Ensuring ongoing compliance with industry and regulatory standards can be a complex process, especially in a rapidly changing world. The GDPR, for example, is just one of a number of recent regulatory requirements that many companies with legacy systems have struggled to manage. Indeed, a recent study revealed that companies across the board expect the cost of compliance to rise in the coming years.
Thankfully, however, cloud computing technology can make achieving and maintaining a high standard of compliance significantly easier. Here are three ways that cloud computing can help improve compliance in your business.
1. Offering greater control
When your business uses cloud-based software, you gain an unprecedented level of control over what is installed, run and accessed on company devices. There was a time when keeping software updated and standardized across various devices, offices, and systems was a massive and ongoing task. Now, with cloud computing, it’s relatively simple. You can set up controls to ensure every device in your company is using current versions of supported software and thus considerably simplify compliance.
Many cloud computing suites improve compliance by offering monitoring services to notify you when settings have been changed or security protocols breached. These active monitoring solutions remove human error from the compliance reporting process, as well as improving your overall level of security.
Additionally, cloud computing improves compliance by streamlining the record-keeping process. Many regulatory requirements exist that govern record-keeping and notification. With the right tools in place, record-keeping can be handled automatically, freeing up employees to focus on other aspects of compliance.
2. Security at scale
The security provisions offered by cloud service providers generally exceed those available with standard business network environments. Physical and digital security are both top priorities for cloud service providers, who specialize in providing reliable solutions for diverse levels of network configurations, data storage and remote access. When you work with a cloud service provider, you automatically benefit from enhanced security that brings you closer to continuous compliance.
Cloud service providers have thousands of clients, so they likely already offer services and features that will help you meet your specific compliance requirements. It is in the interests of cloud service providers to support industry standards and maintain multiple networking and security certifications for their customers.
Azure, for example, offers a firewall for online applications, digital key management, and multi-factor authentication capabilities. Implementing any one of these solutions on your own systems would be a considerable task, but with Azure the process is much more accessible and predictable.
3. Staying ahead of changes
Cloud service providers are motivated to stay a step ahead of technology shifts, evolving security threats, and changes in regulatory requirements. When you work with a cloud service provider you automatically have a team of forward-thinking industry experts on your side.
When a new security threat arises, cloud service providers will be among the first to be aware of it and offer a solution. By the time changes are hitting the mainstream, a new solution will almost always be in the pipeline.
Conclusion: Does cloud computing improve compliance?
The cloud offers real opportunities for companies to simplify controls, streamline reporting, scale securely, and stay ahead of developing standards and regulations. Some businesses may, for any number of reasons, be reluctant to make the jump to cloud computing. However, the advantages of improved accountability, enhanced security, and operational standardization are all significant steps on the road to improved compliance.