Cloud computing has undeniably revolutionized the way we work and live. It has gone from being a promising idea to being the foundation of many businesses. As cloud technologies continue to be key drivers of growth, the need to comply with new guidelines and regulations is increasingly important as well.
What is cloud compliance?
Cloud compliance is about following state, federal, and international laws and regulations relevant to using the cloud. Specific requirements — which depend largely on the industry you’re in and the type of your business — are put in place to help protect your organization, employees, and customers.
Standards and regulations serve as guides to help your business ensure integrity, safety, and ethical behavior. For instance, financial regulations exist to protect against fraud, while security regulations are there to ensure data protection and privacy.
What’s more, staying compliant helps you establish trust with customers, vendors, and business partners, and allows you to build a stronger reputation.
If you violate compliance requirements, you leave your business vulnerable to an assortment of risks — you could be sued, have your licenses revoked, or even lose loyal clients.
What are the different compliance requirements?
There are several kinds of laws that are relevant to the use of the cloud, like ones pertaining to data protection, data localization, data sovereignty, and interception or access to information.
The following are some of the most common cloud compliance requirements.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) – a set of healthcare laws that consist of strict guidelines and security protocols on storing patient health data and confidential information. These regulations apply primarily to healthcare providers (e.g., doctors and hospitals) and even health insurance companies.
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) – a set of standards designed to ensure the safety of cardholder data. All companies that process, store, or transmit payment card information, like credit cards, must meet 12 requirements to achieve compliance.
- Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) – a law requiring companies that offer financial products or services (such as loans, financial or investment advice, or insurance) to safeguard their customers’ confidential information. It mandates financial institutions to explicitly inform their customers how their data is being stored and shared, as well as the measures they’re taking to protect it.
How do you stay compliant?
You can achieve cloud compliance by implementing security protocols that protect sensitive data from cyberthreats, like viruses, security breaches, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. One way to comply with HIPAA protocols is to encrypt all confidential patient information.
However, the regulatory environment is constantly evolving. And because compliance requirements are often stipulated using specialized and technical language, you might find it difficult to stay compliant. Your business must remain resilient, otherwise, you’re putting your company at risk.
One way to maintain compliance is by enlisting professional help. A managed IT services provider like Wood Dragon IT can provide you with the technical expertise needed to conform to these various guidelines.
All you need to do is to be aware of the policies and procedures you must comply with, and partner with an expert who knows how to meet these requirements. They should be able to provide documentation showing how they maintain cloud compliance and also demonstrate this in an audit.
Wood Dragon IT’s technology experts know how to properly plan and execute IT projects and ensure that your environment complies with industry standards and regulations. If you need an IT audit to determine where you stand with any compliance agency, call us now!