Compliance as a Service (CaaS)
as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service contract that allows a
managed service provider (MSP) to assist an organization with meeting its
regulatory compliance mandates. Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is often used
by large organizations that operate in highly-regulated industries such as
healthcare and finance. The goal of Compliance as a Service is to reduce an
organization's compliance burden by outsourcing compliance processes and
supporting technology to a third-party company that can do what is required
in a more cost-effective manner.
Because compliance concerns manifest themselves in different ways, depending on the organization's line of business. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires network administrators to create logical boundaries between protected and unprotected workflows and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) requires certain encryption levels and access controls.
CaaS providers typically supply their customers with access to software that has been built to be compliant with certain regulations. In order to sell compliance services, the provider must first pass tests and file documents with the organization whose mandates they support.
Advantages of Compliance as a Service
The CaaS provider is responsible for maintaining and updating services over time. If there are changes to financial regulations, for example, the provider is responsible for adjusting its services accordingly. This fact alone means that Compliance as a Service can save a large enterprise millions of dollars over the years by reducing administrative overhead.
If a company decides to use Compliance as a Service, however, it must perform due diligence to find the right service. To be effective, a CaaS provider's services must be transparent and allow customers to easily monitor the service and confirm data is being handled in accordance with legal restrictions and corporate policy.
Disadvantages of Compliance as a Service
While many CaaS providers offer compliance services for major regulations, such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley, it's not possible for them to support all regulations in all countries and it can be difficult to find a CaaS provider in some vertical industries.
Despite its benefits, compliance as a service is not without its downsides because ultimately, cloud service users share risk with the provider. If a company fails to meet compliance standards, they can be subject to severe legal and financial penalties. In the event of a financial penalty being levied because of something the cloud provider has done or failed to do, it is likely the cloud customer will be fined and have to seek remuneration back from the cloud provider through the court system.
Compliance as a Service vs. Compliance Services
CaaS is not be confused with compliance services. CaaS is delivered as a cloud service. Compliance services are provided by consultants who share best practices and specialize in helping an organization automate business practices that support regulatory compliance.
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