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Data compliance has always been a concern, but in recent years, not paying proper attention could lead to costly consequences. Data compliance is a significant concern for most companies that use SAP because of legislative regulations. Laws and rules such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the US relate to how data is stored and transferred. Compliance is a relatively expensive and burdensome process. These processes have become infinitely more complicated when dealing with cloud storage and processing. Requirements including encryption, data separation, and data location rules add to the complexity of the installation. Confidence in a company's compliance comes from a proper understanding of the storage processes and responsibilities of the cloud provider and the company itself. These compliance questions can help instill a more robust level of confidence in those dealing with the company's cloud storage solutions.

1.   Who's Responsible for Security Compliance, And Where Do Responsibilities End?

Both the cloud provider and the company have their own security compliance teams. It's not uncommon to run into situations where both teams blame the other for a breach of compliance. Finger-pointing benefits no one, and having the roles appropriately defined beforehand ensures that one group doesn't overreach their jurisdiction and step on the other team's toes.

2.   Do Compliance Personnel Know Who has Access to What Data?

Cloud data storage and permissions are opaque, and it's nearly impossible to guarantee that the compliance team has access to which users can see what data. Without this level of transparency, the compliance team may be required to have advanced privileges to ascertain whether there are users with access to information they don't need. This access helps them determine who falls outside of compliance guidelines.

3.   Do Compliance Personnel Have a Say in Selecting Cloud Providers?

Most companies don't let their compliance teams have a say in choosing the cloud provider, but maybe this should change. Cloud compliance experts have unique insight into what a system needs to remain compliant. They can further evaluate a cloud provider to see if they fit the minimum requirements for compliance. Businesses are now looking to choose cloud providers with demonstrated compliance functionality with their other clients.

4.   Are Compliance Teams Utilizing Tools and utilities To Help Monitor Cloud Data?

Both cloud providers and third-party businesses offer tools and utilities that can help a company keep an eye on its data and ensure compliance with regulations. Propper planning and training of the compliance team can ensure that the business uses these tools effectively and efficiently.

5.   Are Cloud SLAs Selected With Clear Metrics, Processes, and Timelines In Place?

Metrics ought to be meaningful and measurable. Since many cloud providers limit their liability for data breaches, the onus is on the company to ensure that their security systems are up to date and conform to the provider's setup guidelines. Protocols including disaster management, privacy, security, and failure management should be understood thoroughly. In the case of an emergency, these protocols should be implemented efficiently to deal with the issue.

Compliance Is Crucial in Modern Business

Compliance exists to give the consumer peace of mind. Aside from meeting the bare minimum to function as a business within a regulated industry, compliance also seeks to impose best practices on a company. While on-premise systems have had to deal with compliance (and its related issues) for some time, cloud processing and storage are only just coming to grips with the situation. Even so, it's a necessary evil that needs to be addressed by every business.
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