TL:DR: Cloud compliance is a cornerstone of business scalability. While the concept of industry and/or regulatory compliance has been around for many decades, cloud compliance has grown exponentially as more and more enterprises move their resources to the cloud.
Here we will cover 3 common regulations - SOC 2, HIPAA, and PCI DSS and how they apply to different industries.
In 2022, 50% percent of all corporate data is stored in the cloud, and 70% of the applications used by businesses are SaaS-based.
In its simplest form, cloud compliance is the need for businesses to ensure that cloud-delivered systems comply with standards their customers require. Who your “customers” are can dictate the level of compliance you need to provide.
A more complete and holistic definition of cloud compliance would be the process of complying with cloud usage:
That’s a tall order.
If you are new to cloud compliance and don’t know where to start, here the 5 top questions to ask yourself when building a cloud compliance strategy:
SOC 2 (Systems and Organization Controls 2) probably casts the widest net when it comes to cloud compliance. It is not industry specific but it defines broad criteria for managing customer data based on five Trust Service Criteria (TSC). You cannot pick and choose from this list - all of them are relevant to SOC 2 compliance:
And while SOC 2 is not industry specific, the requirements for SOC 2 certification are unique to each organization that seeks it, based on the unique character of the organization and the sensitive information handled.
The rise in cloud computing, and its outsourcing, gave rise to SOC 2. Liability concerns caused a demand in assurance of confidentiality and privacy of information processed by the system.
In its simplest form, SOC 2 requirements govern anyone (vendors, third party providers, SaaS providers, PaaS providers, and more) that has access to, transfers, or stores client information in the cloud.
As noted above, it's important to understand the regulatory environment in your sector and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is crucial for any healthcare business.
The core foundation of HIPAA compliance centers around protected health information (PHI). Companies who are in possession of any amount of PHI must have physical, digital, and process measures to protect patient data.
Anyone providing treatment, payment, or operations in the field of healthcare are subject to HIPAA compliance rules. Business associates and other entities, such as subcontractors are all bound by these regulations.
When in doubt, take the most expansive approach and assume that HIPAA applies to you if you have access to PHI. Even non-standard clearinghouse enterprises can be covered by HIPAA, for example, when simply acting as a channel for transference of data.
Let’s face it. Gone are the days where our wallets were homes for cash. At best, your wallet today will - perhaps - have some credit cards but there is an even greater chance that your financial transactions are all virtual, on a payment app.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance is adherence to the set of policies and procedures developed to protect credit, debit and cash card transactions and prevent the misuse of personal cardholder data (CHD) information.
Unlike HIPAA which is regulated by the United States government, the PCI DSS is an industry standard. The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, an open global forum with five founding credit card companies, develops and manages these standards:
The PCI DSS applies to all entities that store, process, and/or transmit cardholder data. It covers technical and operational system components included in, or connected to, cardholder data. If you are a merchant who accepts or processes payment cards, you must comply with the PCI DSS.
As with HIPAA, when in doubt, take the most expansive approach and assume that PCI DSS applies to you if you have access - at any time - to any level of credit or debit card information.
Whether you are subject to SOC2, HIPAA, PCI DSS, or are in a position of high trust with your customers’ data, rigorous cloud compliance is crucial to your reputation - and the success of your company.
Compliance is far more than a regulatory requirement or industry standard. It is designed to protect highly sensitive data and you stake your business reputation on your ability to protect that data. With Ibexlabs, you can stand behind your commitment to your customers and be recognized as a company to be trusted. Trust and reputation are the cornerstones of customer retention and with it, comes your ability to scale.
Regardless of regulatory or industry guidelines, we can conduct penetration testing on your network, simulating cyber attacks to discover your weakest link so you can prevent future breaches.
Our process is a straightforward but uncompromising multi-pronged approach.
We partner with global industry leaders like Ermetic, ZScaler, Cloud Storage Security to find security gaps and remediate them as soon as possible, and we have extensive experience of implementing cloud architecture that enables healthcare and fintech companies to achieve compliance faster.
We deliver innovation, deep expertise, and an agile framework to meet our customers’ acute business and technical demands. holistic approach to enterprise compliance:
Contact Ibexlabs so we can chart your compliance course.