What Is Cloud Compliance?
Using cloud services offered by third-party vendors can be risky. That’s where the cloud compliance framework comes in.
Cloud compliance simply means complying with the laws that apply to using the cloud. It helps better control and govern your data while mitigating the risk of breaches.
Ready to learn more about cloud compliance, its benefits, and best practices? Read on.
Cloud Compliance Laws and Regulations
While using cloud services, your business needs to operate under some form of governmental regulation. These help better manage the cloud and its security.
The most common laws and regulations are HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and GLBA. Take a closer look at these and some others.
- HIPAA: The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act ensures the security and privacy of healthcare-related information in cloud systems.
- PCI-DSS: The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard ensures the security of credit cards, debit cards, and other financial information.
- GLBA: The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act calls on financial institutions to clarify how they share information before their customers.
- PIPEDA: The Personal Information Protection & Electronic Documents Act regulates how organizations handle user information.
- SOX: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act mandates companies to provide financial reports to protect customers from fraud.
- NIST: The National Institute of Standards & Technology ensures the security of information that is sensitive but not classified.
- FedRAMP: The Federal Risk & Authorization Management Program looks into the security and evaluation of cloud-based systems.
Benefits of Cloud Compliance
Cloud compliance may not be an easy task. But it comes with benefits like protecting your business against risks and improving opportunities. Take a closer look at its benefits.
1. Reduced Business Risk
When you have measures in place to comply with government regulations, you lower your general business risk. That’s because you can use the cloud compliance framework to close gaps and vulnerabilities in your business.
2. Uninterrupted Operations
Failing a compliance audit will come with financial as well as legal consequences. On the other hand, maintaining a compliance strategy will not interrupt your ongoing business operations. Plus, you and your team will not have to come up with last-minute plans.
3. Greater Business Opportunities
Cloud compliance also opens up new business opportunities in areas like government and healthcare. That’s because proper compliance will give you an edge over your competitors.
Best Practices for Cloud Compliance
From knowing your cloud to encrypting sensitive data, here are some tips to level up your cloud compliance practices.
Know Your Cloud
It’s important to understand your cloud model and the cloud provider’s security responsibilities. Doing so will help you identify any security and compliance gaps.
Understand Your Responsibility
As an organization, you need to be responsible toward your customers, and that includes protecting their private data and ensuring its safety.
Ensure Proper Access Control
Access management is an important aspect of cloud compliance. So, make sure to limit access to the data stored in the cloud.
Classify Your Data
Data classification means sorting data into different categories. This will help you better manage, secure, and store your customers’ data.
Encrypt Sensitive Data
The cloud is vulnerable to cyberattacks. So, you also need to protect any sensitive information by encrypting it.
Conduct Regular Audits
Conducting regular security audits will help uncover any security gaps and vulnerabilities. It will also help you stay on top of the updated regulatory requirements.
Service level agreements, or SLAs, spell out ground rules that an organization has for the cloud service provider. So, it’s important to understand your SLAs inside out to handle problems, both expected and unexpected.
Cloud compliance brings many benefits to businesses and organizations. But it can also seem overwhelming at first.
Don’t worry. You can arm yourself with a basic understanding of cloud compliance laws and regulations. Following the best compliance practices then becomes easier.
Soon, you will be on your way to making the most of your cloud system while knowing exactly which laws you need to comply with and why. Taking a bit of time to understand cloud compliance pays off.
Cloud Compliance Resources
- The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act – HIPPA
- The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard – PCI-DSS
- The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – GLBA
- The Personal Information Protection & Electronic Documents Act – PIPEDA
- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act – SOX
- The National Institute of Standards & Technology – NIST
- The Federal Risk & Authorization Management Program – FedRAMP