How to Maintain IT Compliance: Legal Requirements for a Business
Everyone wants to do the right way by their business, staff and clients, right? But sometimes a lack of knowledge or taking short-cuts could mean you unintentionally putting yourself and others at risk.
If you’re unsure how to stay in compliance and what the legal requirements for a business and its software are, we’re here to help. Here are a few IT compliance top tips from our team:
Conduct a Self-Audit
If you’re unaware of your current situation and whether you’re compliant or not, the easiest and cheapest way to get educated is to conduct a self-audit.
Begin by conducting a software inventory so you know what tools you have. Consider details such as what software you have, when it was bought, how many computers use it and what licenses you have or need.
However, please be aware, a manual inventory can be time-consuming and leaves the process open to human-error, therefore a management tool is recommended.
Consider Your Software License Management Tools
Investing in software license managing tools or an asset management system makes keeping track of licensing and ensuring software and IT compliance easy.
A software asset management and licensing tool will automatically keep track of software when it is installed, analyse its license and compare collected data with your purchasing records to remind you when you need to update a license in order to stay compliant.
Implement Software Policies
Once you know what software you have and you’ve updated licenses, make sure to implement a company policy. A written policy and procedure will ensure IT compliance is maintained by your successor, should you leave the organisation or change position.
A policy should determine who specifically is responsible for acquiring software and managing licenses, provide a list of approved software vendors, as well as describe your system for tracking purchasing and usage data.
Educate Staff and Share Knowledge
Often standards slip in an organisation because staff are unaware of the legal requirements for a business and how to manage software licenses. Whether this is due to staff turnover or simply not reading all the material that comes with products when they’re purchased, this is an easy mistake to make that can get a company in financial trouble.
Under your software policy, you should ensure that all existing staff and future members of the team are given basic training on IT compliance, company policies and where they can find out more information (should they want to learn more). After all, software isn’t your weakness, people are.
Do You Know of Compliance Not Being Maintained?
If you work for or have recently left an establishment that does not recognise the importance of software licensing, you may like to show them our post: From Fines to Imprisonment: What Are the Effects of Computer Piracy?
Alternatively, you may decide to report an organisation for the misuse of software. Put a halt to illegal software use here.