Cloud computing is being aggressively adopted on a global basis as businesses seek to reduce costs and improve their agility. Among the critical needs of the industry is to provide training and certification of professionals to assure that cloud computing is implemented responsibly with the appropriate security controls. The Cloud Security Alliance has developed a widely adopted catalogue of security best practices, the Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing, V2.1. In addition, the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) whitepaper “Cloud Computing: Benefits, Risks and Recommendations for Information Security” is an important contribution to the cloud security body of knowledge. The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) provides evidence that an individual has successfully completed an examination covering the key concepts of the CSA guidance and ENISA whitepaper. More information is available at www.cloudsecurityalliance.org/certifyme.
“Cloud represents the shift to compute as a utility and is ushering in a new generation of information technology. Critical services are now being provided via the cloud, which is creating a mandate for cloud security skills across the spectrum of IT-related professions,” said Jim Reavis, CSA executive director. “The CSA is providing a low cost certification that establishes a robust baseline of cloud security knowledge. When combined with existing professional certifications, the CCSK helps provide necessary assurance of user competency in this important time of transition. We are also thrilled to have ENISA’s support and their agreement to join our certification board.”
“We have already been leveraging the CSA’s ‘Security Guidance for Critical Areas in Cloud Computing’ as a best practices manual for our information security staff,” said Dave Cullinane, CISO and VP for eBay, Inc. “We now plan to make this certification a requirement for our staff, to ensure they have a solid baseline of understanding of the best practices for securing data and applications in the cloud.”
“Security has been identified as the most significant issue associated with cloud computing adoption,” said Melvin Greer, Chief Strategist, Cloud Computing, for Lockheed Martin. “The CSA Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) will provide a consistent way of developing cloud security competency and provide both organizations and agencies the confidence they need to adopt secure cloud solutions.”
“Cloud computing will undoubtedly have a profound effect on information security. Educating and developing talented thought-leaders is a key challenge in solving cloud security issues,” said Jerry Archer, CSO for Sallie Mae. “The CSA, in providing a set of goals through the CCSK, is challenging security practitioners to become the cloud thought-leaders we need today and tomorrow to ensure safe and secure cloud environments. In developing the CCSK, CSA is "setting the bar" for security professionals and providing business executives a means to gauge the opinions and rhetoric associated with security in the cloud.”
eBay, Lockheed Martin and Sallie Mae join many other companies, including ING, Symantec, CA, Trend Micro and Zynga in their commitment to adoption of the CCSK. Online testing will be available starting Sept 1st 2010. The CSA will offer discount pricing of $195 through Dec 31st; regular pricing at $295 begins January 1st.
Broad Industry Support
The CSA’s CCSK is already gaining broad industry support from numerous organizations:
“The use of cloud services by enterprises for sensitive applications and data is currently constrained by uncertainty and immaturity around security systems and practices,” said Matthew Gardiner, Director, CA Security Business. “The launch of CSA’s CCSK program is an important step in improving security professionals’ understanding of cloud security challenges and best practices and will lead to improved trust of and increased use of cloud services.”
"We applaud the CSA’s initiative to provide this standard and new certification program to enhance cloud security. For organizations to continue to move their confidential information and critical business processes to the cloud they must have total confidence that the cloud is secure and robust," said Peter Gaffney, Vice President of Systems and Network Operations at CaseCentral. "As the leading cloud-based eDiscovery provider and the first to join the CSA we look forward to helping drive the adoption of this certification standard in the industry."
"Hubspan is committed to providing a secure and reliable cloud computing environment for business integration and to helping companies follow cloud security best practices, of which the CSA's CCSK certification is a great example and one we fully support," said Ian Huynh, vice president of engineering and operations, Hubspan Inc.
"This is the standards effort that the industry has been waiting for," said Guy Churchward, CEO of LogLogic, a leader in SIEM and Log Management. "As our studies have shown, security is the main topic holding back the adoption of cloud computing. With the new CCSK certification program, the CSA is continuing to provide the industry's most comprehensive, prescriptive guidelines for baking security best-practices into new cloud initiatives."
“The CCSK is what is needed to help define and separate security professionals who are interesting in making cloud security better,” said David Lingenfelter, Information Security Officer at MaaS360 by Fiberlink. “The term “cloud computing” has so many different meanings it’s hard to know if people are just throwing out buzz words or if they truly understand its meaning. The same can be said about cloud security, there is a lot of talk about why cloud computing is insecure and what needs to be done to make it secure. The CCSK program will help provide the comprehensive understanding that is needed going forward.”
“A proven understanding and adoption of best practices for protecting and managing user identities in the Cloud are necessary if organizations are to realize the full potential of Cloud Computing,” said Ping Identity CTO and CSA Advisory Board Member Patrick Harding. “With CCSK certification, professionals who have Cloud Computing responsibilities can demonstrate thorough Cloud security knowledge based on the CSA’s catalogue of security best practices.”
“Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) is a natural step for security, IT and other professionals to demonstrate their awareness of cloud computing based on the Cloud Security Alliance Guidance v2.1,” said Randy Barr, CSO of Qualys, Inc. “This certification will address the demand for knowledgeable professionals who can evaluate and implement cloud computing within their organization.”
“Solutionary, Inc. is a corporate member of CSA, and has several of their security consultants scheduled for the CSA certification program,” Pamela Fusco, VP of industry solutions at Solutionary said. “We are fully committed to promoting the security of cloud computing, be it platform, information, or software based; our mission and CSA's are in lock step.”
“The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge provides individuals with a solid foundation in cloud security issues and best practices,” said Gary Phillips, senior director, technology assurance and standards research, Symantec Corp. “Organizations that leverage this training will be better positioned to get the most out of their investments in cloud computing. In addition, the certification can be a large help with recruitment efforts as organizations can easily qualify the experience of an individual in cloud security if they have earned the CCSK certificate.”
“The Cloud Security Alliance’s User Certification is a big step forward in ensuring that IT professionals considering deploying applications into the cloud understand security issues,” said Todd Thiemann, Senior Director, Datacenter Security for Trend Micro. “The CSA User Certification should help enterprises maintain an adequate security posture in the cloud and understand how to leverage cloud security tools such as Trend Micro Deep Security to protect applications in the private and public cloud.”
“Moving to the cloud is a significant risk management decision for CIO and CISOs given unproven security models and reduced indemnification,” said Matt Moynahan, CEO, Veracode. “Veracode has long been advocating for independent security verification for the application development and delivery ecosystem and we support the CSA’s new user certification program as one of the key pillars for building secure software.”
“CSA is pioneering the cloud computing industry by developing programs to ensure that critical security needs are addressed,” said Nico Popp, vice president of product development at VeriSign. “With the newly created CCSK certification program, IT professionals and businesses alike will benefit from the knowledge based training, helping to provide greater surety that the appropriate security controls are exercised when cloud based applications are adopted in the enterprise.”
"Despite the clear agility and cost saving benefits, there are factors which are holding back Cloud usage,” said Mark O'Neill, CTO at Vordel. “These include a deficit of trust and reliability. Enterprises simply do not trust third-parties to protect their sensitive data and connections to Cloud services may be subject to delays and outages. With the new CCSK certification program, the CSA is continuing to provide the industry's most comprehensive, prescriptive guidelines for baking trust and reliability-oriented security best-practices into new cloud initiatives."
"As enterprises move toward cloud computing, they are desperately seeking guidance and education in this new domain," according to Michael Sutton, VP, Security Research at Zscaler. "CSA is bridging this gap and the CCSK provides an important first step in establishing baseline knowledge for individuals tasked with building and managing applications to the cloud." About Cloud Security Alliance
The Cloud Security Alliance is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing, and to provide education on the uses of Cloud Computing to help secure all other forms of computing. The Cloud Security Alliance is led by a broad coalition of industry practitioners, corporations, associations and other key stakeholders. For further information, the Cloud Security Alliance Web site is www.cloudsecurityalliance.org.