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6/29/2015
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CSA Announces New Working Group For Cloud Security API Standards

CipherCloud, Deloitte, InfoSys, Intel Security and SAP all on board to start developing vendor-neutral guidelines that could further accelerate CASB growth

As enterprises seek to move away from ad hoc cloud purchase and gain better control over their cloud portfolios, the cloud access security broker (CASB) market has exploded. The growth in the CASB market is on course to continue to multiply—according to Gartner spending will jump from $100 million to $500 million in the next three years. But the kind of visibility and control that the CASB model promises is only as good as the APIs that connect SaaS services through the broker and on to security personnel.

Which is why today CipherCloud and the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) are teaming up to start a Cloud Security Open API Working Group to start to define protocols and best practices for implementing cloud data security as a part of a CASB framework.

"Standards are an important frontier for the cloud security ecosystem," said Jim Reavis, CEO of CSA. "The right set of working definitions can boost adoption. This working group will help foster a secure cloud-computing environment – a win for vendors, partners, and users. Standardizing APIs will help the ecosystem coalesce around a universal language and process for integrating security tools into the cloud applications."

Already, the working group has roped in engagement from Deloitte, InfoSys, Intel Security, and SAP to begin the work of creating a vendor-neutral set of guidelines. The CSA and participants hope that their collaboration will help accelerate security integration across multiple clouds and with third-party technology. The plan is to develop standards-based APIs that will help the use of protection measures like encryption, tokenization, and monitoring. The group will also work on a reference architecture to help enterprises develop effective data protection models. 

According to Jeff Margolies, principle for Deloitte & Touche, the current cloud security ecosystem is suffering from a lack of basic integration standards for tapping security products and services into cloud applications, platforms, and infrastructure.

"Enterprises and governments are struggling with the challenge of how to manage their cyber risks as they move data and compute to the cloud," Margolies said. "By bringing together vendor, channel, and customer constituents, this working group plans to provide clarity on leading practices for integration, critical to continued cloud adoption."

By bringing together a coalition of cloud brokers and consultants, as well as SaaS and other cloud providers, members of the working group believe they'll be able to further accelerate cloud use with much less risk involved.

"We believe that customers will be the ultimate beneficiaries of these standards," said Nayaki Nayyar, senior vice president, Cloud for Customer Engagement, SAP. "A clear set of cloud security standards and best practices will help enable organizations to reap the benefits of the cloud in less time with added assurance that their data is secure."

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

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