Continuous Compliance Personas and their Roles

This is the first of a series of articles that will highlight the difficulties that businesses and cloud service providers encounter when attempting to achieve continuous compliance automation. The series will offer the fundamental ideas, innovations, and business norms that pave the way for practical, scalable, and efficient end-to-end solutions.

The compliance personas, together with their functions and behaviors within the compliance procedures, will be introduced first. The architecture and design choices for the Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) automation described in our subsequent blog postings depend heavily on an understanding of the personas, their responsibilities, and needs.

Importance of Continuous Compliance

Today, firms are liable for complying with rules. Occasional audits are being replaced in the business sector by continuous compliance environments, where the system’s posture is to be accessible at the touch of a dashboard. To accomplish continuous compliance, we need both automation and uniformity. Automation is a challenging undertaking because of walled governance procedures, a gap between corporate policies and their technological execution, and the complexity of compliance implementation and measurement.

It should be highlighted that as we get closer to systems, APIs, and programmatic data representation, driving digitalization and automation gets simpler. The closer we go to manual processes and human-format data representation, the more difficult it is to drive digitization and transformation. Compliance falls into the second category, with its PDFs and Word documents for rules, guidelines, and interpretations, as well as manual methods for gathering sample evidence and generating spreadsheet reports. In order to start along the route of compliance automation, we must therefore understand these manual, partially automated, and segmented processes as well as the needs of its facilitators.

In this blog post, we take a closer look at the stakeholders and their responsibilities in the Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) management system, covering everything from the creation of regulations to the gathering of evidence to audit reporting. The risk components will be covered later in this series since compliance is the main focus. Then, to facilitate automation, we present compliance artifacts linked with these personas and demonstrate their representation as compliance as code and policy as code. Our subsequent blog post will examine the compliance artifacts in great detail.

Continuous Compliance Stakeholders

A Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) management framework’s primary compliance stakeholders and the flow of actions from these personas are:

Regulators characterize rules, laws, and standards as lists of restrictions and requirements. Additionally, they create baselines or profiles with predetermined compliance requirements.

The maintainers of OSS projects, product manufacturers, and service providers, collectively known as “control providers,” incorporate the controls from the regulatory catalogs into their products (e.g. processes, software, hardware, services). Each control must be translated into technical rules that are applied to the configuration parameters and behavior of the product in order to reflect the control and subsequently define how it is implemented. By outlining the relationship between both the management and the technical norms, this translation is accomplished. Additionally, the Control Providers may reveal the type of evidence connected to each rule (e.g. API payload, template and schema).

To verify or assure that the reference architectures or regulated environments are set and operate in accordance with the regulation, baseline, or established profiles of the regulators, the technical rules must be tested or enforced. Control assessors incorporate inspections or services that host checks to evaluate regulated ecosystems or reference frameworks for compliance with the anticipated compliance requirements. Examples of control assessors include assessment tool vendors, service providers, OSS project maintainers, and compliance engineers. The output stages for their checks, which include “pass,” “fail,” “error,” and “unable to execute,” are based on the evidence format specified by the control providers.

Other key players that play a significant role in continuous cloud compliance are system owners, CIOs, audit officials, CISO enterprise architects, compliance engineers, and security engineers.   

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