As the number of mission critical workloads running in the cloud increases it becomes more important to define a comprehensive compliance strategy. Both AWS and Azure offer robust features designed to meet these challenges. Irrespective of which cloud provider you select there are some common denominators in how compliance is realized.
Concepts such as resource templates, policies and desired state configuration can be used as guardrails to guarantee resource provisioning is aligned with enterprise standards. These concepts also help ensure consistent and predictable deployments across environments. A continuous evaluation of the active vs desired resource state can be used to generate drift reports that alert administrators to unattended changes to resource configuration.
Security compliance is achieved through a continuous real time evaluation of security posture and the security policies that have been applied to your environment. Policies can enforce critical security concepts such as enterprise data encryption standards, end point protection and multi factor authentication. Solutions that help monitor security posture will provide continuous environment scanning that works to identify both active threats and security recommendations.
Like security, regulatory compliance makes use of policies to enforce a set of standards and laws that are specific to your industry and needs. Both AWS and Azure offer collections of policies that are predefined to meet compliance standards for simple and complex businesses. The real time monitoring and evaluation of the policies ensures that your cloud environment is always operating within the desired regulatory standards.
AWS and Azure both provide a mature and expansive offering for enabling auditing at scale. Security and compliance solutions offer built in capabilities that meet the real time auditing requirements for most industries. Platform level monitoring and logging can also be leveraged to generate highly detailed custom reporting over all aspects of cloud resource life cycle, configuration, security access logs and state.
It is important to have a strong and well-defined compliance strategy in place. This involves defining roles and responsibilities, establishing processes and procedures, and implementing tools and technologies to support compliance efforts. This can include implementing a change management process to ensure that any changes made to the cloud environment are properly documented and approved before being implemented.
Another key aspect of compliance is ensuring that your organization has the necessary controls in place to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access. This can include implementing encryption for data at rest and in transit, implementing access controls and identity management, and regularly conducting security assessments and penetration tests to identify and address potential vulnerabilities.
In the cloud, security is a horizontal concern that cuts across all layers and aspects of the environment, from the network, infrastructure and platform to the applications and data. It is a shared responsibility that involves everyone involved in the cloud, from the providers and operators to the users and developers. Overall, achieving compliance in the cloud requires a combination of the right tools, processes, and policies. By implementing the appropriate controls and continuously monitoring and evaluating your environment, you can ensure that your cloud workloads are compliant with industry standards and regulations. Following are some of the services in AWS and Azure you can use to meet your security and compliance goals.