While the name “Coalfire” might take us back to images of Industrial Revolution (News - Alert)-era Britain – or at least your backyard barbecue – the 12-year-old company is, in fact, pretty high tech. Coalfire prides itself on being “THE auditor for the cloud,” and specializes in governance compliance and risk management. I sat down with Dan Rojas, director of strategic development at Coalfire, to discuss the company’s history, its position in the space, and its future.
According to Rojas, the company began working with enterprises just as the cloud was emerging as an option for a resource for storage and infrastructure. As businesses attempt to develop their cloud strategy, they are forced to look at complex compliance issues like HIPAA and more. In fact, Rojas pointed out that many cloud providers, in an effort to differentiate themselves in a complex and crowded market, are beginning to promote their compliance certifications by putting logos right on their website. This strategy can help them win more business.
Some of the companies that are “fast followers” don’t yet have a strong compliance position but, according to Rojas, Coalfire can help with that. The company is accredited by the federal government as a third party to assess cloud providers. Coalfire can assess for PCI, HIPAA, GLBA and more. As the market grows, providers have been forced to move beyond early standards like SAS (News - Alert) 70. Companies shopping for providers want to know if they are PCI certified or HIPAA certified, and more and more businesses want to see third party verification of these compliances. That is where Coalfire comes in.
The company primarily works with U.S. businesses, but also multinationals in Europe and on the Pacific rim. It does a lot of business with PCI (News - Alert) compliance, with HIPAA being an area of growth. Rojas expects standards to change in the future, and believes that Coalfire is poised to continue its role as THE auditor for the cloud, using an old-fashioned sounding name to push innovation into the future.
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