When processing personal customer data, companies must comply with a large number of relevant laws and regulations in order to avoid the risk of high fines. Implemen­tation, compliance and monitoring of the corre­sponding measures for IT information security are summarised under the term "IT compliance".

IT Compliance

Companies must comply with a large number of relevant laws and regulations when processing personal customer data in order to avoid risking severe penalties. Implemen­tation, compliance and monitoring of the corre­sponding measures for IT information security are summarized under the term "IT compliance".

What is the definition of IT Compliance?

IT compliance refers to the totality of all operational control elements used to monitor and comply with the applicable law and the IT standards customary in the industry. In practice, this means that all of a company's relevant and legal requirements for IT information security are demonstrably complied with.

This is why the term compliance in IT is defined as a binding guideline. This compre­hensibly explains the relevant IT rules and legal requirements to all employees of a company and obligates everyone to comply with the same requirements.

Why is IT Compliance important for your company?

Today, the vast majority of all companies process and store sensitive customer data. Whether it's a craft business, an online store or the delivery service next door: IT-supported applications that process personal data can be found in almost all business areas. At the same time, all companies that collect and store personal data are subject to strict legal requirements, non-compliance with which can result in penalties of several hundred thousand euros.

If, for example, personal data of customers gets into the hands of third parties due to insufficient IT information security or negligent action and is subsequently used for other purposes without consent, in the EU penalties of up to 300,000 euros can be imposed according to the Federal Data Protection Act. In addition, in the event of misuse of customer data, claims for damages by those affected must be expected, which can result in further serious economic damage for companies.

Compliance with applicable IT rules and laws in the area of IT information security is therefore an essential aspect of successful entre­preneurial activity and requires constant monitoring with the help of systema­tically applied IT compliance measures.

How can IT compliance be ensured?

To ensure that all legal requirements from the area of IT information security as well as the IT rules of a company are adhered to by all employees, it is a good idea to introduce the following IT compliance measures:

  • Creation of a guide with all IT rules for employees
  • Device control through effective policy management
  • Ban on private storage media in the workplace
  • Control of the installation rights of individual employee groups
  • Awareness raising among all employees on the subject of data protection
  • Appointment of an IT compliance officer

What are the important laws in the area of IT information security?

In the following, we show the most important laws and regulations in the area of IT compliance that contain relevant guidelines for action for German companies. However, in addition to the legal regulations and standards mentioned, other requirements may be relevant depending on the field of activity and industry affiliation.

Logo of the German Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik.
The IT Security Act Also called the "Act to Increase the Security of Information Technology Systems", it defines the rules to which operators of so-called critical infra­structures are subject. This includes, for example, companies in the energy and water supply sectors, telecom­munications providers and hospitals. If IT systems are attacked, for example, these companies are subject to a reporting obligation to the Federal Office for Information Security, or BSI for short.
Logo of the European flag
Regulation (EU) 2016/679
strong>The EU's General Data Protection Regulation The EU GDPR has been in force in all countries of the European Union since May 25, 2018 and sets strict requirements in the area of IT information security. In essence, the specifi­cations it contains regulate the unified handling of sensitive customer and personal data by private companies throughout Europe.
Logo of the German Bundesministerium des Innern und für Heimat.
The Federal Data Protection Act The BDSG is considered one of the strictest laws on handling personal data in the entire world. It fundamen­tally prohibits the collection, use or further processing of personal data unless the person concerned has given their consent.
Logo of the ISO norm 19600
ISO 19600
ISO 19600 This is an interna­tionally valid standard specifi­cation and certifi­cation. It can be used to identify weaknesses in a company's IT compliance and to check compliance with applicable IT rules.

To plan and implement IT rules, it can be useful to work with an  IT security officer. That way, you have a specific point of contact for issues related to the security of your systems in operation.