(This is part 2 of the Audit Readiness series. Read part 1 here.)

The importance of a business to establish credibility in the eyes of its customers cannot be overstated. It is the basis of trust, new customer acquisition, and business sustainability. Credibility can be embodied in the relationship between a company and a single customer well served, or it can be more broadly associated within a business community and built over time with many customers. Credibility is earned through class-leading performance critiqued by a discerning audience and shared through traditional media and social platforms. A job well done—multiplied and nurtured in the marketplace—can be the fertile ground for an enduring legacy and a springboard for growth.

Several criteria are necessary to cultivate a reputation for customer satisfaction in the technology-driven enterprise market. Among the most visible and oft mentioned is security. Technical acumen—particularly related to the cloud—can be found in abundance in many, if not most service-oriented companies. However, the ability to deliver secure environments tied to the nuances of specific industry segments is less prevalent. An organization’s credibility rests on the facility to formulate a security strategy to meet stringent industry guidelines and protocols. And each industry is unique in this regard.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a powerful system of tools, platforms, protocols, and applied technologies that have given its users unparalleled utility. The ascendency of AWS is without dispute, but its strength is correlated to its complexity. An AWS-certified partner can rightly claim confidence in their capability; they have made the grade. It is arguable, however, that while certification is important, the true measure of credibility is achieved when an organization working in the AWS environment can withstand the scrutiny of highly motivated industry regulators—and the occasionally intimidating—audit.

Audit readiness is an integral part of a successful business, especially for those organizations that prosper in highly regulated industries. Companies must demonstrate competency in maintaining a secure infrastructure, hermetic access protocols, and compliance with tough standards such as SoC2, FedRAMP, HIPAA, and HiTrust. An industry audit can either elevate a company’s reputation when passed or damage one’s credibility if failed. To be audit ready within an AWS cloud-based scenario is a further mark of excellence.

On a practical level, there are several steps a company can take to be audit ready, beginning with secure access. This can be enhanced through an IAM to enforce MFA for all users; disable root access; use an SSO process; and adhere to a strict 90-day key rotation policy. Fortunately, there are tools available that can help, including GuardDuty, CloudTrail, and AWS SecurityHub, to create alerts of unintended access or malicious activity.

Ibexlabs is a trusted expert with established credibility in audit readiness. We are an Advanced APN Partner with certified competencies in MSP, MSSP Level-1, DevOps, and AWS Well-Architected frameworks. We know what it takes to ensure that our clients are audit ready and use AWS Audit Manager to improve our insights. Our Ibex Catalog features the products and services from which to choose that best meet your industry requirements, time frame, and growth prospects. If audit readiness and the credibility it brings to your company are essential to your organization, we can help.