What is the cloud compliance trap, and how do you avoid it?

What is the cloud compliance trap, and how do you avoid it?

Many business owners mistakenly think that when they partner with a cloud provider to store their data, they also hand over the responsibility for legal and regulatory compliance in the cloud. This is known as the cloud compliance trap, and if you fall into it, your company can find itself in a world of trouble.

But while the cloud compliance trap is a real risk for businesses, it is one that can be avoided. Learn how you can protect your data and prevent being ensnared by the compliance trap.

Understanding the shared responsibility model

The cloud compliance trap is a misinterpretation of the shared responsibility model that exists between cloud providers and their customers. Under this model, the customer is responsible for ensuring that their data complies with all laws and regulations, while the cloud provider is responsible for ensuring that their infrastructure is compliant. This means that if your data is not compliant when it is stored in the cloud, it is your company that will be held responsible for noncompliance, not the cloud provider.

Related reading: 8 Key steps for migrating to the cloud: What every SMB should know

How can you avoid falling into the cloud compliance trap?

Apart from understanding your responsibilities under the shared responsibility model, you should also do the following to ensure your company complies with relevant regulations:

1. Invest in identity and access management (IAM)

Effective IAM can help prevent unauthorized access by guaranteeing that only those who need to use specific data gain access privileges to it. Setting the right verification processes also lets you control what users can do with the data they can access, thus helping prevent data breaches and any compliance issues.

2. Implement security intelligence

This involves monitoring your systems for signs of malicious activity and using the information you gain from monitoring to improve your security posture. Doing so helps you detect threats early and prevent them from causing irreparable damage to your company.

3. Apply risk-based authentication

Risk-based authentication means applying varying levels of authentication processes according to risk levels; i.e., as the risk increases, the authentication process becomes more stringent. This strategy assures the security of your most vulnerable assets and reduces the chances of your company being fined or penalized for noncompliance.

How can a managed IT services provider (MSP) help with data security?

While there are several things you can do to protect your data and avoid the compliance trap, working with an MSP can augment your efforts. This is because an MSP can provide the resources and expertise you need to secure your data properly, as well as help you implement the best tech to protect your data.

Specifically, your MSP can deliver a wide range of services, including:

  • Managed services – MSPs can take on the responsibility of managing and monitoring data, which includes patch management, intrusion detection, and malware removal. They can also help with user identities and permissions by providing access control and single sign-on solutions. This ensures that your systems stay efficient, up to date, and secure.
  • Cybersecurity services – MSPs offer a variety of cybersecurity services such as firewalls, antivirus protection, and encryption to help your organization protect its data against various cyberthreats.
  • Cloud services – From cloud storage to cloud security, MSPs can provide various cloud services that ensure your data in the cloud is compliant with relevant laws and regulations.
  • IT support – With 24/7 IT support from an MSP, you can have peace of mind knowing that someone can help with your IT concerns no matter the time of day.
  • Consulting services – Experts can assess your organization's compliance posture and make recommendations for improvement so you can easily achieve compliance and avoid costly IT mistakes.

To avoid falling into the compliance trap, partner with one of New Jersey’s most trusted MSPs, Online Computers. We can help you carry out your roles in the shared responsibility model so you can properly secure your data and keep your business compliant. Drop us a line today to learn more about our services.

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