Amazon Registers AWS with CSA STAR
The Security, Trust & Assurance Registry (STAR) is an initiative by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) to document security controls offered by cloud computing providers. The registry recently received its biggest vote of confidence, as Amazon AWS, one of the first and biggest cloud providers, joined.
The CSA STAR started slowly in August 2011. Six months after its launch only three cloud providers had joined: Microsoft Office 365, Mimecast and Solutionary. Now nearing its one year anniversary, the CSA STAR now includes a a dozen cloud providers, among them major players like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Box.com.
The CSA STAR tracks the security features offered by cloud providers with a standard 170+ point questionnaire. The survey includes questions on a broad range of security areas like: facility security, human resources security, risk management and security architecture. The questionnaire is available to all cloud providers. Once answered and submitted by a cloud provider, it undergoes an approval process by the CSA. Once approved the questionnaire is published to the public on the CSA STAR entries page.
The approach taken by the CSA registry is beneficial to both cloud providers and potential users of cloud computing. It lets decision makers perform due diligence on cloud security without the need to read through fragmented documentation or marketing driven content. For cloud providers, particularly the smaller ones, it lets them publish security offerings on a level playing field.
With security still being the number-one obstacle to cloud computing adoption according to many analyst and CIOs, the increased visibility of the CSA registry is well deserved. If the CSA registry continues on its same path, it may soon become a one-stop location for cloud providers to publish cloud security features and customers to decide from what's available in the market.