5 Ways to Make Sure Your Cloud Meets Your Compliance Standards

The cloud, whether you use it for infrastructure, applications, or simple file sharing, potentially exposes your customer information to outside eyes. Although cloud means you no longer have the responsibility of managing the hardware, you still have the responsibility of managing your data and managing your employees so they protect your customers’ information. This is challenging when the endpoints aren’t under your control and you still have to be in compliance with standards like HIPAA, PCI DSS, and your own data protection agreements with partners. Here are five ways to make sure your cloud usage meets your compliance obligations.

1. Educate your employees

Compliance and data protection always begins with your employees. Educate them about the potential risks of placing data on file sharing services, and publish policies that describe permissible uses of those services. Remind them about the risks of phishing and the importance of protecting their passwords.

2. Choose a cloud provider that meets industry standards

Many cloud providers have environments that meet industry security standards. Microsoft Azure offers environments that are in compliance with the health industry’s HIPAA standard, education’s FERPA standard, and the federal government’s FedRAMP program, among others. Using a certified provider offers the assurance that using that environment will support your compliance efforts.

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3. Use your existing compliance tools

It may be possible to extend your existing identity and access management tools to your cloud environment, and some cloud environments may work with your existing firewall software. You can also use existing cybersecurity tools such as data loss prevention software to monitor the data that’s moved to the cloud. However, because the cloud necessarily blurs the boundary between internal and external systems, existing tools probably won’t be enough for complete protection.

4. Use new tools to achieve additional security

For more protection and control over your cloud environment, you may want to add a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) to your technology mix. CASBs provide additional insight into and control over the data moving into and out of your cloud, including restrictions on file sharing and support for encryption and tokenization.

5. Review your cloud applications and environments regularly

Your compliance needs change along with your business and the applications you use. Periodically review your applications and your cloud providers to update your compliance requirements and make sure vendors are current with certifications and providing the level of security they promised.

Need help figuring out how to make sure your cloud environment is compliant with your policies and legal obligations? The team members at Prescient Solutions are certified experts in security and cloud technologies. We’ll help you understand how moving data and applications to the cloud impacts the risks you face and the steps you need to achieve compliance and protect your data and your business. Contact us to learn more.

Additional Cloud Resources

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5 Things CIOs Need to Know About the Cloud

Planning Your Move to the Cloud

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