CSA Cloud Controls Matrix: Why It Is Important When Working With The Cloud

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During the operations of your business, one of the biggest decisions you have to make is selecting a reliable cloud provider. You want your customers, operations and data to work seamlessly in this virtual environment without compromising on the functionality or scalability of your business whether you will seek hosting services on the public cloud, build your own private cloud for your company infrastructure, or work with a hybrid cloud platform.

Deciding on a cloud provider isn’t as simple as selecting one with the coolest sounding name and brand logo. Your organization needs to ensure the cloud provider follows all fundamental security principles to keep your data and applications secure from all internal and external threats. Conducting risk assessment with the cloud providers your organization will work with is vital to ensure that the vendors security measures are aligned to the necessary business information security controls. The CSA Cloud Controls Matrix provides a framework for business organizations and cloud providers to perform assessments of cloud services to establish whether these internal controls meet industry standards and compliance requirements.

What is CSA Cloud Controls Matrix?

The CSA Cloud Controls Matrix is a set of governance, risk management and compliance security controls developed by the Cloud Security Alliance nonprofit organization. The Cloud Controls Matrix helps cloud vendors and business organizations work toward developing and using the cloud environment securely by having in place the required internal controls designed to meet security and risk management objectives. Through these security controls, the Cloud Security Alliance provides guidance for organizations looking toward acquiring cloud computing services that meet or exceed industry-established best practices.

What the CSA Cloud Controls Matrix Means to Cloud Providers

Vendors must be able to gain the trust of organizations who seek a wide range of services such as infrastructure, security, storage, applications, or platform development for the cloud. Developing key security concepts that align to security standards and regulations related to the industry is necessary so vendors can prove through attestation reports that their internal controls and risk management procedures matches the business organization’s desired security framework for their operations.

The CSA Cloud Controls Matrix provides detailed guidance in a variety of security domains such a mobile security, application security, access management, and data center operations so vendors can establish, implement and assess internal security controls. Vendors’ security principles are compared to cloud computing security control frameworks in the CSA Cloud Controls Matrix that is mapped to requirements established by industry standard organizations such as ISO 27001/27002, PCI DSS, ISACA, HIPAA, NIST, COBIT, and many others. Cloud providers can be assessed to these standards to check that cloud computing applications and development procedures follow the critical compliance criteria set forth to provide the necessary security for cloud-based computing services and products.

What CSA Cloud Controls Matrix Offers to Business Organizations

Evaluating cloud provides must go beyond the services and products they offer and also focus on security requirements your organization needs for operations. The CSA Cloud Controls Matrix allows your organization to have a greater understanding about information security environments, helps you determine whether internal security controls offered by the cloud provider matches your risk management and security objectives, and can assist you in identifying cloud security vulnerabilities that can compromise data and applications in the cloud.

Your business organization can use the CSA Cloud Controls Matrix to create a list of detailed requirements that cloud providers must implement for your computing infrastructure. Using these initiatives, you can create a flexible and proactive operational security management tailored to your organization’s business framework. The internal controls you create can be used to assess the functionality and services cloud providers offer and allow you to select the right vendor that can meet your security objectives.

Seeking CSA Cloud Controls Matrix in Your Business

The CSA Cloud Controls Matrix is part of the Governance, Risk Management and Control (GRC) Stack toolkit developed by the Cloud Security Alliance. This toolkit can be used by business organizations, cloud providers and IT auditors to handle the security challenges found in the cloud and assess the gaps in security controls so that the proper actions can be made to bring systems back into compliance. The CSA GRC Stack can help strengthen the information security control environment in your business cloud computing infrastructure and provide a reporting direction when attestations are created during internal control assessment.

Understanding the vulnerabilities and security threats in the cloud can be a daunting experience for all types of organizations no matter what industry they operate in. Trying to ensure cloud providers are meeting your organization’s cloud security objectives within your set parameters requires a comprehensive attestation on internal controls. I.S. Partners, LLC is a full-service CPA firm partnering with organizations and cloud providers to provide unbiased third-party auditing capabilities. We provide IT assurance, internal audit and compliance, and SOC audit services to help organizations gain a greater clarity of their business operations and develop the methods to further strengthen internal controls.

If you are looking to further eliminate the risks associated with doing business on a local or global scale, I.S. Partners, LLC. can provide you with auditing solutions tailored to your particular business objectives. Contact us today by calling 215-675-1400 or filling out our contact form. Allow us to examine the objectives, internal controls and security frameworks to provide the attestation reports that are useful and required for your organization to do business with customers and clients. With our detailed reports, you can ensure your business objectives are being meet, use gap analysis to spot threats and vulnerabilities in control measures that can significantly impact operations, and provide the vital information needed to bring your business into compliance with industry standards.

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