Understanding the Importance of Cloud Compliance

Compliance is becoming increasingly important for cloud computing providers. As more organizations embrace the benefits of moving data to the cloud, cybersecurity is evolving to keep pace with new security threats and risks. Along with current cloud provider standards, many industries have also imposed regulations and rules about cloud compliance. Understanding the necessity of a security-first approach will help your organization maintain continuous compliance which in turn reduces data breaches and curbs other vulnerabilities.

What is Cloud Compliance?

There are many cloud compliance policies. Cloud-delivered services are expected to be compliant with local, state, federal, and international security standards, laws and regulations. Cloud vendors must also satisfy the rules and policies required by the customer.

Compliance also means following industry standards. For example, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) are laws in the healthcare industry that ensure the security of data and the privacy of patients. Another example of a regulatory requirement is PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), which ensures security for payments made with credit, debit or cash cards. Another industry standard is SOC 2 (Service Organization Control 2), a security auditing procedure which ensures vendors are managing data securely.

How to Maintain Cloud Compliance

In most instances, cloud computing compliance is achieved with the use of security protocols that defend sensitive data against cyber attacks, malware, ransomeware, hacking and other cyber crimes that can create havoc for a company. These security threats can affect not only on-premises data but cloud-based systems as well.

With cloud services, the customer and the vendor have shared responsibility to maintain compliance. Many organizations believe the cloud vendor is solely responsible for maintaining security and compliance. This is incorrect.

The organization has to work with the vendor to ensure the protection of all its on-premise and cloud data by implementing features offered by the vendor. The customer is responsible for asking questions before buying a cloud computing service. The organization must then investigate the security policies and measures of any vendor it is considering. Questions to ask include:

  • Where is the data stored?
  • Can I see the documentation that proves the location of servers?
  • How is data protected?
  • Who has access to these data storage areas?

The vendor is responsible for the security of the cloud. The servers should be located in the United States, which is required by some regulatory policies. If data centers are located in foreign countries, the data is subject to that country’s laws, so privacy issues may be a concern.

There is also a compliance challenge for an organization that has public or hybrid cloud systems. (Private cloud services offer more control and a higher level of customization.) Reducing or eliminating security threats to public or hybrid systems requires following more procedures. These include real-time monitoring, automated processes that respond to issues, and detailed reporting. These additional measures are needed to ensure your organization remains cloud compliant in a public or hybrid environment.

For your cloud compliance and data management needs, contact RingStor to learn more about its digital asset protection solutions. Call the company today at (609) 955-3422 to learn more about our products.

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