Cloud Data Compliance and Security – Achieving Regulatory Compliance with Cloud Security Applications

Security and privacy may lead the pack when it comes to cloud usage, but cloud data compliance is an important area that often goes overlooked. Organizations move to cloud-based services to enable a more agile and secure environment that offers a broad range of benefits for both organizations and customers. However, with the benefits of the cloud come the ever-present – and increasing – responsibilities of achieving regulatory compliance. As soon as you introduce data into the cloud, your organization becomes responsible for complying with industry regulations governing the management of personal information. This post highlights the importance of complying with industry data regulations and includes cloud vendor characteristics to consider for achieving data compliance when using cloud security applications.

Achieving data compliance through cloud applications

Your business likely leverages the power of cloud technology via a network of cloud-based applications like Salesforce or Office 365 to run business-critical functions. When reaping the benefits of cloud technology, it’s vital to adhere to compliance regulations. No matter the size and scope of your business, regulatory compliance requirements are legally enforceable and governing bodies make no exceptions. As your organization selects cloud applications, it’s important to choose vendors that will aid in cloud data compliance and improve your security posture, not create more risk.

For example, adding additional cloud applications into your network can create security and compliance vulnerabilities if the vendors of those applications are not adequately vetted. If the applications don’t integrate, then you may need to achieve compliance for each individual application.

Certain cloud security vendors enable you to integrate one security solution with a multitude of applications so you can reduce manual processes. If your organization utilizes Salesforce, you know that Salesforce does their part to make the application compliant, but once you input your data, it’s up to you to remain compliant and secure that data. By reducing manual efforts and streamlining your cloud application security, it saves time and effort on compliance not just in your Salesforce application, but throughout your entire network.

Questioning your compliance posture

Beyond figuring out whether your organization is compliant, there are other cloud data compliance factors to consider when choosing a security solution. Begin structuring your vendor compliance research by asking questions like:

  • How long is my organization required to store data?
  • Where does the data reside?
  • Who has access to the data?
  • Are my organization’s cloud applications secure?
  • How are we monitoring user activity?
  • Is the data organized in a way that facilitates forensic investigations and e-discovery?

While evaluating security solutions, these questions can help you better understand whether or not a vendor solution meets compliance requirements and your organization’s data security needs.

Developing a comprehensive compliance workforce

Whether you have a dedicated team to maintain compliance or the responsibility falls solely upon one person, manual processes to prove compliance can be cumbersome and costly. According to Ponemon’s The True Cost of Compliance with Data Protection Regulations, compliance costs range across industries from $0.58 million to $21.56 million. While these expenses may seem high, it will save your organization money in the long run – non-compliance costs vary from $2.20 million to $39.22 million. An affordable solution like user activity monitoring application can reduce manual compliance and security processes while saving time and valuable resources. With the right cloud security platform, your team can reduce costs and free up time to focus on more pressing tasks.

Cloud data compliance satisfaction

While there are many regulatory bodies and compliance requirements that currently exist, they change frequently with more regulations in the works. Depending on your industry and business operations, you may need to comply with:

Cybersecurity regulations will continue to grow as organizations worldwide begin to rely fully on the cloud with an increase in demand for consumer data security and privacy.

When selecting a cloud vendor, it’s crucial to choose a partner that will not only provide a solution for your business needs, but also help bolster cloud data compliance. Together, your organization and your cloud security solution vendor can create the ideal environment to establish security, privacy, and compliance in one platform.