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Blog Article Published: 11/16/2023

Written by Ashwin Chaudhary, CEO, Accedere.

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) STAR CCM Lite is a streamlined version of the CSA Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM) v4, a cybersecurity controls framework for cloud computing developed by CSA. CCM v4 was released in September 2021.

The CCM Lite is a comprehensive subset of CCM v4 controls that organizations can use to assess and improve their cloud security posture regardless of their industry or cloud environment. These controls cover a wide range of areas, including asset management, access control, data protection, incident response, and risk management.

The CCM Lite is designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups. These organizations often have limited resources, including budget, time, and staff, to devote to cloud security. They can use the CAIQ Lite, a security questionnaire derived from CCM Lite, to assess their own cloud security posture, or to evaluate the security of cloud service providers (CSPs). The CCM Lite can also be used to develop and implement a cloud security program.

CCM Lite is not a replacement for CCM v4, rather it is a cost effective solution for low risk profile cloud organizations.

The Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM) and CCM Lite are both cybersecurity control frameworks for cloud computing. However, there are some key differences between the two.

The following table provides a more detailed comparison of CCM and CCM Lite:



CCM Lite

Number of controls



Target audience

Organizations of all sizes

SMEs and startups


More complex

Less complex

Implementation effort

More effort

Less effort

Cost to implement

More expensive

Less expensive

According to a recent survey, in 2023 the frequency of cloud attacks has increased, where 45% of breaches are cloud-based. Therefore, CSA CCM is an important tool for cloud providers to understand the security controls needed in a cloud environment.

The benefits of CCM Lite are the following:

Lightweight and manageable.

  • The CCM Lite includes a subset of the CCM controls that are considered to be the most foundational and important for cloud security.
  • This makes it easier for organizations to implement and maintain a cloud security program.

Aligned with industry best practices.

  • The CCM Lite is based on the CSA CCM, which is widely recognized as a leading cloud security framework.
  • It is also aligned with other industry standards and best practices, such as ISO 27001 and NIST Cybersecurity Framework.

Flexible and customizable.

  • The CCM Lite is designed to be flexible and customizable to meet the specific needs of each organization.
  • Organizations can choose to implement all of the CCM Lite controls, or just those that fall in scope of their cloud service.
  • They can also adapt the controls to their own specific environment and risk profile. It is tailored to the needs of SMEs and startups

Easy to implement.

  • It is a comprehensive and well-respected security framework.
  • It can help organizations to improve their cloud security posture and meet compliance requirements.
  • It is easy to understand and implement.

CSA CCM Lite and CAIQ Lite can be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • To conduct a self-assessment of an organization's cloud security posture
  • To prepare for a third-party cloud security assessment.
  • To implement a cloud security program.
  • To comply with industry regulations and standards.

CCM Lite is a valuable resource because it provides small enterprises with a clear and concise roadmap for improving their cloud security. It also helps them to ensure that they are meeting the security requirements of their customers and partners.

About the Author

Ashwin Chaudhary is the CEO of Accedere, a Data Security, Privacy Audit, and Training Firm. He is a CPA from Colorado, MBA, CITP, CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CRISC, CISSP, CDPSE, CCSK, PMP, ISO27001 LA, ITILv3 certified cybersecurity professional with about 20 years of cybersecurity/privacy and 40 years of industry experience. He has managed many cybersecurity projects covering SOC reporting, ISO audits, VAPT assessments, Privacy, IoT, Governance Risk, and Compliance.

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