US Dept of Commerce Proposed Rule Imposing "Know Your Customer" on IaaS providers

Post date :

Mar 5, 2024

Navigating Commerce's Proposed Rule: Crucial Insights for IaaS Providers

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Proposed Rule, enforced by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), aims to enhance cybersecurity defenses by regulating U.S. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers. This rule seeks to prevent foreign entities from exploiting U.S. IaaS products for malicious cyber-enabled activities, imposing significant compliance obligations and risks.

Key Policy Objectives:

  • Customer Identification Program (CIP): New IaaS providers must establish a robust CIP akin to KYC protocols, verifying customer identities and beneficial owners.

  • Reporting Requirements on AI Model Training: Providers must report instances of foreign persons training large AI models potentially for malicious activities, enhancing oversight and monitoring.

  • Compliance Enforcement and Penalties: Noncompliance could lead to severe penalties under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, including civil penalties of up to $368,000 per violation or double the transaction value, up to $1 million, and potential imprisonment of up to 20 years.


According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the misuse of U.S. IaaS products by foreign actors poses a dire threat to national security. These actors exploit IaaS infrastructure to commit intellectual property theft, engage in covert espionage, and target critical infrastructure, all while evading detection by swiftly transitioning to replacement infrastructure offered by U.S. IaaS providers.

The transient nature of these services, coupled with the involvement of foreign resellers who may not diligently track user identities, further complicates law enforcement efforts to combat cyber threats effectively. This shifting landscape of adversary tradecraft challenges the government's ability to identify victims and mount specific network defense and remediation efforts.

Moreover, the proliferation of large-scale computing infrastructure accessible as a service raises concerns about the identities of entities transacting with providers for AI training runs. In response to these escalating threats, President Biden issued Executive Orders 13984 and 14110, granting the Department of Commerce authority to enforce stringent verification measures and impose limitations on foreign actors' access to U.S. IaaS products.

In light of these developments, IaaS providers must not only prioritize compliance with regulatory mandates but also adopt proactive measures to fortify their cybersecurity posture. IronBridge Advisers stands ready to assist organizations in navigating this complex regulatory landscape, ensuring adherence to compliance requirements while safeguarding against evolving cyber threats.

How Can IronBridge Help?:

At IronBridge, we excel in navigating the intricate landscape of IT infrastructure and data, offering specialized expertise to IaaS providers seeking to adapt to regulatory changes effectively. Here's how we can assist:

  1. Reporting Frameworks: Our consultants design robust reporting frameworks tailored to the specific needs of IaaS providers, ensuring comprehensive compliance monitoring and regulatory reporting.

  2. Customer Identification Program (CIP) Compliance: We evaluate existing processes and systems to ensure alignment with CIP requirements, identifying areas for enhancement and optimization to meet regulatory standards effectively.

  3. Automated Data Collection: Leveraging advanced automation and engineering techniques, we streamline data collection processes, enabling efficient and accurate capture of essential customer information while minimizing operational overhead.

  4. Engineering Solutions: Our team employs innovative engineering solutions to address complex compliance challenges, developing scalable and sustainable frameworks that seamlessly integrate with existing infrastructure.

  5. Revenue Impact Analysis: By aligning compliance efforts with revenue generation strategies, we help IaaS providers unlock new growth opportunities and capitalize on market trends, ultimately driving profitability and business success.

Our Insights:

By leveraging IronBridge's expertise, IaaS providers can proactively address compliance challenges, enhance cybersecurity defenses, and streamline operations. Our comprehensive approach ensures alignment with regulatory requirements while driving revenue growth and operational efficiency.

For more information on Commerce's proposed rule and its implications for IaaS providers, please visit: BUREAU OF INDUSTRY AND SECURITY

Considerations and Implications:

The proposed rule underscores the critical importance of cybersecurity in the digital landscape, urging IaaS providers to adopt proactive measures and stay vigilant against evolving threats. IronBridge stands ready to support clients in navigating these challenges and implementing robust cybersecurity strategies.

Navigating Commerce's Proposed Rule: Insights from IronBridge

As the regulatory environment evolves, IronBridge remains at the forefront of providing insights and guidance to IaaS providers, helping them navigate compliance challenges and enhance cybersecurity defenses effectively. With our expertise and commitment to excellence, we empower clients to adapt to regulatory changes and safeguard their operations in an ever-changing landscape.