Maintaining Compliance in Public Cloud – Roadblocks and Implications

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Risk management, a cyclically executed process, contains a range of coordinated tasks and actions dedicated to controlling risks. The cloud adoption is now widespread, as it is secure and resilient for organizations to run workloads. According to Gartner, public cloud workloads will suffer 60% lesser security threats compared to on-premises in 2020, which is good news. However, the bad news is that these security breaches will occur owing to the fault of customers.

Benchmarking configurations against flag violations and best practices are currently the state of the art approach to cloud security assessment. Management of individual configurations is imperative, as several security breaches are tracked down to the most simple configuration errors. The downside of benchmarking the configurations is that the cloud compliance model easily gets lost among security policies.

Compliance – A Massive Roadblock to Cloud Migration

It has been observed that IT decision-makers (ITDMs) are hesitant to move their compliant workloads to the cloud. Compliance remains a massive roadblock to the public cloud adoption moving forward. There is a consensus among approximately 90% of ITDMs that meeting compliance standards in the cloud impedes further public cloud adoption. Nearly 80% of these believe they would not clear all of the compliance audits and 70% believe that regulations on cloud compliance are bound to change continuously in the years to come.

Key roadblocks holding ITDMs from moving their workloads to the cloud:

1) Cloud Compliance Cost

It is highly unlikely that cloud platforms are themselves the reason for inhibiting adoption. The more likely deterrent is the unawareness of the available resources. Public cloud providers continue to make significant investments in audits, documentation, and tools to ensure good compliance posture of their platforms. However, an additional cost is entailed by duplicating compliance tools, audits, and efforts on an additional platform, such as a PCI-DSS audit. This involves thousands of dollars for every platform being audited along with the overhead of maintenance and staff.

2) Changing Compliance Regulations

Lack of IT engineers with expertise in compliance has led to major financial firms spending a huge premium on compliance talent. The belief among nearly half of the ITDMs that CSPs hold greater responsibility for cloud compliance highlights this lack of expertise. CSPs, such as AWS, are clear on their point that customers remain responsible for security and compliance in the cloud. Understanding of compliance responsibility is the need of the hour for executives for successful operations on the cloud. Training programs are imperative to educate IT engineers and decision-makers, which will mitigate resistance to cloud migration in the future.

3) Lack of Expert Professionals in Cloud Compliance

The belief among ITDMs that significant changes in the compliance regulations are imminent is having a dramatic impact on the migration of compliant workloads to the public cloud. These changes are also bid to enhance the compliance cost to a certain extent while creating additional complexities. While running compliant workloads in the cloud, organizations will have to interpret newer regulations and recruit more experts for maintaining compliance. The additional complexities will create another roadblock to the adoption of the public cloud for overburdened compliance teams.

In the space as adaptive and dynamic as cloud computing, maintaining compliance with regulations is a moving target. Cloudlytics is one of the increasingly popular compliance monitoring tools that evaluate your environment to remain compliant with regulatory policies. It will also help you auto-remediate the most common issues and build a robust compliance posture. 

As cloud technology matures, best practices to maintain cloud compliance will evolve in parallel. Additional resources are required to be prepared by companies for migrating regulated data to the public cloud while maintaining compliance with changing regulations.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veeraj Thaploo

Veeraj Thaploo

Veeraj Thaploo is the co-founder & CTO at Blazeclan and Director at Cloudlytics. Veeraj is renowned for his expertise with cloud, automation, and analytics solutions. Over the last 15 years, he has been instrumental in delivering transformative cloud migration solutions for businesses across the globe. At Cloudlytics, he spearheads the product architecture that helps businesses secure their cloud assets.

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