AcademyWhy Automation Is Critical When Choosing a Cloud Compliance Platform

Why Automation Is Critical When Choosing a Cloud Compliance Platform

Compliance is getting harder, and the complexity of the cloud can make it both difficult and expensive to manage. Your organization needs to consider compliance through many lenses - data protection, data localization and sovereignty, interception, and access to information, as well as regional and industry-specific regulations.

Wiz Experts Team

New regulations introduce new compliance obligations

The cloud brings tremendous business advantages, but it’s important to remember that while cloud workloads can be globally distributed  at the click of a button, that same click can result in a need to comply with GDPR. In other words, adopting a cloud service with better availability across regions might be the right decision from a technology point of view; but it could also result in data localization and sovereignty concerns. Because of these intricacies, compliance management in the cloud is a continuous process.

Regulatory updates mandate new security controls

Depending on your industry, your organization may be required to comply with GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, or SOX, as well as any obligations around data location, retention, and access. Every update to these regulations creates a need to assess compliance, as well as address any gaps that may emerge, and adopt updated security controls to meet your compliance obligations.

The consequences of non-compliance can be significant, often resulting in fines and legal action as well as reputational damage. Revenue can be impacted as compliance failures hit the news, undermining customer trust.

The expanding scope of compliance

The traditional data center model saw digital assets hosted in a known physical location, managed by staff who were often employees of the organization owning those assets. The adoption of the cloud, and with it the shared responsibility model, changes that position. Cloud workloads are hosted in remote locations using services that blur physical boundaries locally, regionally, and nationally. 

Endpoints are connected to the Internet for management and customer access, increasing attack surface areas exponentially. Recent innovations, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), see every device become an Internet-connected endpoint sharing potentially sensitive data. Those endpoints could be situated in public areas to achieve their purpose, making them vulnerable to compromise. The scope of organizational compliance increases with every endpoint or service, and with it the challenge of scale.

5 ways automation simplifies cloud compliance

The large and complex multi-cloud environments used today make manual identification, assessment, remediation, and tracking of compliance issues all but impossible. Thankfully, automated cloud compliance management tools are available to ensure regulatory alignment. Such tools simplify the process, in several ways:

  • Enhanced visibility across regulatory frameworks: Cloud compliance management tools provide a consolidated view of organizational compliance across frameworks, giving you an at-a-glance view of any items that need to be addressed. No more reviewing digital assets for HIPAA, then again for PCI DSS. A single graphical representation of compliance posture against all relevant frameworks means issues can be easily identified and passed to the right team for corrective action.

  • Automated compliance scanning:  Real-time identification of compliance issues in dynamic cloud environments minimizes your organization's exposure to the risks of non-compliance. Automatic assessment of compliance posture saves the time and effort associated with manual compliance checks and enables greater staff productivity as a result.

  • Centralized data collection: Creating a single information source for the identification, management  and mitigation of compliance events, means a single source of truth for all compliance matters. Substantiating compliance is simple with reports across the technology estate, or within a specific framework. Investigations can be supported without any impact on usual business operations.

  • Automatic remediation processes: Automated remediation of non-compliant issues and misconfigurations is provided by custom tool sets that return misconfigured items to baseline, as well as deploying proven fixes to address compliance gaps. Automation returns configuration items to a compliant state quickly and efficiently.

  • Automated report generation: Managing information at an executive summary level, as well as the granular framework-specific level, is available at the click of a button. Navigate quickly and easily from high-level compliance standards through categories, to specific controls and assessments across digital assets.

Choosing the right cloud compliance platform

When choosing a cloud compliance platform, it’s important to consider automation. Using a combination of established frameworks for efficiency, and custom frameworks for flexibility, cloud compliance platforms align organizational needs with compliance posture.

Cloud compliance platforms simplify investigations by presenting high-quality information at both summary and granular levels, as well as integrating with messaging and ticketing workflows to automatically route issues to remediation teams. Compliance heat maps provide a single view of compliance across all cloud environments and all frameworks, helping you determine where your focus needs to be. Remediation can be automated, resolving misconfigurations and deviation from compliance baselines.

With continuous assessment, automated platforms can ensure compliance. Automated compliance solutions enable continuous assessment and timely reporting, which maximizes productivity.  

Continue Reading

What is a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)?

CASBs play a critical role in providing visibility into how businesses use the cloud. They enforce security and governance rules to mitigate the risk that cloud services or SaaS apps could become weak links in an organization’s security posture. Without a CASB, you may not know which applications, services, and data your business has exposed in cloud environments. How would you know if those resources are secure if you don’t know they exist?

What is SOC 2 compliance?

Whether you offer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps to customers, use SaaS apps yourself, or both, you need to be familiar with SOC 2 compliance. SOC 2 compliance rules provide a foundation for ensuring that sensitive data is managed in a secure way within the context of SaaS and other cloud-based services.

What are cloud services?

Whether you’ve gone fully cloud-native in your application design or you’re running monolithic applications in the cloud, cloud services form the foundation for most application deployment strategies today. Understanding how cloud services work, and how to keep them secure, is essential for virtually every modern organization.

Understanding AWS Security Groups

One of the fundamental challenges you face with a cloud computing service like AWS is that you can’t implement all of the security controls that would be available to you on-premises, since you don’t have access to the physical infrastructure that powers your cloud environment. For example, you can’t set up the same types of network firewalls, because you don’t control your cloud provider’s network infrastructure. What you can do, however, is take advantage of solutions like AWS Security Groups, a powerful framework for controlling which network traffic can flow to and from cloud-based virtual machines.

Top cloud vulnerabilities for 2022

The popularity of cloud computing has grown exponentially in recent years, reducing costs, improving availability of service, and driving collaboration. With increased access and infrastructure being hosted on public-facing, shared platforms, come security challenges that cannot be met using outdated controls from traditional data centers. Cloud vulnerabilities take many forms, and it has never been more important for organizations to secure their accounts, subscriptions, VPCs, access control lists, and security groups from threats.