DIY No More: MSPs Redefining Compliance for SMBs

DIY No More: MSPs Redefining Compliance for SMBs

It’s safe to say that these days, compliance isn’t just an IT industry buzzword but a critical component for the success and security of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). As regulations continue to evolve and cyber threats grow more sophisticated, the importance of compliance for SMBs can’t be overstated. However, navigating the complex landscape of compliance requirements can be daunting, especially for SMBs with limited resources and expertise.

Fortunately, MSPs like Charles It are redefining compliance management. For those asking, “what is an MSP company,” that’s short for Managed Service Provider, an organization that manages a customer's IT infrastructure to guarantee efficiency, security, and reliability. From ensuring data protection to meeting industry-specific regulations, MSPs play a pivotal role in guiding SMBs through the intricate maze of compliance obligations. MSPs bring unique capabilities and insight to the table, empowering SMBs to achieve and maintain compliance with confidence.April 11th blog graphic 1

So, let’s uncover the invaluable contributions of MSPs in enhancing compliance practices for SMBs and discover how partnership with an MSP can streamline compliance management, mitigate risks, and propel business growth.

Understanding Compliance Management

In terms of SMBs, compliance refers to the adherence to various regulations, standards, and guidelines set forth by governmental bodies, industry associations, or international organizations. These regulations cover a wide range of areas, including data privacy, financial reporting, consumer protection, workplace safety, and environmental regulations. For SMBs, compliance is crucial as it helps ensure ethical business practices, safeguard sensitive information, and mitigate risks associated with legal liabilities and financial penalties. Compliance also fosters trust among stakeholders, including customers, partners, and investors, thereby enhancing the reputation and credibility of SMBs in the marketplace.

Achieving and maintaining compliance can pose significant challenges for SMBs however, given their limited resources, expertise, and often complex regulatory landscapes. As a result, SMBs must tackle these challenges strategically, and should seek assistance from Charles IT, a fully managed IT service in Connecticut and the Northeast’s compliance expert.

What is the Role of MSPs in Compliance?

MSPs offer a broad range of services aimed at remotely managing and maintaining a client's IT infrastructure and systems. This encompasses tasks such as network monitoring, cybersecurity, data backup and recovery, software updates, and technical support. By outsourcing these functions to MSPs, businesses can benefit from enhanced operational efficiency, reduced downtime, and access to specialized expertise without the need for a costly in-house IT team.

In compliance, MSPs play a crucial role in assisting SMBs in meeting regulatory requirements. They provide proactive monitoring and enforcement of compliance policies, ensuring that systems and processes are up to date on relevant standards and regulations. Charles IT, in particular, helps SMBs implement robust security measures by:

  1. Doing a Compliance Assessment and Gap Analysis: This is a comprehensive cybersecurity audit that allows us to examine your entire system so we can compile a detailed list of the necessary improvements needed to enhance your security posture.
  2. Implementing Compliance Controls: Every compliance framework outlines a set of controls, which are procedures designed to mitigate cybersecurity risks. That could be firewalls, intrusion detection systems, access controls, log monitoring, vulnerability scanning, data recovery and incident response procedures.
  3. Continuing Regular Compliance Audits and Monitoring: We’ll continue to examine the components of an SMBs’ cybersecurity infrastructure and search for potential vulnerabilities.
  4. Training and Educating Staff: We’ll provide training that gives employees the skills needed to recognize distrusting links, phishing emails, any other social engineering schemes that would put the SMB at risk of a cyberattack.

Overall, MSPs offer guidance and support in compliance, staying updated with evolving requirements, and preparing for audits or assessments. By leveraging the expertise and resources of MSPs, SMBs can streamline compliance management, enhance data security, and focus on their core business objectives instead of worrying about meeting industry compliance standards.

April 11th blog graphic 2 

Compliance Standards and Regulations for SMBs

There are several different compliance frameworks across multiple industries that are relevant to SMBs to ensure that they run smoothly, legally, and safe from cyberattacks. While the experts at Charles IT are knowledgeable on an array of industry requirements, let’s break down a few specific to SMBs:

  1. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation): A framework created to safeguard the personal data of individuals who are part of the European Union. A key requirement in this framework is the appointing of a Data Protection Officer who ensures that data is secured and is accessed by authorized personnel only.
  2. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act): This is a set of security standards designed to safeguard protected health information (PHI) from being disclosed without the patient's knowledge or consent. Key requirements for this framework include conducting a risk assessment, encrypting patient health information, implementing strong password requirements, and ensuring employees are trained in cybersecurity and HIPAA compliance.
  3. PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard): A set of security standards that major credit cards brands like Visa and MasterCard created to protect customer data and prevent fraud. Key requirements include building and maintaining a secure network, protecting cardholder data, maintaining a vulnerability management program, implementing strong access controls, regularly monitoring and testing networks, and maintaining an information security policy.
  4. SOC (System and Organization Controls) Reports: A standard and regulation, originally created for accountants and finance departments, that ensures that every service provider properly stores or transmits potentially sensitive data on behalf of clients. Requirements include implementing data encryption, multi-factor authentication (MFA), intrusion detection and prevention, firewalls, back and disaster recovery, and cloud monitoring.

Regardless of your needs, Charles It can assist your SMB in achieving compliance by offering tailored strategies and solutions.

How do MSPs Help SMBs Overcome Compliance Challenges?

When it comes to compliance, SMBs can encounter numerous challenges that can impede their success. Some of the most pressing compliance hurdles faced by SMBs include:

  1. Lack of In-House Expertise and Resources: SMBs often operate with limited personnel and budget constraints. This makes it challenging to keep up with the ever-evolving regulatory requirements and implement comprehensive compliance strategies.
  2. Complexity of Regulatory Requirements: Depending on their industry, SMBs may need to comply with a myriad of regulations which can be daunting. Understanding the nuances of each regulation and keeping pace with updates demands substantial time and expertise.
  3. Continuous Monitoring and Adaptation to Changing Regulations: Regulations evolve, new requirements emerge, and compliance standards shift over time. SMBs must stay vigilant and proactive in monitoring regulatory changes and updating their compliance measures accordingly. Or face legal liabilities, financial penalties, and reputational damage.

At Charles It, we’ve helped numerous SMBs overcome these compliance challenges, like the Connecticut company, Pearse Bertrum, who needed assistance meeting manufacturing industry standards, which is typically DFARs compliance. As their human resource manager, Wendy Lavoie, explained, “It was imperative that we had access to an MSP that was proficient and could translate the terms for others in our company who lack this specialized knowledge.”

Is there Technology for Compliance Management?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that technology plays a pivotal role in streamlining compliance processes for SMBs. Not only can it allow them to automate compliance tasks, enhance data security, and improve overall efficiency, but technology also helps SMBs navigate regulatory frameworks more effectively.

MSPs can offer compliance tools and solutions designed to address the specific needs of SMBs. These solutions encompass various aspects of compliance management and can include:

  1. Automated Compliance Monitoring Systems: These systems can continuously monitor IT infrastructure for compliance violations and alert SMBs to potential issues in real-time.
  2. Secure Data Management and Encryption Solutions: This safeguards SMBs' data against unauthorized access, breaches, and cyber threats by using encryption, access controls, data loss prevention tools, and secure storage solutions.
  3. Incident Response and Disaster Recovery Planning: In the event of a security incident, MSPs assist SMBs in developing comprehensive incident response and disaster recovery plans tailored to their company’s needs.

Integrating Compliance Management with Overall IT Strategy:

MSPs can work closely with SMBs to align compliance objectives with business goals, identify compliance gaps, and develop strategic roadmaps for achieving compliance effectively. By integrating compliance management with the overall IT strategy, SMBs can leverage technology solutions to improve operational efficiency and drive sustainable business growth.

How to Choose the Right MSP for Compliance Management

When selecting an MSP for compliance management, here are some factors an MSP may want to consider:

  1. Expertise in Compliance Standards Relevant to SMBs: SMBs should ensure that their MSP possesses a deep understanding of regulatory requirements specific to the industry and geographic location.
  2. Track Record and Reputation: SMBs should assess the MSP's track record and reputation in terms of their reliability and ability to deliver quality services.
  3. Customization and Flexibility of Services: SMBs should seek MSPs that offer customization and flexibility in their services, allowing tailored solutions to meet unique compliance needs.
  4. Scalability and Future-Proofing: SMBs should ensure the MSP can accommodate their evolving needs and regulatory changes over time, enabling long-term partnership and growth.

Luckily, Charles IT can fit the bill for each of those considerations when it comes to providing IT services for SMBs.

Of course, SMBs will still want to ask a potential MSP questions that could include:

  1. How Do You Ensure Compliance with Regulatory Standards?
  2. Can You Provide References from Similar SMB Clients?
  3. What Measures Do You Have in Place for Data Security?

An MSP should be able to provide the SMB with any information they’re looking for. If you want the answers to these questions or have other questions, you can talk to an expert at Charles IT now.

What’s the Future of Compliance Management for SMBs?

There are many emerging trends in technology that are reshaping the way businesses approach regulatory compliance. With advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation, compliance processes are becoming more streamlined and efficient. With that said, MSPs are expected to leverage those technology solutions to offer proactive compliance management services tailored to individual SMBs. In today's business landscape, it’s crucial to be proactive in compliance management since it not only helps SMBs lessen regulatory risks but also fosters trust with customers, partners, and stakeholders.


MSPs play a pivotal role in redefining compliance for SMBs, offering expertise, technology solutions, and proactive management to take on regulatory landscapes effectively. As we've highlighted, partnering with an MSP like Charles IT can empower SMBs to streamline compliance efforts, reduce risks, and focus on core business objectives. Therefore, we encourage SMBs to consider partnering with Charles IT for their compliance needs. It’s clear that outsourcing compliance management offers undeniable value, so let Charles IT help your SMB thrive!

Book a Meeting!

Most tech consulting starts with “Press 1”

We just like to start with “Hello.”