Maintaining Compliance In The Cloud


Today, most businesses are striving to gain the IT efficiencies provided by cloud computing, however many are challenged by the need to need to maintain compliance with regulatory standards.  More and more industries are being mandated to comply with strict regulations that impact handling of data and carry severe penalties if they are violated. Given that many cloud platforms are multi-tenant virtual environments that share physical machines, many have uncertainty that compliance can be maintained.

This is a valid concern given the severity of penalties and fines that can be incurred for failing to comply with these regulations, especially if you’re in the healthcare, energy or financial industries. These industries are strictly regulated to ensure the protection of data and maintain a common standard of operations that all must follow.  The strictest examples of these standards are HIPAA in healthcare, FISMA in government contracts and PCI -DSS in credit card processing. These standards often don’t address the unique characteristics of a cloud, which can be problematic if not addressed.

While the cloud creates new challenges to address compliance needs, there are cloud providers that are able to offer assistance with regulatory issues through rigidly maintaining best in class technologies, physical infrastructure and regimented processes. To that end, SunGard is a great example of a provider that has addressed this challenge.  They have long assisted their clients with maintaining compliance in traditional hosting models and now offers Enterprise Cloud Services that support compliance across all industries leveraging virtual environments.

To ensure that compliance standards are addressed in the cloud SunGard provides multiple levels of security. This means a physical framework with an infrastructure that has built-in resiliency, reliable electrical power, data replication for high availability and failover and more.  Besides a physical framework that has security measures in place to protect data, businesses should also adhere to best practices as defined by industry efforts and those set forth by the company to meet specific demands. Best practices and process discipline limit human error, so operations can run as smoothly as possible without any threats to security or application up-time. This includes measures such as defining employee authorization to a data center and having a detailed idea of how internal security reviews are reported and performed.

Businesses no longer need to miss out on the advantages of leveraging cloud platforms has to offer due to the complexities of regulatory compliance.  Providers such as SunGard can ensure that regulatory requirements are addressed, while still providing businesses with the efficiencies of the cloud.

For more information about SunGard’s dedicated process discipline assists you with compliance, download this detailed white paper.

About the Author: For more writing by Jillian Johnson follow her @MissWritey.

photo credit: FutUndBeidl via photopin cc

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