SOC 2 is a report produced by a certified public accounting (CPA) firm that assesses a cloud provider's security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy controls. This report is based on the Trust Services Criteria (TSC) developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). SOC 2 reports assure customers and stakeholders that the cloud provider has adequate controls in place to protect their data.
- FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program) is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring of cloud products and services. FedRAMP provides a security framework that includes NIST 800-53controls and requires cloud providers to undergo independent security assessments. FedRAMP certification is required for cloud providers that provide services to federal agencies.
Why is assessing cloud provider compliance important?
Assessing cloud provider compliance is essential for several reasons:
It helps ensure cloud providers have adequate controls to protect data from cybersecurity threats. This is especially important for businesses that deal with sensitive data, such as financial or healthcare information.
It helps businesses maintain regulatory compliance. Many industries are subject to regulations, such as HIPAA and PCI DSS, which require companies to protect sensitive data. Using a compliant cloud provider can help companies to meet these requirements.
Assessing cloud provider compliance can help businesses avoid costly data breaches and reputational damage.
How to assess cloud provider compliance?
To ensure they meet the necessary security standards, assessing cloud provider compliance involves reviewing its compliance documentation, such as SOC 2 reports and FedRAMP certifications. Here are the steps to evaluate cloud provider compliance:
Identify the cloud provider's compliance documentation:
Most providers have compliance documentation on their website or through a sales representative. Identify the relevant compliance documentation, such as SOC 2 reports and FedRAMP certifications.
Review the compliance documentation:
Review the compliance documentation to ensure the cloud provider meets the necessary security standards. Look for any red flags, such as incomplete reports or failed controls.
If necessary, verify compliance by contacting the cloud provider and asking for additional documentation or conducting an independent audit.
Evaluate the risks associated with using the cloud provider, including the data storage type and the potential impact of a data breach.
Make an informed decision:
Use the information gathered from the assessment to decide whether to use the cloud provider.
In conclusion, assessing cloud provider compliance is essential in ensuring the security and compliance of sensitive data. By reviewing the cloud provider's compliance documentation, such as SOC 2 reports and FedRAMP certifications, businesses can ensure that cloud providers have adequate controls to protect their data from cybersecurity threats and maintain regulatory compliance. This step is vital to avoid costly data breaches and reputational damage, as outlined in the NIST 800-53 standard.
Author - Charu Balodhi