Cloud Compliance: Regulatory Requirements for Web-Based Apps (2023)

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Cloud compliance is one of the most crucial aspects of developing a web-based application and operating a business around that application.

According to the State of Cloud Security Report, 84% of companies only have basic security measures in place to protect their cloud infrastructure. The report also states that 79% of companies have experienced data breaches owing to a lack of security measures.

Cloud Compliance: Regulatory Requirements for Web-Based Apps (1)


You need to understand cloud compliance requirements to help you fix the vulnerabilities of your cloud infrastructure that could result in a data breach or unauthorized use of the data. Cloud compliance covers several aspects of how web-based applications can cloud services to store, manage, and use their data. Let’s understand what cloud compliance is and why is it necessary for web-based applications.


  • 1 What is Cloud Compliance?
  • 2 Why is Cloud Compliance Necessary?
  • 3 How Web Apps can Ensure Cloud Compliance?
    • 3.1 Identify the Applicable Regulations
    • 3.2 Pick the Right Cloud Service Provider
    • 3.3 Understand your Responsibility
    • 3.4 Manage Access Control
    • 3.5 Implement Data Classification
    • 3.6 Implement Encryption
    • 3.7 Understand Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • 4 Conclusion

What is Cloud Compliance?

Cloud Compliance involves adhering to regulatory standards for cloud security and usage as per relevant industry requirements as well as laws defined by different local, national, and international governing bodies.

Although each industry, nation, or international body has its own set of compliance regulations. If you want to operate your web-based in any of these territories, you need to adhere to their regulations. You also need to comply with cloud regulations to launch your web apps on certain platforms or marketplaces.

Why is Cloud Compliance Necessary?

About 60% of corporate data stays on the cloud. This includes information concerning the company as well as its customers. The companies are responsible for safeguarding the data on the cloud. The cloud compliance guidelines ensure that a company adheres to the industry’s best practices to secure information. It also ensures that the companies use the data on the cloud responsibly and ethically.

Cloud Compliance: Regulatory Requirements for Web-Based Apps (2)


Failure with cloud compliance can lead to data breaches. This puts the company’s and its customer’s information at risk. Additionally, companies may face major losses owing to such breaches. According to the Annual Cost of Data Breach Report by IBM, data breaches led to losses of $4.35 million in 2022.

In many cases, cloud compliance is not just necessary, but mandatory. You need to adhere to government regulations to operate your web apps in certain regions. You also need cloud compliance to make your web apps eligible for different platforms, marketplaces, and third-party app integrations.

Cloud compliance can help you with the security, storage, backup, and recovery of cloud data. In the long run, cloud compliance can also help you make your operations more efficient and cost-effective.

How Web Apps can Ensure Cloud Compliance?

Below are a few ways to make sure that your web applications are compliant with applicable regulations:

Identify the Applicable Regulations

The first step is to recognize the regulations that are applicable to your web apps. The most widely recognized cloud compliance frameworks include:

  • General Data Protection and Regulation (GDPR)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
  • Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA)
  • Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
  • Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX)
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 27001
  • Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP)

You need to identify the applicable regulations based on your integrations, cloud usage, regions of operation, customer locations, data type, industry, and so on. Depending on these factors, you may have to ensure compliance with several frameworks simultaneously.

Pick the Right Cloud Service Provider

Cloud compliance regulations have several aspects that you need to consider. While some of these are in your control, others depend on your cloud service provider. That is why it is necessary to pick the right cloud service provider to host your application.

Cloud compliance does not only pertain to the data on the cloud, it also involves regulations concerning the location of the servers. For instance, HIPAA requires some of the data to be stored in servers within the U.S.

You need to understand the compliance offerings of different cloud service providers and pick the one that best suits your web application’s requirements. For instance, AWS supports several cloud compliance certifications such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GDPR, FedRAMP, and so on. On the other hand, Azure Cloud is tailored for industry-specific compliance in healthcare, media, and government services.

Understand your Responsibility

Cloud vendors like Amazon Web Services, Azure Cloud, and Google Cloud offer a model of shared responsibility. This is because several aspects of cloud usage, security, and compliance fall under your purview. You need to understand the responsibilities that you need to shoulder when choosing a cloud provider for your web application.

For instance, one of the AWS models of shared responsibility distributes security compliance between the service provider and the customer. In this model, AWS is responsible for digital security for all the services that run on the AWS cloud. On the other hand, you have to handle the security of your customer’s data.

As you are responsible for the data you choose to put on the cloud. You will also be responsible for compliance concerning that data and its security. In most cases, you cannot depend on the cloud service provider to should all regulatory requirements.

Manage Access Control

You need to understand the access points for data on the cloud. This usually depends on the cloud environment you choose for your web application. The control over hardware and data access is widely different in public, private, and hybrid cloud environments.

You need to understand the compliance requirements and risks involved in your operational cloud environment or the one you would choose for your web apps.

Then you need to identify access points for your particular cloud environment and who gets to control them. You can use cyber asset attack surface management tools to help you identify the access points to your cloud data and set criteria to permit cloud usage to various parties.

You also need to design a policy that outlines need-based cloud access rules for employees and vendors. In this policy, you also need to define the extent of access and permissions to view or update the cloud data. Alongside this, you also need to set an expiration for the access. This will help you limit each access to a timed session. These precautionary measures are necessary to ensure the security of your data, which in turn is necessary for cloud compliance.

Implement Data Classification

Data classification may not be an explicit requirement in all the cloud compliance frameworks, but it has a direct impact on several security and management aspects. These in turn are crucial parts of all cloud compliance frameworks.

Cloud Compliance: Regulatory Requirements for Web-Based Apps (3)


You need to identify the type of data you would store on the cloud and classify it into different categories based on their confidentiality and sensitivity. You can then decide the location of different categories of data.

For instance, if the data is highly sensitive, you can hold it on your private cloud server. You can also define different security measures and access permissions for each data category. Data classification will also make it easy for you to define policies and create protocols for various circumstances.

Implement Encryption

Data encryption is crucial for meeting several cloud compliance regulations. It is explicitly stated in frameworks such as PCI-DSS and GDPR. Despite this, 83% have failed to encrypt about half of their sensitive data according to Thales Global Cloud Security Study. The study also shows that 40% of businesses fell prey to data breaches owing to a lack of encryption.

Cloud compliance requires you to encrypt all sensitive and confidential data. While many cloud service providers would facilitate you with encryption services, it is still your responsibility to protect the data. For cloud compliance, you need to consider encryption in three stages:

  • Encryption in Transit: It protects the data while it is transmitted between two systems or users.
  • Encryption at Rest: It prevents unauthorized access to the data for viewing or modification.
  • Encryption in Use: It protects the data while it is being processed by any application.

Encryption will help you ensure data security while it’s moved or stored. It can even protect your data in case of a breach. Based on the sensitivity of the data, you can add several layers of encryption to ensure protection and thereby cloud compliance with various regulatory frameworks.

Understand Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A Service Level Agreement is a contract between the cloud service provider and the customer. This agreement defines the roles and responsibilities of each party. It defines measures of security offered by the cloud service provider.

The SLA should also have outlines for incident response execution and data breach remediation. This legal contract should also define timeframes for incident response and liabilities of both parties in case of a data breach.

The document should also mention the geographical location of your data, access permissions, and security measures. All of these are required for cloud compliance. Most importantly, you must ensure that the SLA contains the responsibilities of the cloud service provider and the repercussions of failing to comply.

You need to ensure that the terms of your SLA match the cloud compliance regulations that govern your business.


Cloud compliance is a necessity for all web applications that store data on the cloud. But, you need to understand the frameworks that apply to your web application. This depends on your industry and the geographical location of your operations and customers.

Besides regulatory requirements, cloud compliance ensures that your data remains secure and that your organization adheres to best practices for using cloud services.


What are cloud compliance requirements? ›

Cloud compliance is the art and science of complying with regulatory standards of cloud usage in accordance with industry guidelines and local, national, and international laws.

What is regulatory compliance in cloud computing? ›

Regulatory compliance refers to the discipline and process of ensuring that a company follows the laws enforced by governing bodies in their geography or rules required by voluntarily adopted industry standards.

What are some examples of cloud relevant compliance standards? ›

  • Micro-segmentation.
  • Cloud network security.
  • Cloud Security Compliance.
  • HIPAA network compliance.
  • FISMA compliance.
  • Firewall ISO Compliance.
  • Firewall PCI DSS compliance.

What is compliance violation in cloud computing? ›

Many breaches of compliance regulations occur due to improper access controls. This commonly happens when the wrong person gets access to sensitive data, for instance, or when credentials are shared among many users.

What are the 7 core requirements of a compliance program? ›

However, 7 key elements exist in virtually all legally effective compliance programs:
  • Policies & Procedures.
  • Chief Compliance Officer/Compliance Committee.
  • Education & Training.
  • Reporting.
  • Monitoring & Auditing.
  • Enforcement.
  • Responding To Issues.

What are the 5 requirements of cloud computing? ›

The National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST) lists five essential characteristics of cloud computing: on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service.

What are the regulatory compliance requirements? ›

Regulatory compliance can be broadly defined as the adherence to laws, regulations, and guidelines created by government legislations and regulatory bodies applicable to an organization based on the industry and jurisdiction in which it operates.

What is an example of regulatory compliance requirements? ›

Examples of regulatory compliance laws and regulations include the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the ...

What is good regulatory compliance? ›

Principles of good regulatory practices

Impartiality All regulated parties should be treated equitably, fairly and without bias. Proportionality Regulation and regulatory decisions should be proportional to risk and to the regulator's capacity to implement and enforce them.

How do you maintain cloud compliance? ›

11 Steps to Cloud Security Compliance
  • Assess the Risk of the Information Shared to the Cloud. ...
  • Develop Policies Surrounding Information to be Shared to the Cloud. ...
  • Encrypt Data. ...
  • Back Up Data. ...
  • Set User Authentication Protocols. ...
  • Review Your Cloud Service Provider's Security Policies and Procedures.
Nov 22, 2021

What are 3 examples of cloud based certifications? ›

Cloud Certifications
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Solutions Architect - Associate. ...
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals. ...
  • Google Associate Cloud Engineer. ...
  • IBM Certified Technical Advocate - Cloud v3. ...
  • Cloud Security Alliance: Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)
Dec 22, 2022

What are the NIST standards for cloud? ›

The NIST definition characterizes important aspects of cloud computing and is intended to serve as a means for broad comparisons of cloud services and deployment strategies, and to provide a baseline for discussion from what is cloud computing to how to best use cloud computing.

What are the 3 types of compliance breaches? ›

An organization may be implicated in the following types of compliance risks:
  • Corrupt and illegal practices. ...
  • Privacy breaches. ...
  • Environmental concerns. ...
  • Process risks. ...
  • Workplace health and safety.

What five 5 factors must a compliance plan include? ›

Does Your Compliance Program Contain the 5 Essential Elements?
  • Leadership.
  • Risk Assessment.
  • Standards and Controls.
  • Training and Communications.
  • Oversight.
Dec 1, 2019

What is a compliance checklist? ›

A compliance checklist is exactly what it sounds like – a detailed cognitive and comprehensive list used to aid in the completion of a procedure or task. It is essentially a guide to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

What are the four types of compliance? ›

The Different Types Of Compliance And Why They Matter
  • 1: Financial Compliance. Being financially compliant entails meeting all the necessary rules and regulations of your industry, nation, and other regulatory bodies. ...
  • 2: IT And Data Compliance. ...
  • 3: Health And Safety Compliance. ...
  • 4: Legal Compliance.
Mar 17, 2022

What are the 4 core components of cloud computing? ›

Cloud architecture components include:
  • A frontend platform.
  • A backend platform.
  • A cloud-based delivery model.
  • A network (internet, intranet, or intercloud)

What are the 4 components required to create a cloud? ›

Each of the four components of cloud infrastructure plays a role in helping organizations successfully deploy and deliver applications and other services: network, servers, storage, virtualization.

What is standard regulatory requirement? ›

- Regulatory requirements are rules and guidelines put forth by a governing body. These include standards for different products like food safety and environmental protection, regulations for how businesses operate such as minimum wage laws, and laws that protect consumers from monopolies or fraud.

What is regulatory risk and compliance requirements? ›

While regulatory risk relates to a potential change in laws and regulations, compliance risk relates to the potential of your business to violate existing laws or regulations.
What is the difference between compliance and regulatory risk?
  • insufficient control systems.
  • lack of training.
  • lack of due diligence.
  • human error.

What is the regulatory compliance process? ›

Regulatory compliance involves following external legal mandates set forth by state, federal, or international government. In contrast, complying with company policies and procedures involves following internal requirements set forth by the business. Both, however, help drive accountability in the workplace.

What are the 12 types of compliance requirements? ›

The 12 requirements are:
  • 1) Activities Allowed or Unallowed.
  • 2) Allowable Costs/Cost Principles.
  • 3) Cash Management.
  • 4) Eligibility.
  • 5) Equipment & Real Property Management.
  • 6) Matching, Level of Effort, Earmarking.
  • 7) Period of Performance.
  • 8) Procurement, Suspension, & Debarment.

What are 3 examples of regulatory? ›

Common examples of regulation include limits on environmental pollution , laws against child labor or other employment regulations, minimum wages laws, regulations requiring truthful labelling of the ingredients in food and drugs, and food and drug safety regulations establishing minimum standards of testing and ...

How do you write a regulatory compliance plan? ›

Elements of an effective compliance program
  1. Establish and adopt written policies, procedures, and standards of conduct. ...
  2. Create program oversight. ...
  3. Provide staff training and education. ...
  4. Establish two-way communication at all levels. ...
  5. Implement a monitoring and auditing system. ...
  6. Enforce consistent discipline.
Dec 22, 2020

What are the five principles of good regulation? ›

It has promulgated five principles of good regulation:
  • transparency.
  • consistency.
  • proportionality.
  • targeting.
  • accountability.

What are the two main types of compliance? ›

There are two main types of compliance that denote where the framework is coming from: corporate and regulatory. Both corporate and regulatory compliance consist of a framework of rules, regulations and practices to follow.

What is acceptable level of compliance? ›

Acceptable compliance is defined as 80% or higher which is inclusive.

What are 3 measures used to protect the cloud? ›

Authentication and identity, access control, encryption, secure deletion, integrity checking, and data masking are all data protection methods that have applicability in cloud computing.

What is cloud compliance software? ›

Cloud compliance software is used to ensure regulatory standards and provide compliance controls for networks and cloud infrastructure. These tools help improve visibility over cloud workloads and network flows.

What are security and compliance requirements in a public cloud in cloud computing? ›

For example, compliance rulesets for cloud environments typically stipulate password policies, encryption of sensitive data and configuration of security groups. Enterprise IT and security teams would do well to incorporate these rules into their security management, irrespective of compliance requirements.

What are the 3 C's in cloud computing? ›

3 C's in Cloud Computing: Cloud, Cost and Containers.

What are a three 3 components of cloud computing? ›

These services are divided into three main categories or types of cloud computing: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).

What are NIST 800-53 requirements? ›

What is NIST 800-53? NIST SP 800-53 provides a list of controls that support the development of secure and resilient federal information systems. These controls are the operational, technical, and management standards and guidelines information systems use to maintain confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

What is the ISO standard for cloud security? ›

ISO/IEC 27017 is a security standard developed for cloud service providers and users to make a safer cloud-based environment and reduce the risk of security problems.

What is the difference between NIST 800-53 and NIST CSF? ›

NIST CSF is a voluntary framework that provides guidance for organizations on how to manage cybersecurity risks. NIST Special Publication 800-53, on the other hand, is a set of security controls and associated assessment procedures that organizations can use to protect their information systems.

What are the 6 elements of compliance? ›

They include: Risk Assessment, Governance and Structure, Policies Procedures and Controls, Training and Education, Oversight and Reporting, and Response and Enhancements.

What are the 6 categories of compliance risk? ›

Here are six particular areas to focus on:
  • Privacy breaches. ...
  • Environmental and sustainability concerns. ...
  • Corrupt and illegal practices. ...
  • Process risks. ...
  • Health and safety. ...
  • Employee behavior.
Dec 16, 2021

What are the 7 elements in a compliance and ethics program? ›

The Seven Elements of an effective compliance program include Standards and Procedures; Governance and Oversight; Education and Training; Monitoring and Auditing; Reporting; Internal Enforcement and Discipline; and Response and Prevention.

What is the difference between regulatory and compliance risk? ›

Compliance risk is the possibility that you might break current laws or regulations. Maintaining compliance risk is a systematic approach. It can also be costly and challenging for companies. Regulatory risk happens when new changes to laws and regulations might cause losses to your business.

What are the different types of website compliance? ›

Legal Requirements for Websites
  • Cookie Consent Notices.
  • Privacy Policies and Data Storage Disclosure.
  • Plagiarism and Copyright Laws.
  • HTTPS for Ecommerce.
  • Terms & Conditions.
  • Disclaimers.
  • GDPR.
  • CalOPPA.
Jun 14, 2022

What is the most common compliance issue? ›

Some common compliance risks include:
  • Corruption. ...
  • Employee Behavior. ...
  • Workplace Health and Safety. ...
  • Environmental Impact. ...
  • Data Management. ...
  • Quality. ...
  • Process. ...
  • Social Responsibility.

What are the 4 phases of compliance process? ›

The compliance programme should incorporate planned compliance activities, including implementation and review of specific policies and procedures, compliance risk identification and assessment, compliance monitoring, reporting, management of the relationship with regulators, and training.

What does compliance requirements mean in AWS? ›

AWS Compliance empowers customers to understand the robust controls in place at AWS to maintain security and data protection in the AWS Cloud. When systems are built in the AWS Cloud, AWS and customers share compliance responsibilities.

What are some of the requirements of a compliance program? ›

Seven Elements of an Effective Compliance Program
  • Implementing written policies and procedures. ...
  • Designating a compliance officer and compliance committee. ...
  • Conducting effective training and education. ...
  • Developing effective lines of communication. ...
  • Conducting internal monitoring and auditing.

What are the 6 most essential things that must be followed before going for cloud computing platform? ›

Following are the essential things that must be followed before going for the cloud computing platform:
  • Uptime.
  • Loss of data.
  • Data storage.
  • Compliance.
  • Business continuity.
  • Data integrity in cloud computing.
Nov 11, 2022

What is the most important requirement for a compliance function? ›

The compliance function should have a preventive, advisory and supervisory role, with particular emphasis on: • Facilitating the effective identification of risk of violation of relevant external requirements, such as compliance with laws and regulations, as well as providing advice on risk reduction measures.

What are three broad categories of AWS compliance programs? ›

We think about these assurance programs across the following three broad categories.
  • Certifications and attestations. ...
  • Laws and regulations. ...
  • Alignments and frameworks.
Apr 7, 2016

Which AWS service can be used to meet the compliance requirements? ›

AWS Artifact – AWS Artifact is your go-to, central resource for compliance-related information that matters to you. It provides on-demand access to AWS's security and compliance reports and select online agreements.

What are security and compliance requirements in public cloud? ›

For example, compliance rulesets for cloud environments typically stipulate password policies, encryption of sensitive data and configuration of security groups. Enterprise IT and security teams would do well to incorporate these rules into their security management, irrespective of compliance requirements.

What type of requirements are regulatory requirements? ›

Regulatory requirements are rules that businesses must follow. They are invoked by designated regulators and compliance officers – those who make and enforce the rules. Also known simply as regulations, these obligations can specify different things.

What are the 4 required elements to make cloud computing work? ›

Cloud infrastructure is a term used to describe the components needed for cloud computing, which includes hardware, abstracted resources, storage, and network resources. Think of cloud infrastructure as the tools needed to build a cloud.


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