KuppingerCole Report
Advisory Note
By Mike Small

How to Assure Cloud Services

This report is one of a series of documents around the use of cloud services. It identifies how standards as well as, independent certifications and attestations can be used to assure the security and compliance of cloud services.

1 Executive Summary

This report is one of a series of documents around the use of cloud services. It identifies how standards as well as, independent certifications and ...

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2 Highlights

This report provides guidance on how standards as well as, independent certifications and attestations can be used to assure the security and complian ...

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3 Cloud Assurance as a part of IT Governance

KuppingerCole recommends taking a good governance approach to all IT services and this approach is fundamental to securely embracing the cloud service ...

The governance process starts from business objectives and defines a policy for the IT services to deliver on those objectives. These lead to the pro ...

For IaaS services the CSP has no control over how the service is being used by the customer and is only responsible for securing the infrastructure us ...

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4 Assuring Cloud Services

This chapter describes some of the important standards and certifications and how they can be used to assure cloud services.

As previously described ...

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4.1 Take a risk based approach

Not all risks are equal – you need to prioritize which risks are important and ensure the appropriate level of assurance based on this.

Kuppinger ...

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4.2 Understand the Levels of Assurance

Understand the different levels of assurance available and require what is appropriate for your individual circumstances.

There are several ways in ...

  • CSP Assertion – the CSP describes the steps they take. This information may form part of the service description or be published, for example, a ...
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4.3 Defining the measures

Define what must be measured to provide assurance during the procurement process.

One challenge for customers is to define the parameters that shoul ...

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4.4 Use Frameworks and Standards to Help

Use the information provided by frameworks and standards to help.

There is no shortage of advice, on how to manage risk, to both cloud service provi ...

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5 Cloud Assurance Frameworks, Advice and Certification

This section provides an outline of the most important frameworks, certifications and advice.

Cloud customers should adopt the best practices, relev ...

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5.1 Summary against risks

The following figure summarizes the information provided by various sources of assurance against the previously identified risks.

Explanation of SOC 2 Entries – A = Availability, C = Confidentiality, I = Integrity, P = Privacy, S = Security.

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5.2 IT Control Objectives for Cloud Computing

COBIT 5 provides a framework that assists enterprises in achieving their objectives for the governance and management of enterprise IT.

COBIT 5, ...

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5.3 Use a Cloud Access Security Broker

CASBs provide a tool that helps to enforce policies around the use of cloud services.

Employees and associates can use their personal cloud service ...

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5.4 Contract / SLA

The contract and SLA provide important information on the commitments by the CSP around the cloud service provided.

Most cloud services have a stand ...

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5.5 ISO/IEC 27001:2013

ISO/IEC 27001:2013 is a well-established standard that provides a code of practice for information security management. It is supplemented by ISO/I ...

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5.6 ISO/IEC 27017:2015

This standard provides guidelines for the security information controls applicable to the provision and use of cloud services.

It provides additiona ...

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5.7 ISO/IEC 27018: 2014

This standard provides control objectives, controls and guidelines for implementing measures to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in ...

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5.8 Service Organization Control Reports (SOC)

SOC reports to SSAE 16 / ISAE 3402 provide independent attestations on a service provided by an organization including cloud services.

In 2009, ...

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5.9 CSA STAR Registry

The Cloud Security Alliance STAR (CSA STAR) is a program for security assurance of cloud services.

The Cloud Security Alliance is a member-driven ...

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5.10 BSI Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalogue (C5)

The German Federal Office for Information (BSI) Computing Compliance Controls Catalogue (referred to as “C5”) is intended to be an aid for the ...

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5.11 Other Important Standards

Cloud services are built using a technical architecture that may include standard protocols and interfaces. Certification to the relevant standards c ...

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5.12 Codes of Conduct

Codes of Conduct can help organizations choose between suppliers. There are two recently announced codes for cloud service providers.

On February 1 ...

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5.13 Other Certifications

There are many local certifications that may be relevant to the use of the cloud service. Some of these are listed here:

EU/EEA specific conformanc ...

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6 Recommendations

The cloud service customer must ensure that the controls for which it is responsible are implemented. However, since the delivery of the cloud serv ...

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6.1 Implement Assurance through Governance

Good governance and organizational structures are the foundation upon which assurance is built.

There are several existing frameworks for the best ...

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6.2 Use Standards and Independent Certifications to Assure Cloud Services

The overall responsibility for security and compliance is shared between the customer and the CSP. The cloud customer must ensure that the controls f ...

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