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Cloud Security Best Practices: Sharing Lessons Learned

Cloud Security Best Practices: Sharing Lessons Learned

Blog Article Published: 07/10/2012

By Frank Simorjay, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing

Compliance regulations and frameworks can be difficult to comprehend and even harder to explain to management when it’s time to invest in mastering IT governance. TheCloud Security Alliance (CSA) has taken steps to help make this complex effort simpler for everyone as they work to be in compliance. Looking at the STAR, Microsoft has worked to outline the critical thinking steps required to understand the complexity of complying with any framework or regulation. The STAR assessment makes this effort a bit cleaner and simpler to understand.

To help customers better understand compliance efforts, Microsoft published a newMicrosoft approach to cloud transparency white paper that illustrates the benefits of using the STAR to enable the transparency of cloud services. The paper focuses on three cloud service offerings including Windows Azure, Office 365, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM and provides visibility into how these services are operated using the evaluation criteria documented in the CSA STAR. Since the ISO 27000 standards family is important to many of Microsoft’s customers, the paper also outlines how Microsoft’s cloud services are operated to meet or exceed the standards. The paper provides an overview of various risks, governance and information security frameworks and standards to consider when looking at cloud computing as a solution includingISO/IEC 27001, the Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT) framework, and NIST Special Publication (SP) 800 series.

If you are considering using a cloud service provider, check to see if they have submitted answers to the CSA STAR to learn more about their security and privacy practices. If the cloud provider has not submitted a self-assessment to the CSA STAR, you can use the free framework provided by the CSA to ask the cloud provider the questions that are relevant to your organization. Understanding how your cloud provider manages security and privacy to operate their cloud services can help to minimize headaches down the road that might arise.

Frank Simorjay, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, CISSP. Currently, Frank heads up the Trustworthy cloud effort for security, privacy and reliability effort for Microsoft. Most recently Frank was responsible for the Security Intelligence Report ( and a security subject matter expert . Frank is the founder and long standing member of ISSA Puget Sound, and a standing CPAC member for ISSA International. Additionally Frank is a CSA solutions provider representative. Formerly, Frank was a Security Product, and Program Manager and compliance subject matter expert (SME) for Microsoft Solutions Accelerator. Prior to joining Microsoft Frank was a senior engineer for NetIQ and for NFR Security, where he designed security solutions for enterprise networks in banking and telecommunication for more than 10 years.

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