Cloud Compliance Regulations: Best Practices for Cloud Security and Governance

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Today, businesses are heading towards cloud computing at scale, but they remain skeptical of their ability to manage regulatory compliance and security of sensitive information assets. Compliance can improve a company's reputation in a variety of ways. One of the most significant advantages of conforming to cloud compliance requirements is an increase in cloud security.

As businesses move mission-critical IT workloads and apps to the cloud, their security posture may be compromised as a result of the cloud service's pricing and performance. Organizations that fail to protect user data stored in the cloud due to insufficient security measures demanded by regulatory compliance risk losing user trust and loyalty.

As these regulations provide the basic minimum criteria for cloud security, it's essential to consider cloud compliance regulations and comply with industry-proven best practices in cloud security and governance.

Stats for Cloud Compliance

Compliance of cloud-based solutions is one of the leading challenges faced by the organizations when they plan to migrate existing workloads to the cloud.

  • Compliance is a major priority for 94 percent of IT and security professionals in their organizations. At the same time, 45 percent are unconcerned about noncompliance consequences.
  • Compliance and audit issues with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud solutions are a problem for more than half of enterprises.
  • Incorrect access authorizations and privileges issued to users were discovered in 32% of the organizations. Shadow administrators make up 60% of the workforce.
  • Before sharing sensitive information with them, less than two-thirds of users (63%) think about the organization's data collecting and storage methods.
  • According to 65 percent of enterprises, data classification due to cloud computing makes real and true encryption difficult.

Cloud Compliance Regulations

Let's have a look upon some common cloud compliance regulations applicable to organizations in different industry verticals:

  • HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
    Creates national standards to protect individuals' medical records and other personal health information.

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)
    A collection of security standards that allow all businesses to accept, handle, store, and send credit card and financial data.

  • GLBA (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act)
    Mandates that businesses disclose how user information is shared and safeguarded, provide an opt-out option, and implement specified mandated safeguards.

  • PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act)
    Establishes guidelines for how businesses should handle user information while conducting commercial transactions.

  • EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation
    The most stringent privacy and security regulations, mandate an exhaustive set of requirements on organizations handling data of European Union (EU) residents. GDPR imposes harsh penalties for noncompliance.

  • SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act)
    Mandates requirements on financial disclosures, audits, and controls of information systems processing financial information.

  • U.S. State Breach Laws:
    In the event of a security breach involving personally identifiable information, all 50 states in the United States require enterprises to notify individuals.

  • NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
    An organization that provides guidelines on technology related matters such as standards, security, innovation, and economic competitiveness.

  • FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program)
    A standardized program for security assessment and evaluation of cloud-based systems.

Cloud Compliance Best Practices

Let's have a look at some of the best practices for cloud compliance:

  • 1. Understand the Compliance Regulations:
    To achieve cloud compliance, first we need to understand the compliance regulations and optimize the compliance infrastructure as per our needs that may require external assistance.

  • 2. Know your Responsibilities:
    It's critical to thoroughly comprehend our own duties and take the steps necessary to ensure your own compliance.

  • 3. Conduct Audits Regularly:
    We need to examine cloud compliance regularly and identify the flaws in our IT environment, as well as the organizational culture and workforce behavior, which may include actions that violate compliance standards directly or indirectly.

  • 4. Know How your Data is Stored:
    IT workloads are shared between hardware resources of cloud environment. Therefore, we need to make sure that IT asset distribution is optimized for minimal security risk in multi and hybrid cloud environments.

  • 5. Managing Information Access and Controls:
    We need to monitor how data and information is accessed and controlled in the cloud. Manage access control lapses or anomalous behavior. Adopt least privilege access, in which users are allowed to access only what they actually need. Practicing identity and access management behaviors is the best method to apply access control (IAM). It provides advanced control of user roles and privileges, which can help avoid abuse of privileged user accounts.

  • 6. Data encryption:
    Three fundamental reasons for data encryption are- security, compliance, and cost. Over the years, it has become important to encrypt your data and lessen the number of data breaches. Businesses need to consider the penalties and laws made for violating security.

At Vast Edge, we make sure to control and protect your cloud infrastructure, security posture, and rising cloud security risks. With us, compliance is not an issue, it comes into the way you secure your cloud-based data processing.

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