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// 22 Sep 2021

How To Meet Compliance Requirements for Applications in AWS

Suhas Nayak, Sr. Director, Cloud and Data Center Marketing

Today’s compliance landscape is more complicated than it’s ever been—and it’s full of liabilities for any organization that retains user or customer data, whether workloads are hosted on-premises or in the cloud with providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS).

An organization’s compliance with regulatory standards for application usage and data storage must remain in accordance with industry guidelines and local, national, and international laws.
Failing to maintain compliance can result in several consequences, including steep fines, damage to a business’s reputation, and even the potential of downtime to its network infrastructure, causing severe disruptions to its processes and end users.

Let’s look at what compliance in AWS entails and some solutions organizations can leverage to ensure they remain compliant.

Compliance Regulations Within AWS

Cloud environments like AWS have become increasingly popular as more organizations realize their scalability and cost efficiencies. However, as these organizations increase their cloud migrations, they must also understand the increased scope of compliance they are taking on—especially since cloud providers like AWS do not offer the necessary data protection and security requirements to meet full compliance on all ends.

Remember that compliance is not just about meeting requirements for real-time processes; securing enterprise data and its backups is an essential aspect that can often prove even more complicated. If your organization is currently using AWS for its workloads and data, you must be equipped to meet all the various compliance requirements, both now and as they change in the future.

Although AWS does provide a level of compliance on its end, full compliance for the organization falls under what is known as a shared responsibility model.

What Is the AWS Shared Responsibility Model?

Under AWS’s shared responsibility model, AWS is responsible for compliance with any regulations regarding the host layer and physical infrastructure, while the organizations using AWS are responsible for regulations relevant to how they use the cloud services, host applications, and store data.
These shared compliance responsibilities are referred to as “security of the cloud” and “security in the cloud.”

AWS is responsible for the security of the cloud itself—the infrastructure that runs its cloud services, such as hardware, software, networking, and facilities.

Organizations using AWS are responsible for maintaining security in the cloud. These responsibilities are dependent on the actual services the organization is using and can include any application, software, or utilities installed by the customer on the instances, access to the endpoints used to store and retrieve data, and management of data, which includes any encryption options being deployed.

The organization’s responsibilities don’t end there; they must also classify their assets and use identity and access management (IAM) tools to apply the appropriate permissions. And this is all in addition to meeting service-level agreements (SLAs) with their customers.

Although AWS does offer organizations native compliance tools of their own, this does not negate how complicated and burdensome the process can be when performed manually on an ongoing basis.

The Challenges of Achieving Compliance in AWS

Organizations have many hurdles to face when seeking to meet compliance requirements within AWS.

First, there is a wide range of governmental and industry-specific regulations, including HIPPA, PCI, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and Europe’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These requirements are in addition to the complexities surrounding protecting consumer personally identifiable information (PII).

Such regulations are also subject to change at any time. Further complicating matters are the inconsistencies between state, federal, and international regulations. For example, there is a minimum six-year federal retention period for HIPAA-protected records, but state-level requirements can be anywhere from five to ten years.

There’s also the issue of the hidden costs and sticker shock that can occur when achieving compliance within AWS. Organizations that use large volumes of snapshots to back up data and meet retention requirements can see their costs snowball over time as the snapshots add up.

Furthermore, organizations going the manual route with compliance must use multiple tools or manually-written scripts to piece together their policies—a process that’s very complex to implement and maintain. This is even more difficult when trying to keep up with shifting regulations or trying to stifle rising storage costs.

What’s the Best Way To Meet Compliance in AWS?

Relying on manual compliance is complicated, burdensome, costly, and leaves plenty of room for error. This environment creates a high risk of compliance failure that can quickly translate into business failure.

Choosing an AWS compliance solution that meets the necessary data retention periods, security measures, cost efficiencies, and data recovery requirements is the most effective way to not only achieve but continue meeting requirements as they change.

Clumio Simplifies AWS Data Protection and Compliance With a Turnkey Solution

Clumio is a fully secure, backup-as-a-service that provides air-gap ransomware protection and compliance-driven data retention for AWS applications. It offers easy, hands-off automation of even the most tedious compliance tasks, freeing up your IT and development staff to focus on other aspects of the organization’s operations.

With Clumio, your organization has a centralized backup solution that defines backup policies and monitors compliance in real-time across your entire AWS environment—and all of your SLAs. Clumio also ensures predictable cloud backup and data storage costs, eliminating skyrocketing overhead and sticker shock associated with the constant creation of data snapshots.

Clumio achieves this by:

  • Offering a simple interface that provides a single, cohesive view of all your AWS assets and removes complexity by automatically discovering AWS accounts and indexing any resources that require compliance protection with uniform policies. Plus, new resources are automatically detected and have the same policies applied.
  • Providing encryption, compression, and resource management, and instant alerts when compliance may be at risk.
  • Storing backups behind an air-gap and outside of production environments ensuring protection against account compromises such as ransomware attacks and bad actor behavior.
  • Clumio has completed many rigorous certification efforts including ISO 27001, ISO 27701, SOC 2 Type 2, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. This rigorous testing makes Clumio one of the most secure platforms in AWS and ensures that customer data is stored adhering to their compliance requirements.
  • Eliminating the need to write work-around automation scripts thanks to Clumio’s policy-driven solution that helps organizations meet data and governance mandates by automatically applying uniform policies to all assets. Clumio allows policies to be built using AWS tags, so it integrates seamlessly into existing workflows.

Experience Automated, Hands-Off AWS Compliance With Clumio

Achieve and maintain data compliance, ensure cost predictability, and provide ransomware data protection for all of your essential workloads in AWS with Clumio.

Built natively in AWS Clumio offers automatic scalability and 24/7 monitoring and support, all within a responsive and intuitive interface with a quick onboarding process.

Safeguard your organization and users with a simple, yet powerful data protection solution that efficiently protects your data and provides clear insights for compliance audits. Schedule a demo today, or click here to learn how you can get $200 worth of free AWS credits when you test Clumio for your enterprise.