Cloud Security Compliance Explained

In a world of constantly evolving cyber threats, cloud security is of the utmost importance. Businesses that use cloud services must have a comprehensive security plan to protect their data, systems, and overall infrastructure. A security breach puts more than your company at risk. You can lose client information, internal communications, business-critical applications, and much more to a cyberattack. Even if the direct damage is minimal, you’ll have to deal with the fallout of poor security. You might lose client trust or even face lawsuits for not managing your cloud security responsibly.

That’s why companies must meet and maintain cloud security compliance standards. By following industry-standard regulations, businesses prove that they take their cloud security seriously. See cloud security compliance explained with this comprehensive guide.

The Importance of Cloud Security

There’s no understating just how important cloud security is. The policies, procedures, and resources that create a substantial defense system are some of the most crucial parts of any business. In many cases, organizations like financial or medical institutions can’t conduct business without some level of security protecting vital data and platforms.

Why is cloud security the way to go, though? Just as cloud computing centralizes many processes, applications, and data, cloud security centralizes your defense system. A streamlined and organized security plan makes it easy for you or your cloud provider to monitor threats and enact recovery plans. Additionally, the right cloud provider offers world-class security services alongside their cloud service. This gives you access to reliable protection that will help keep your business safe against even the most sophisticated cyber threats.

Security Is a Shared Responsibility

Part of explaining cloud security compliance involves discussing how businesses successfully run these systems. Every cloud computing system is different, which means all cloud security services are different. The way your system looks and functions will depend on what your business does, what kind of cloud system you have, your relationship with your cloud provider, and other factors. Generally speaking, though, cloud security is most successful with a shared responsibility model. This means that you and your cloud services provider are responsible for various aspects of your cloud security. This joint effort ensures that your security system is both comprehensive and personalized to your business. The specific duties of each party will vary from business to business, but there are a few usual roles you can expect for each side.

CSP Responsibilities

Generally speaking, your cloud service provider will handle security for your infrastructure. This means maintaining servers and storage, patching infrastructure, and configuring physical data centers and hardware. If you choose an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud system, these might be the sole responsibilities of your cloud provider. In a Platform as a Service (PaaS) system, your CSP might also be in charge of securing operating systems, virtualization resources, and cloud data. Finally, in Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud systems, cloud providers often provide security for software applications and middleware within your infrastructure.

Customer Responsibilities

Clients who work with cloud service providers have their own security roles to supplement the work of the CSP. These roles change based on the type of system they use. For example, a client who utilizes an IaaS cloud system will have more security responsibilities than one who uses SaaS. However, there are a few responsibilities that always fall on the client. Access management is one of the most crucial client responsibilities. You’re in charge of limiting access and preventing unauthorized use of applications and data. Encryption, backups, and other forms of data security are also your responsibility. However, your cloud system often gives you the tools needed to successfully perform these tasks, such as Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory or Azure Storage Analytics.

Upholding Industry Compliance

Knowing the importance of cloud security, it’s no wonder why industries and governments want to ensure that companies run their businesses safely and responsibly. Compliance standards vary by industry and location. These regulations give businesses a goal to strive toward in the way they maintain their infrastructure, use applications, and handle customer relations. Organizations that work in more sensitive fields like healthcare or finances will hold themselves to different standards than those in sectors like retail or manufacturing. That said, every company has certain compliance standards they must uphold to run a safe, secure, and reliable business. Here are just a few of the most common security compliances that Atmosera can help you meet:

HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets standards for the invaluable work that businesses and organizations do in the healthcare field. Patients must be able to trust healthcare facilities and organizations with some of their most sensitive data. This includes medical histories and financial information. HIPAA ensures that businesses within the industry handle this information responsibly, which means patients never have to worry about their personal data becoming lost or stolen.

PCI DSS

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards apply to any business that has access to cardholder data. They’re crucial for companies across all industries. From massive corporate enterprises to local mom-and-pop stores, anyone who processes or stores cardholder data must follow PCI DSS guidelines. These compliance standards let customers know that their financial information is safe in your hands.

SOC 1 & 2

There are two types of Service Organization Controls (SOC) reports, but they revolve around protecting customer data. SOC 1 and SOC 2 reports examine how well a company processes, stores, and manages customer information. Meeting these compliances means your company safely and reliably handles client data. This makes you a trustworthy business in the eyes of your customers. It also shows that you prioritize your clients and their privacy.

In some cases, compliance standards are a requirement for your business. In other scenarios, achieving these standards can put you above competitors in your industry. No matter what, striving to meet these strict regulations and guidelines shows that you prioritize security for yourself and your clients. Here at Atmosera, we feel the same way. That’s why we dedicate ourselves to helping every client meet their unique set of compliance standards. With a broad collection of Microsoft Azure security and compliance solutions, we can help you build the infrastructure that serves you, your teams, and your customers to the best of your ability.

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