor management process GDPR compliant, you’ll want to consider:

  • Getting explicit consent from visitors. Allow visitors to opt-out of data storage when they sign in. If a visitor does not consent to data collection, give them another way to sign in.
  • Disclosing data usage. The GDPR requires that you disclose how individuals’ data will be used. With digital visitor management, companies can display custom data use policies directly within the sign-in flow.

Service Organization Controls (SOC 1 & SOC 2)

SOC is a suite of reports established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) relating to the cybersecurity of an organization. SOC certified organizations undergo regular audits involving the controls over information technology and related processes, policies, and operational procedures. SOC 1 and SOC 2 are the most common.

    • SOC 1. SOC 1 compliance is relevant to business services that process private individual data related to financial statements, such as payroll management (for a company’s employees and customers).
    • SOC 2. SOC 2 specifically focuses on data security compliance around five trust service principles: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. Obtaining SOC 2 certification means that you need oversight into who, what, when, where, and how people had access to your facilities and technology. That’s where access control and visitor management come into play. 

Hot tip! Access control and visitor management systems can help you meet the security goals of your SOC 2 certification. These two, when integrated together, provide an auditable, real-time tracking of both employee and visitor data. Here are a few features to look out for:

  • Visitor and employee logs. Maintain secure, digital visitor and employee logs that capture data about who is on-site, when they check in and out, and what parts of the building they accessed.
  • Visitor identification verification. Use photo capture, ID checks, and blocklists to verify your visitor’s identity and approve or deny access to those who are not permitted
  • Visitor and employee badges. Create badges that identify employees and visitors and properly give them access to the appropriate areas of your workplace.

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)

ITAR is mainly relevant to the manufacturing industry and is designed to help ensure that defense-related technology does not get into the wrong hands. If your company deals with defense-related services, products, or technical data, you are most likely familiar with ITAR compliance. 

Record-keeping, visitor scanning, and tracking are key elements in ITAR compliance. This is where your secure visitor management system can help you maintain an ITAR-compliant visitor logbook. Your visitor management system should keep detailed reports to assist with audits, security protocols, and on-premises visitor controls.

Hot tip! An ITAR-compliant visitor management system can help organizations meet ITAR’s regulations around verifying citizenship and visitor access by:

  • Verifying visitor identity by capturing photos, checking ID’s, pre-registering visitors; then denying access to those who are not permitted
  • Creating different sign-in flows based on country of origin or citizenship
  • Capturing and storing necessary information, like requiring the visitor choose their country of origin or citizenship
  • Requiring a host, with the option to display the host’s name on the visitor badge
  • Customizing visitor badges based on authorization levels

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

HIPAA is US legislation that requires that  individuals’ protected health information (PHI) be kept private and secure by any “covered health entity.” This includes health providers, health plans, hospitals, insurers, and health clearinghouses that process health information, as well as any business associates that assist these organizations with their work. Two of the main components of HIPAA are the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule.

  • The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires that protected health information be kept private and only disclosed when necessary to deliver care or to facilitate payment for services.
  • The HIPAA Security Rule requires that health information be stored and transmitted securely. This is especially important with the shift to electronic health records, digital platforms, and the expansion of telehealth.

For a healthcare organization to be HIPAA compliant, administrative, physical, and technical safeguards need to be in place to protect electronic protected health information. This, of course, includes keeping track of who visits the workplace, including employees, facility operations staff, outside vendors, pharmaceutical salespeople, and healthcare contractors.

International Organization for Standardization 27001 (ISO 27001)

ISO 27001 is the leading international standard focused on information security. These standards are concerned with information management and security systems. They cover information relating to employees, finances, and intellectual property, among others. 

ISO 27001 provides a framework to help organizations, of any size or any industry, to protect their information in a systematic and cost-effective way, with specific requirements related to the organization. One of the specific requirements relates to workplace access control and physical security. In order to maintain ISO 27001 compliance, organizations need to create an access control policy

Hot tip! ISO 27001 specifies the need to establish, document and review the access control policy periodically–meaning that a documented policy is mandatory! Here are seven areas to include to structure your policy effectively:

  1. Introduction
  2. Policy statement
  3. Roles and responsibilities
  4. Information/systems access
  5. User registration/de-registration
  6. Secure log-on requirements
  7. Physical access controls

Organizations will continue to be in the hot seat when it comes to compliance. Recent legislation changes such as stricter consent requirements only reinforce why businesses must keep on top of compliance standards at all times.

It’s why workplace leaders must place the right people in charge of compliance management if they are to mitigate the risks and cost of noncompliance. It’s not only important to protect your data, but also your company’s overall reputation. 

Want to dive deeper? Check out our ebook: The enterprise guide to workplace compliance.

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Amy Kirkham
Author Bio Amy Kirkham

Amy is a content guru at Envoy, where she helps workplace leaders build a workplace their people love. Outside of work, you can usually find Amy drinking coffee, exploring new places, or planning her next trip.