Toolkit to implement and assess cloud security
Posted on 17 November 2010.
The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) announced the free download of the CSA Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) Stack, a suite of enabling tools for GRC in the cloud.

Achieving GRC goals requires appropriate assessment criteria, relevant control objectives and timely access to necessary supporting data. Whether implementing private, public or hybrid clouds, the shift to compute-as-a-service presents new challenges across the spectrum of GRC requirements.

The CSA GRC Stack provides a toolkit for enterprises, cloud providers, security solution providers, IT auditors and other key stakeholders to instrument and assess both private and public clouds against industry established best practices, standards and critical compliance requirements.

The Cloud Security Alliance GRC Stack is an integrated suite of three CSA initiatives: CloudAudit, Cloud Controls Matrix and Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire:

CloudAudit: aims to provide a common interface and namespace that allows cloud computing providers to automate the Audit, Assertion, Assessment, and Assurance (A6) of their infrastructure (IaaS), platform (PaaS), and application (SaaS) environments and allow authorized consumers of their services to do likewise via an open, extensible and secure interface and methodology. CloudAudit provides the technical foundation to enable transparency and trust in private and public cloud systems.

Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM): provides a controls framework that gives detailed understanding of security concepts and principles that are aligned to the Cloud Security Alliance guidance in 13 domains. As a framework, the CSA CCM provides organizations with the needed structure, detail and clarity relating to information security tailored to the cloud industry.

Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire (CAIQ): The CSA Consensus Assessments Initiative (CAI) performs research, creates tools and creates industry partnerships to enable cloud computing assessments. The CAIQ provides industry-accepted ways to document what security controls exist in IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS offerings, providing security control transparency. The questionnaire (CAIQ) provides a set of questions a cloud consumer and cloud auditor may wish to ask of a cloud provider.

The three initiatives have been developed through a collaborative effort and contain out-of-the-box integration. CloudAudit includes the Cloud Controls Matrix as an included namespace, while the Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire was specifically designed to identify the presence or lack of CCM controls and other key practices identified in the CSA guidance.





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