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5 Ways to Effectively Manage Continuous Cloud Compliance

MAHESH NAWALE - Product Marketing Manager
September 05, 2023 - 4 min read

As organizations continue to rely on the public cloud to drive day-to-day business activities as well as innovation, maintaining compliance and ensuring robust security measures is crucial for organizations. In the past, compliance laws and regulations were strongly recommended, but being non-compliant didn't equate to steep fines, legal implications, or business reputation consequences that are now a result of non-compliance. In fact, recent research indicates that failure to comply has become more expensive than ever, far exceeding the costs of compliance. 

The business impact of being non-compliant

Most regulatory standards have penalties for organizations found negligent after a security breach. Data security has the highest compliance cost. For instance, HIPAA violations cost organizations anywhere from $100 to $50,000 per violation (per record), depending on an auditor’s analysis during forensics investigations. PCI-DSS, which oversees merchant transactions (e.g. credit card payments online), fines corporations anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 per month until the merchant remedies all violations. Apart from the penalties, organizations need to understand the hidden costs associated with noncompliance that comes from - 

  • Risk of data breach: Non-compliance may increase the risk of data breaches, data loss, cyberattacks, or insider threats.
  • Revenue loss: Regulatory violations significantly impact a business' revenue numbers.
  • Business disruption: Businesses are often forced to implement compliance before they can resume business operations in case of compliance violations which can lead to further disruption of business operations while changes are implemented.

Despite compliance challenges and the rising costs associated with them, it's clear that non-compliance is vastly more expensive and far riskier to an organization’s reputation and stakeholders. This highlights the need for an approach that eliminates the cause of compliance violations while enabling organizations to achieve consistent, frictionless compliance for all cloud environments. Here are five effective ways organizations can follow to ensure consistent compliance across multicloud environments:  

  • Define security policies and ensure visibility: Establish clear security policies and standards that align with regulatory requirements and industry best practices. Translate these policies into actionable security controls with clear visibility without blind spots.
  • Automating security and compliance checks: Automate security and compliance checks to analyze and identify security gaps, misconfigurations, and non-compliant resources.
  • Prioritize what matters with no guesswork: Apply risk-based controls based on applicable control frameworks to meet compliance requirements. Identify and remediate potential or actual violations before they cause damage. 
  • Automate reporting: Identify the right platform to measure and demonstrate security and compliance progress daily.
  • Foster collaboration: Encourage collaboration between development, operations, and security teams. Foster a culture of shared responsibility for security and compliance, promoting the integration of security into the development and deployment processes.

Limitation of the legacy approach 

Traditional approaches cannot adequately protect a highly connected architecture and maintain continuous compliance in the cloud. With conventional techniques, an organization’s compliance team takes inventory of all the resources, then reviews all resources and maps existing controls to corresponding regulatory requirements to prove compliance.

However, this process includes a lot of manual effort and falls short due to multiple factors like lack of staff expertise, updated knowledge of regulatory standards, and more. For instance, the point-in-time complaint becomes quickly irrelevant in the cloud environment. Therefore, continuing to rely on old compliance programs is not an effective strategy. Instead, organizations need an efficient way to monitor and manage existing compliance programs. 

CNAPP: Meet your security and compliance objectives with ease 

Achieving continuous compliance and security requires a proactive approach. CNAPP helps organizations proactively prove and maintain continuous compliance across their entire cloud estate with limited complexity, cost, and effort. It is a complete compliance solution that automates compliance monitoring, assessment, and reporting so that the DevSecOps team can accomplish more in less time. Organizations can rely on a one-stop CNAPP solution to: 

  • Provide unprecedented risk visibility as well as consistently govern access, protect data, and secure applications. 
  • Continuously monitor cloud environments, discovering and assessing the configuration of newly deployed resources in real-time and matching configurations against the industry’s most complete library of policies and compliance frameworks, including CIS, NIST, PCI DSS, GDPR, and more. 
  • Automate risk prioritization and remediation. 
  • Ensure continuous compliance and generate audit-ready reports with just a few clicks. 


Compliance requirements, as well as risks associated with non-compliance, are ever-evolving.

With the cost of non-compliance nearly two to three times the average cost of complying with industry regulations, there shouldn't be any question about the value of having a robust compliance program and the right solutions necessary to be effective. 

CNAPP is a powerful solution that can help organizations maintain compliance with automated security checks, compliance policies enforcement, and robust security measures while complementing the continuous compliance concept mentioned in the blog. Organizations can easily implement the above-mentioned effective ways to maintain continuous compliance with CNAPP solutions like Posture Control.

Learn more about Posture Control or sign up for a free security and compliance assessment with Zscaler. 

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