Glossary

Cloud Security Compliance

Cloud computing is more popular than ever before. The potential for new innovations and capabilities with Cloud Computing is endless. Growing numbers of businesses want to take advantage of its easy scalability, flexibility, increased efficiency and above all, improved data security. 

The cloud has been a driving force behind the growth of service providers like SaaS, IaaS or PaaS. AWS, Azure and GCP are the main cloud providers where many organizations have moved the majority of their digital activity, from the applications they manage, to products they use and all the way through products and solutions they create. The new playing field brings tremendous advantages with access to bigger and better servers, costs that grow with your needs and no ongoing maintenance of physical hardware.

Data saved in the cloud is relatively safe, especially in comparison to saving information on your hard drive, but it still faces many of the challenges of information security. 

Cloud Security Compliance

Advantages of using the cloud include: 

  • Low Costs
  • Easy Accessibility
  • Good Recovery Options
  • Encryption
  • Business Continuity
  • Robust security

Disadvantages of using the cloud can include:

  • Dependance on Internet Connectivity
  • Gray Areas of Responsibility: Owner of Data or CSP?
  • Data Transfer Capacity Issues (and associated costs)
  • Cyber Threats
  • Reliance on CSP’s implementation of Cloud Security
  • Limited Visibility of Company’s Networks and Structure

According to Cloudwards.net, in 2020, the combined end-user spending on cloud services totalled $270 billion. In 2021, this was expected to increase by 23.1 percent to a staggering $332.3 billion. By 2022, projections indicate that this figure will rise to $397.5 billion.

What is Cloud Security Compliance?

Cloud Security Compliance is the process and act of complying with the regulatory standards for using the cloud, according to industry guidelines and associated laws. Non-compliance can lead to financial and reputational damage, business interruption and legal challenges.

There’s a choice of security frameworks out there that are applicable to cloud users too, for example:

  • COBIT – ensures that IT is regulated and handled holistically for the entire organization, encompassing all business and IT functional areas of responsibility, as well as internal and external enterprise IT concerns.
  • SABSA, for security architecture. 
  • ISO 27001 – ensures your cloud policy compliance and processes are well managed, and 
  • NIST CSF – best practices and guidelines to assist organizations in building and improving their cybersecurity posture.

The main areas to be taken from these frameworks that will help boost cloud security are:

  • Governance
  • Change Management
  • Continual Monitoring
  • Vulnerability Management
  • Reporting

Specific cloud security frameworks include:

  • CSA Star program – demonstrate to customers compliance with best practices and validate the security posture of their cloud services. 
  • FedRamp– specific to those doing business with a federal agency (although also excellent guidelines and standards for all companies.) 

The policies and settings in the cloud environment are critical to performance, reducing ongoing costs as you scale, and security compliance. People mistakenly believe secure environments and certifications on data centers such as AWS, Azure and GCP mean that whatever they put there is inherently protected. This is simply not the case. 

Why is cloud compliance important?

The way you implement your environment and the following of best practices is the key element in meeting cloud security compliance. Using a compliance management platform can significantly help you leverage solutions while connecting it to your business risk and regulatory requirements.

Focusing on cloud compliance management and using a cloud security framework will give your organization a frame of reference, the ability to measure compliance, allow you to prioritize what needs to be done, help with timelines and budget decisions, and assure you of achieving top security levels.

The lack of a cloud compliance framework can lead to negative outcomes including penalties, damages, fines, bad PR and legal issues.

Real-life cloud security incidents have mostly been due to improper implementation of cloud security regulations and best practices. For example, famous cloud breaches have been due to:

Just these few examples already illustrate best practices included within cloud compliance: Internal company cloud compliance must be at least as rigorous as that expected from external controls, constant monitoring and scanning must be implemented to detect breaches immediately, and rigorous third party or vendor assessments are necessary.

Cloud security compliance can be a challenge. Using an automated risk and compliance management platform will streamline and simplify the process to full compliance. Centraleyes cloud compliance tools save you hundreds of hours by automating manual tasks such as onboarding, remediation, analysis and reporting, freeing up your time to run your business and boost productivity. See for yourself with a free demo from Centraleyes- the next-gen automated compliance solution.

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