When using cloud backup and storage services, one must know the laws and regulations of the cloud technology. In “moving data from your internal storage,” businesses must thoroughly examine the services that a cloud provider is supplying. This is one of the main causes for hesitation for many thinking about “fully engag[ing] in a cloud-first strategy.” Since “compliance-related service offerings vary” between providers, organizations should carefully select a provider that can meet their unique requirements. Services like “data transfer, backup, retrieval, and access” are all, in one way or another, affected by cloud compliance. And failures in cloud compliance may result in “regulatory fines, lawsuits, cybersecurity incidents, and reputational damage.”
Achieving Successful Cloud Compliance
In order to achieve successful cloud compliance, a business must be mindful of the following challenges:
- Consistency of operations: “Inconsistency equates to inefficiency,” especially when referring to operations within “the cloud.” In virtually every industry, a standardized operations approach will result in a more efficient and successful business. This consistency and standardization can make it easier for CSPs “to respond to audit requests and enforce security.”
- Information invisibility: Unlike the on-premises data storage of the past, we can easily find our data stored on the cloud. However, the increased corporate usage of smartphones and cloud-based apps and services has made it more difficult to obtain a “single view of… [one’s] data.”
- Advanced threats: Every day, data cyber threats loom in their relentless attempts to attack what should be secure information. And unfortunately, “an increasingly mobile workforce… has [made it] easier to attack organizations,” specifically those operating on insecure networks.
Standards and Regulations
Since data security is a major issue, Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) focus strongly on security, ensuring that they meet industry regulations, while remaining competitive. However, with industry regulations constantly changing, maintaining cloud compliance can be difficult. But a good starting point is reviewing “local, national, and even international standards that must be followed.” These categories of standards, “all with [their own] specialized and technical language,” provide a framework for CSPs to follow when devising their guidelines. Therefore, you can benefit from a CSP that adheres to the regulatory procedures that they must comply with themselves.
One of the most common regulatory requirements is the GLBA (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) — a law that “applies to financial institutions regarding how they protect the security of customers’ confidential information.” This law requires that companies must be transparent with customers, sharing how “their data is being stored, as well as what measures are being followed to protect it.”
Tools for Secure Access
Although an added step to daily procedures, many CSPs have turned to multi-factor authentication to help prevent data breaches and “avoid potential security threats.” A CSP may implement a variety of multi-factor authentication methods, such as “hardware security keys, phone as a security key, mobile device push notifications, SMS, and voice calls.” Through multi-factor authentication, it becomes nearly “impossible [for a business] to be breached.” This provides a business with several layers of security, while also giving them options for what may their employees. Simply signing into one’s account, although efficient, “greatly increases the risk of being hacked.”
When completely verse and aware of a CSP’s standards and regulations, companies have the opportunity to “capitalize on the business agility and growth” provided by the cloud technology.” By cooperating with compliance policies, businesses can avoid having to interrupt operations following an audit to address problems. Also, compliance can give companies a competitive edge, as business partners may prefer to work with companies that have “cloud-based data and applications” in place and that are ready to be implemented immediately. Overall, adhering to cloud compliance standards reduces the risks to businesses. This allows companies to operate with more flexibility, efficiency, security, and speed.
“How to Ensure Cloud Compliance.” Datamation, 12 July 2019
“Multi-Factor Authentication | Cloud Identity | Google Cloud.” Google, Google.
Nielsen, Andrew. “How to Maintain Security Compliance in the Cloud.” TechBeacon, TechBeacon, 5