From Reciprocity Labs
For many cloud service providers out there, compliance audit is very important, yet extremely painful like a root canal.
Sadly, compliance audit can be an excruciating pain that may make you regret halfway through, it does not matter whether you think it is good for your business or not. However, the way you can prevent root canals with the right dental care and checkups is the same way you can protect yourself from the pain caused by compliance audits, so long as you prepare yourself adequately.
Note that compliance audits are an important part of an organization’s culture that monitors and controls standards in the internal control: instead of an irritating thing that people want to get away with as fast as they can. The best way to ease compliance audit pain is by asking the right questions before the auditing process starts, as well as setting business priorities. In addition, compliance is beneficial to not only the organization, but also customers and clients.
Importance of compliance for a cloud service provider
Monitoring different internal and external compliance processes can be daunting and the same can said to be true for cloud service providers.
Unlike other firms in various industries, cloud service providers cannot easily align with a single industry vertically. This means that it is hard to know which laws to use in different situations. Cloud service providers may be confused when they find themselves in the midst of standards and requirements such as the SOX, PCI Security Standards Council, FISMA, HIPAA customer audits, privacy protection laws, and internal audits.
Important questions to ask prior to the compliance audit
Once you have your model in place, the audit process will become easier and smoother. When you clearly comprehend your goals, you can prepare yourself with the right questions before the start of a compliance audit. With this, you will benefit more from the process.
Here are five crucial steps you need to keep in mind when planning for an audit:
- What is the size of the compliance audit?
There are many approaches that an audit can follow, and for this reason, you should clearly understand the scope creep. Some of the things you need to familiarize yourself with include a range of IP addresses and crucial systems. This will help cast your net even further so that you are not caught in-between industry jargons. The first step you should take is to map out data flow diagram for primary business processes.
- Have issues in the previous audits dealt with?
If you go through your company audit and you discover the same issues that were raised before, then there is something wrong with the compliance audit, it is not doing its job. You should make sure that you find out where the problem is as soon as possible so that you can rectify them mishaps for easy future audits. On the other hand, if you scrutinize your audit today, and find no issues, then you may be spending a lot of energy and resources on compliance.
- How will you deal with the results of the audit?
Consider ways through which you will assign issues and approaches to solve problems that arise during an audit. You should also ensure that your device has a plan in place to deal with problems that were noted in the previous audit report and use them to improve and monitor processes. The results of the audit must reverberate the organization for the longest time possible.
- Is there functional management in place to ensure the audit works smoothly?
Although the audit results may be used for a long time, the audit does not need to live for long. Inside your business plan, you need to clearly state your business needs, and make sure your auditor can deal with issues as they come. It does not matter if the issues are found during the audit process or after the audit.
- How will the compliance audit affect the end result?
If you are coughing out a lot of cash on an audit, ensure that you are earning the cash in various ways. The audit should help increase your income and reduce cost. Also, it should be able to manage your risk. There is so much involved in auditing, and it is an effective way to enhance your business operations.
Regulatory compliance is important, whether you adhere to the laws or not. It is a way to differentiate and not a drain on resources.
Following the right approach, an audit can help provide solutions to unanswered questions in your business. There is one program that can help your business carry out effective auditing. If you are looking for accuracy, speed, efficiency and reliability; compliance software is your go-to solution.