The Top Compliance Concerns and How to Avoid Them

Avoid Compliance Concerns

In 2018, HR compliance continues to be a concern. Although there are many areas that require our attention, there is a core group of concerns that most HR staff and businesses in general agree should get a second glance. This year, some of the things having the largest effect are new technologies being developed, social media, and shifts in societal norms. There are three main concerns taking the attention of HR professionals in 2018, including:

• Cybersecurity
• Geopolitical issues
• Whistleblowers
 
 
Cybersecurity

Technology is becoming a bigger concern day by day. “Some experts predict that by 2020 there will be 200 billion connected things. Cars, planes, homes, cities, and even animals are being connected,” according to Forbes. With all of this interconnection, a concern emerges for the security and safety of these things. This can be a broad concern or narrowly focused, but it will most likely be relevant for any and all companies. As technology advances and more and more consumer data is collected, security and data breaches need to be closely monitored. Systems such as artificial intelligence and machine learning will have an effect on businesses, whether we personally interact with them or not. Many businesses are integrating some version of AI into their security repertoire.

The term digitization has sparked conversation among the community, too. Digitization is the process of converting paper-based tasks into a digital format. With this shift comes the potential for that data to be lost, breached, or even accidentally deleted. With both of these concerns, the idea of reliability and cybersecurity is what it all seems to come back to. Compliance concerns aside, technology will always be a top concern for any business. The importance of technology, unfortunately, brings multiple vulnerabilities, as well, but with set rules and regulations within an organization, it shouldn’t be a major cause for concern. Data security measures are something that the compliance team will need to be aware of and ensure consistent follow-through.
 
 
Geopolitical Issues

2018 seems to be a year where, already, new laws are being created that all businesses need to adhere to. New regulations in the EU, such as the GDPR, will require compliance team members to be a voice of leadership when addressing these new rules regarding client data. According to Compliance Week, there are a number of things to keep an eye on this year, including, but not limited to, Russian sanctions, disruptions in oil, the Iranian nuclear deal, and Brexit. “Any combination of these events could be a boon or disaster for individual companies,” according to the site.

Have a team of executives that understand the geopolitical climate and try to prepare for the future, rather than dealing with issues as they arise. If there is a strong plan in place, it will be more efficient and easier to deal with something, rather than being in a rush to put out fires as they arise.
 
 
Whistleblowers

According to the Government Accountability Project, or GAP, a whistleblower is “an employee who discloses information that he or she reasonably believes is evidence of illegality, gross waste or fraud, mismanagement, abuse of power, general wrongdoing, or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety.” 2017 was a year filled with whistleblowers, and with that comes the responsibility to protect those individuals. Reports submitted by whistleblowers have increased, and they should be addressed right away. If they’re not handled internally within a reasonable response time, reporters and news sites will be encouraged to share the story even more. Companies should also have an antiretaliation policy so that the individual doesn’t have a fear of coming forward due to potential retaliation.

A company’s culture can also play a critical role in this issue. Whether a big company or small, it’s important to keep culture intact and growing in a positive direction. If people who speak up aren’t acknowledged and protected, not only can the company be hurt legally, but the company culture and how employees feel about the organization can also be impacted.
 
 
Where to Go Next

Whether you’re a compliance leader or an employee, it’s important to support each other on these growing issues and pay attention to both sides. Training is important, but understanding and care will be equally as important this year.
 
 

By Sara Carter
“Sara is an experienced tech expert who writes with her colleagues on Enlightened Digital, to share her passion with others around the web. After 15 years in the industry, her goal is to bring information on all technology to the masses. Her philosophy is to create each article so that anyone can understand the content, whether they are a consumer or a technology expert. Check out her site at Enlightened-Digital.com