There is no question that today’s IT infrastructure is growing increasingly complex. There are new and concerning threats to your data such as ransomware that threaten to affect your business. However, there is another rapidly growing concern for your business – compliance.
In general, compliance standards are a good thing and serve to help protect data in a way that is a benefit to both the consumer and the business. However, this does not make compliance an easy challenge to solve. Today’s compliance regulations are growing more complex and with consequences for non-compliance that are far-reaching. In addition, using the cloud for storing your data and services adds a new layer of complexity to the challenge of compliance.
Let’s take a look at a few questions related to compliance and your business. Why are backups important to compliance standards? What is the cost of non-compliance? What compliance frameworks exist? What regulations do cloud-to-cloud backup providers need to comply with? We will also consider how Spinbackup helps organizations effectively meet compliance standards in the cloud.
Table of Contents
Why Are Backups Important to Compliance Standards?
Compliance has become one of the most important aspects of using technology in business processes today. The sheer amount of data, the threats to that data, and the reevaluation of how it needs to be protected has led to many of the compliance regulations enforced today.
Due to a wide range of threats, data access needs to be scrutinized and protected. Additionally, the rights of those whose data is being used by businesses are becoming increasingly important. These and many other concerns are addressed by compliance regulations today.
The dangerous world of cybersecurity attacks from hackers and also insider threats that can often come from unscrupulous employees emphasizes the need to have standards, processes, and regulations in place to help protect the valuable data assets possessed by today’s businesses. One means to protect your data that is related to compliance is data backups.
There are two main aspects of compliance today that directly relate to backups of your data. One aspect found in many of today’s compliance regulations requires that data and, specifically, certain types of data be made available or remain available for certain periods of time.
To guarantee access and provide access to specific data required under various compliance regulations, it stands to reason that your business must have a way to ensure data is protected and can be produced, even in the event of a disaster if that were to happen.
Another aspect involves the need to find specific data as mandated by a formal request. This may be due to legal or other discovery reasons.
Backups play a major role in supporting both aspects of compliance mentioned. Let’s take a closer look at both of these areas of compliance that specifically enlist the need for backups.
- Ensuring data access
- Making eDiscovery possible
How are these made possible with backups?
Ensuring Data Access
Under many compliance regulations including HIPAA, clients (patients in the case of HIPAA) have a right to have access to their data at all times. Data access can be lost due to a number of reasons. Disasters can and do happen. Backups as part of the overall data protection plan, allow protecting and recovering data in times of disaster.
Disasters can come from a number of different sources, including infrastructure failures, cybersecurity attacks, and accidental or intentional deletion by inside employees who have access to systems. The threat of data loss in today’s environments from any number of causes is very real.
A true backup takes a complete copy of your data from production and stores it safely in another protected environment that can be accessed when needed. Backups allow ensuring that if and when a disaster does happen, data is not lost.
Data stored in the cloud is often overlooked when businesses think about an overall data protection strategy. However, with more data being stored in the cloud and data that is subject to compliance regulations, it is extremely important to consider cloud backups.
Contrary to what many may believe, data CAN be lost in cloud environments as shown in the data loss event over Memorial Day weekend in Amazon’s AWS environment. Protecting your data is your responsibility in cloud environments and must not be underestimated, especially when it comes to cloud compliance.
Making eDiscovery Possible
Your business today must comply with any need for eDiscovery. What is eDiscovery? The term eDiscovery is often used in relation to compliance, investigations, or lawsuits. It is the identifying, collecting, and producing electronic information in response to a formal request for the information in relation to legal or compliance requests.
Backups support these kinds of requests as the information contained in backups may be needed to show proof of certain files or changes in those files. Having the ability to produce these kinds of information is made possible by having backups of your data.
Again, eDiscovery comes into play in cloud environments as well. Cloud security compliance and governance requires the ability to satisfy eDiscovery requests when needed. Cloud backups provide this ability.
What is the Cost of Non-Compliance?
You may wonder, can my business get away with non-compliance? This would certainly be a dangerous proposition. Compliance regulations today have more “teeth” in terms of penalties and legal ramifications than ever before. A great example of this is the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance standard. GDPR provides the primary law regulating how companies protect EU citizens’ personal data.
GDPR regulations require protecting the data of EU citizens (Image courtesy of GDPR.EU)
If your company is found in gross violation of GDPR compliance standards, you can have very severe penalties levied against you. Your business can be fined as much as 4% of annual global turnover €20 Million (whichever is greater). So, clearly the cost to your business can be quite severe.
Clearly the standards organization is set about making GDPR violations a serious matter. In fact, many businesses have already been fined major amounts in relation to GDPR violations.
As you think about the seriousness of GDPR fines and violations, this is just one of the many compliance regulations that your business may need to comply with. This includes on-premises and cloud environments as well. It is extremely important to think about your cloud security policy and cloud compliance as well.
What Compliance Frameworks Exist?
There are many compliance frameworks that exist today that depending on the industry or business sector, your business may need to comply with. What is a compliance framework exactly?
In fact, compliance frameworks are just that – a structured set of guidelines to bring together and satisfy all compliance requirements that may apply to your business.
There are many well-known and reliable compliance frameworks that help your business develop the process and procedures necessary to meet the necessary compliance regulations. Examples of these include:
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)
- Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)
- Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT)
- National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)
- Cloud Security Alliance (CSA)
- Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM)
HIPAA helps to protect the information of patients
Depending on where your business is located and the business industry, different compliance regulations apply to different industries and locations.
GDPR would certainly apply to any processing and storage of EU citizen data. Hospitals certainly fall under the purview of HIPAA. Any payment processors or financial institutions would need to comply with PCI-DSS standards. Most likely, no matter what industry sector you fall into, there is a compliance regulation that needs to be met.
As we have seen, backups are crucial to meeting compliance requirements. As you no doubt are moving more of your business-critical data to the cloud, cloud compliance requires cloud backups. For cloud backups to help you you’re your cloud compliance objectives, they themselves need to be compliant with necessary compliance frameworks. Thinking about cloud-to-cloud backup vendors themselves, what compliance frameworks do they need to comply with?
Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Compliance
When you fall under certain compliance regulations with your business, it stands to reason your cloud-to-cloud backup solution of choice would need to comply with those same regulations. When you are looking for a cloud-to-cloud backup solution to protect your business-critical data in cloud SaaS environments like Google G Suite or Microsoft Office 365, you certainly want to look for a vendor that is compliance with most if not all the major compliance frameworks.
For most, this will no doubt include the likes of GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS to name a few. Even if your business does not fall under any compliance regulations, choosing a cloud-to-cloud backup vendor that is compliant allows you to have confidence in the security processes and controls they have in place for your data.
In general, you want to look at the security and protection that are provided by the cloud-to-cloud backup vendor to see what measures they take to keep your data safe. Are they encrypting your backups to make sure they are properly protected? What about access control?
Let’s take a look at a great cloud-to-cloud backup solution that is compliant with the major compliance frameworks and allows you to be as well.
Spinbackup Allows Easily Achieving Cloud Compliance
Spinbackup is a cloud-to-cloud backup solution that combines the unique capabilities of both effective backups and cybersecurity features to allow you to properly protect your data in the cloud. Let’s take a look at an overview of Spinbackup features that help to support your compliance objectives in the cloud.
Spinbackup contains the following backup features for your cloud data:
- Automated backups – 1x to 3x daily
- Multiple Data Center locations
- Automatic Versioning
- “Restore in Time Machine” recovery
- Restore Deleted Items
- A retention policy can include unlimited restore points
- Encrypted backups – in flight and at rest
- Advanced Reporting and Searching of your backups
Spinbackup provides automated backups and cybersecurity to help you achieve compliance objectives
The backups of your cloud-hosted data in Google G Suite and Office 365 environments by Spinbackup provides your business the ability to protect business-critical data, allow access to data at all times, and provide great eDiscovery tools that allow finding specific data in your backups very quickly.
Along with the backup features, Spinbackup provides a really effective suite of cybersecurity features that are not found in any other cloud-to-cloud backup solution on the market at this point. Spinbackup cybersecurity provides:
- Intelligent cybersecurity with machine learning-powered algorithms
- Ransomware protection
- Third-party apps control
- Insider threats detection
- …many other security features
In addition to backups and cybersecurity, Spinbackup “checks all the right boxes” for safeguarding your data with enterprise-grade security and privacy including:
- Assurance Programs
- Employees Access Control
- Data Deletion Policy
- Secure Cloud Ecosystem
- Data Access Policy
- Non-Disclosure Policy
- …many others
If you are considering a cloud-to-cloud backup solution, Spinbackup certainly makes a great choice to help you achieve compliance with the challenging compliance frameworks required by your business today.
Achieving compliance and security objectives today are two of the most important and challenging objectives for businesses to solve. Compliance helps to protect the data of customers as well as the business itself. The consequences of not complying with important regulations such as GDPR can be serious for your business.
Along with on-premises environments, making sure your cloud Software-as-a-Service environments like G Suite and Office 365 are backed up is a key component of your compliance objectives. Choosing a cloud-to-cloud backup vendor that is compliant with the major compliance frameworks ensures you can achieve compliance throughout your environment, including the cloud.
By aligning your business with today’s compliance regulations, you can achieve a higher standard of security and protection for your data and that of your customers which helps your customers build confidence in your brand.