Aligning Cloud Security Tactics to Meet Cloud Compliance

August 31, 2017 Christina Lembo

Organizations are harnessing the power of the cloud now more than ever with the help of cloud based technologies emphasizing cloud security. With increased cybersecurity regulation in 2017, Cloud providers have strengthened their technologies to meet the needs of security and compliance executives and their organizations, and as a result, cloud adoption has grown dramatically.

But association with the cloud has not always been heavenly. For highly regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services, cloud technology raised concerns surrounding security and compliance. So what’s changed?

Aligning Cloud Security Tactics to Meet Cloud Compliance

Evolution of the Move to the Cloud

By 2020 “Cloud Shift” will affect more than $1 trillion in IT spending, according to Gartner. Not only does this make cloud computing one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending, it is also indicative of a strong demand to move to the cloud.

From transferring money between accounts to housing personal photo albums, the cloud has become an everyday tool for users. As a consumer, instant access to information and transparency between themselves and technology providers has become crucial to the user experience.

For organizations, cloud computing allows for increased scalability with lowered IT infrastructure costs and increase interoperability of data. The data is also easily available with increased performance and reliability. Therefore, moving to the cloud not only benefits consumers, it also benefits organizations.

To meet demand, cloud based technologies have bolstered technology to meet security and compliance requirements. Cloud technologies now include features such as encryption, tokenization, strong authentication, and the ability for applications to produce audit logs. This allows highly regulated industries to entrust the cloud with their data and continue to reap the rewards of moving to the cloud. Not only do cloud based technologies contribute to cloud security, they also help organizations to meet basic regulatory requirement standards and to build upon their security and compliance programs.

Considerations for Your Cloud Compliance Program

Moving forward with sustainable compliance includes aligning your security and compliance goals. The regulatory environment is complex, which makes it difficult for organizations to integrate their compliance programs with their security goals. But with the few considerations below, you can better align your security and compliance goals.

  • Identify which requirements impact your organization. These requirements can be mandated by specific regulations, which can be based on your jurisdiction, your industry or the activities that you employ to conduct business.
  • Run regular compliance risk assessments. Conducting regular risk assessments contributes to the foundation of a strong compliance program. Regulatory risks change, which calls for the risk assessment process to be updated and revised regularly.
  • Audit and monitor your compliance program. Don’t wait until you are in the midst of a crisis to conduct your own audit. Be proactive in understanding your gaps and how to continue improving your compliance posture.

A focus on compliance continues to help your organization increase customer trust and loyalty to your brand, as well as reduce the cost of violating a regulation.

High-Stakes: New Regulation’s Sky-High Fines

In addition to the existing regulatory bodies of FINRAHIPAAPCIFFIECNY State Cybersecurity Rule, and FCA, organizations continue to face a mounting list of compliance regulations. Governing regulatory bodies are sprouting up both near and far to enforce new laws surrounding citizen data.

For example, there is the impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which affects the way organizations collect, store, and use EU citizen data. With GDPR fines reaching 4% of annual turnover or 20 million Euros. European Parliament adopted the GDPR on April 14th, 2016, however, the law will be enforced May 25th, 2018.

Recently, the state of Delaware passed a new law, House Substitute 1 for House Bill 180 that requires businesses to alert Delaware state residents affected by a data breach within 60 days of the occurrence, and to notify the state attorney general if more than 500 residents are affected. Meanwhile in Maryland, the Maryland Personal Information Protection Act was amended to expand the definition of personal information and provide a 45-day time frame for notice of a breach. Not all consequences come in the form of a fine. Having to report a data breach deteriorates the trust between your organization and your customers.

Examining Cloud Security and Compliance in the Future

It’s clear that existing and new cloud security and compliance laws surrounding personal information will continue to grow as citizens and government aim to gain control of their data. Cloud technology providers have recognized and delivered upon the need for expansive security measures in their cloud based technology. Partnering with these advanced cloud technology vendors will further expand the foundation of data security and compliance as new laws and regulations arise. This will enable organizations to avoid regulatory fines, business interruption, and will provide a path toward success.

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