Working Groups

The CSA maintains Working Groups across 30 domains of Cloud Security.

Anti-Bot Working Group

Mission Statement: To develop and maintain a research portfolio providing capabilities to assist the cloud provider industry in taking a lifecycle approach to botnet prevention. Botnets have long been a favored attack mechanism of malicious actors. A recent evolution in botnet innovation has been the introduction of server-based Bots as an alternative to single user…

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Big Data Working Group

The Big Data Working Group (BDWG) will be identifying scalable techniques for data-centric security and privacy problems. BDWG’s investigation is expected to lead to crystallization of best practices for security and privacy in big data, help industry and government on adoption of best practices, establish liaisons with other organizations in order to coordinate the development…

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Cloud Controls Matrix Working Group

The Cloud Security Alliance Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM) is specifically designed to provide fundamental security principles to guide cloud vendors and to assist prospective cloud customers in assessing the overall security risk of a cloud provider. The CSA CCM provides a controls framework that gives detailed understanding of security concepts and principles that are aligned…

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Cloud Data Center Security Working Group

As a critical infrastructure for Cloud Computing, it is essential to review the security measures of Cloud Data Center. The Cloud Data Center Security working group aims to develop and maintain a research portfolio providing capabilities to assist the cloud provider industry in enhancing their Data Centers’ security such as through the infrastructure security and…

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Cloud Data Governance Working Group

The mission of this group is to design a universal set of principles and map these to emerging technologies and techniques for ensuring the privacy, confidentiality, availability, integrity and security of data across private and public clouds. Working Group Scope and Responsibilities Propose a data governance framework to ensure the privacy, availability, integrity and overall…

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Cloud Vulnerabilities Working Group

Founded by the CSA APAC region in May 2013, the CSA Cloud Vulnerabilities Working Group is global working group chartered to conduct research in the area of cloud computing vulnerabilities, with the goals of understanding and educating the classification and exact causes of cloud computing vulnerabilities, recommendations and best practices for the reduction of top…

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CloudAudit Working Group

The goal of CloudAudit is to provide a common interface and namespace that allows enterprises who are interested in streamlining their audit processes (cloud or otherwise) as well as cloud computing providers to automate the Audit, Assertion, Assessment, and Assurance of their infrastructure (IaaS), platform (PaaS), and application (SaaS) environments and allow authorized consumers of…

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CloudCISC Working Group

The Mandate Organizations are increasingly overwhelmed by information security attacks with huge consequences in financial, legal and reputational damage. Malicious actors collaborate with skill and agility, effectively moving from target to target at a breakneck pace. A major impediment to protecting information assets in an enterprise is the unwillingness and/or inability to share cybersecurity incident…

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CloudTrust Working Group

We want to improve trust in the cloud through transparency and assurance. A trusted cloud is defined as a cloud service or Cloud Service Provider (CSP) that implements standards of governance, management, and security while also meeting a minimum set of requirements aimed at increasing the confidence of Cloud Service Customers (CSCs). Tactical implementation of…

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CloudTrust Protocol Working Group

The CloudTrust Protocol (CTP) is the mechanism by which cloud service consumers (also known as “cloud users” or “cloud service owners”) ask for and receive information about the elements of transparency as applied to cloud service providers. The primary purpose of the CTP and the elements of transparency is to generate evidence-based confidence that everything…

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Consensus Assessments Working Group

Lack of security control transparency is a leading inhibitor to the adoption of cloud services. The Cloud Security Alliance Consensus Assessments Initiative (CAI) was launched to perform research, create tools and create industry partnerships to enable cloud computing assessments. We are focused on providing industry-accepted ways to document what security controls exist in IaaS, PaaS,…

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Enterprise Architecture Working Group

The Enterprise Architecture helps cloud providers develop industry-recommended, secure and interoperable identity, access and compliance management configurations, and practices. The Enterprise Architecture Working Group will develop reference models and education in a vendor-neutral manner, inclusive of all CSA members and affiliates who wish to participate. The Enterprise Architecture is both a methodology and a set…

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Financial Services Working Group

The Financial Services working group (FSWG) main objective is to identify and share the challenges, risks and Best Practices for the development, deployment and management of secure cloud services in the financial and banking industry. FSWG results are expected to accelerate the adoption of Secure Cloud services in the Financial Industry by helping the Industry…

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Health Information Management Working Group

The Health Information Management Working Group (HIWG) within the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) has been designated to provide direct influence on how health information service providers deliver secure cloud solutions (services, transport, applications and storage) to their clients, and foster cloud awareness within all aspects of healthcare and related industries. The efforts are jointly executed…

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Incident Management and Forensics Working Group

The Incident Management and Forensics Working Group serves as a focal point for the examination of incident handling and forensics in cloud environments. We seek to develop best practices that consider the legal, technical, and procedural elements involved in responding in a forensically sound way to security incidents in the cloud.

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Innovation Working Group

The CSA Innovation Working Group was created to foster secure innovation in information technology. Our mission is to: Identify key structural issues related to trust and security that will inhibit the adoption of next generation information technology. Articulate the guiding principles and objectives that IT innovators must address. Help innovators incubate technology solutions that align…

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Internet of Things Working Group

ITU-T Y.2060 defines the IoT as a “global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies.” ITU-T Y.2060 also defines a device in the context of the IoT, as a “piece of equipment with the mandatory capabilities of communication…

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Legal Working Group

Confusion about legal issues is one of the biggest issues facing both cloud providers and cloud customers. Laws regarding government access to data vary in respective countries. Laws governing privacy protections for citizens and cross-border export of data also differ according to jurisdiction. There is also a great deal of hype and misinformation around specific…

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Mobile Working Group

Mobile computing is experiencing tremendous growth and adoption, while the devices are gaining significant power and dynamic capabilities. Personally owned mobile devices are increasingly being used to access employers’ systems and cloud-hosted data - both via browser-based and native mobile applications. Clouds of mobile devices are likely to be common. The CSA Mobile working group…

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Open API Working Group

Enterprises are moving towards an IT model in which most business applications are delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS) from Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). The emerging tools and products used to secure these (use cases) business applications are categorized as Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) by leading analysts. The goal of the Cloud Security…

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Open Certification Working Group

The CSA Open Certification Working Group is an industry initiative to allow global, accredited, trusted certification of cloud providers. The CSA Open Certification Working Group is a program for flexible, incremental and multi-layered cloud provider certification according to the Cloud Security Alliance’s industry leading security guidance and control objectives. The program will integrate with popular…

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Privacy Level Agreement Working Group

Privacy is one of the top concerns for potential cloud customers. Both Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and potential users struggle with different data protection legislation across the globe, where the inconsistencies between National legislations represent a significant barrier to a broad adoption of cloud computing. Moreover, privacy compliance has become a fundamental evaluation criterion when…

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Quantum-safe Security Working Group

Modern encryption methods are composed of two parts: an algorithm that encrypts or decrypts our data with a random, secret key, and a method of sharing the secret key between the parties. The encryption algorithm (AES‐256) appears safe, at least for the next 20 to 30 years, based on our current knowledge of cryptographic attacks.…

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Security as a Service Working Group

The mission statement of the Cloud Security Alliance is ". . . to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing, and provide education on the uses of Cloud Computing to help secure all other forms of computing." In order to provide greater focus on the second part of our…

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Security Guidance Working Group

CSA Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing seeks to establish a stable, secure baseline for cloud operations. This effort provides a practical, actionable roadmap to managers wanting to adopt the cloud paradigm safely and securely. Domains are reviewed to emphasize security, stability, and privacy in a multi-tenant environment. Security Guidance Version…

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Software Defined Perimeter Working Group

The Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) is a research initiative launched in December 2013 with the goal to develop a solution to stop network attacks against application infrastructure. With the adoption of cloud services the threat of network attacks against application infrastructure increases since servers can not be protected with traditional perimeter defense techniques. Cloud Security…

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Telecom Working Group

The Telecom Working Group within the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) has been designated to provide direct influence on how to deliver secure cloud solutions and foster cloud awareness within all aspects of Telecommunications. The efforts are jointly executed by CSA Global, Telecom cloud communities (i.e. focus groups, associations, research institutes, forums, academia), Solution Providers and…

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Top Threats Working Group

At an unprecedented pace, cloud computing has simultaneously transformed business and government, and created new security challenges. The development of the cloud service model delivers business-supporting technology more efficiently than ever before. The shift from traditional client/server to service-based models is transforming the way technology departments think about, designing, and delivering computing technology and applications.…

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Virtualization Working Group

Virtualization is a critical part of cloud computing. Virtualization provides an important layer of abstraction from physical hardware, enabling the elasticity and resource pooling commonly associated with cloud. Virtualized operating systems are the backbone of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The CSA Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing focused exclusively on…

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EMEA Research Projects

The CSA EMEA research team is involved in 9 publicly funded projects.

A4Cloud Project

The Cloud Accountability Project (or A4Cloud for short) focuses on the Accountability For Cloud and Other Future Internet Services as the most critical prerequisite for effective governance and control of corporate and private data processed by cloud-based IT services. The research being conducted in the project will increase trust in cloud computing by devising methods and tools, through which cloud stakeholders can be made accountable for the privacy and confidentiality of information held in the cloud. These methods and tools will combine risk analysis, policy enforcement, monitoring and compliance auditing. They will contribute to the governance of cloud activities, providing transparency and assisting legal, regulatory and socio-economic policy enforcement.

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CIRRUS Project

Certification, Internationalisation and standardization in cloud security (CIRRUS) project aims to provide “high-level, high-impact” support and coordination for European ICT security research projects. Project activities target joint standardization, certification schemes, link research projects with EU policy and strategy, internationalization, as well as industry best practices and public private cooperation initiatives. The contribution of the CIRRUS project focuses on the cloud security standardization and certification efforts, both within the EU and at an international level, with the goals of supporting on-going research projects and coordinate a dialogue that will lead to a convergence of such efforts.

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CloudWatch Project

CloudWatch will also draw on key issues, disseminate best practices on model contract terms, foster a multi-stakeholder dialogue and facilitate the emergence and use of standard contracts. Thus, raise awareness of the benefits of cloud computing to major stakeholder groups: enterprises, especially SMEs; governments and public authorities; research and education institutions.

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CloudWatch 2 Project

One of the objectives of the Digital Single Market Strategy is creating long-term growth potential. Europe needs a digital market that allows new business models to flourish, start-ups to grow and industry to innovate and compete on a global scale. The European Commission’s programme for Software, Services and Cloud gives companies and research institutions the freedom to innovate technically in cloud computing. This is how European research and innovation initiatives bring continuous improvements and deliver services and solutions with increasing value for the digital single market. CloudWatch 2 provides a set of services to help European R&I initiatives capture the value proposition and business case as key to boosting the European economy.

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CUMULUS framework will bring service users, service providers and cloud suppliers to work together with certification authorities in order to ensure security certificate validity in the ever-changing cloud environment.

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Helix Nebula Project

Helix Nebula was a new, pioneering partnership between big science and big business in Europe that is charting the course towards the sustainable provision of cloud computing - the Science Cloud.

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PICSE Project

The growth in cloud services is exploding, but procurement contracting has not kept up the pace. As a result, most people required to write cloud contracts for their organization have encountered many issues. The opportunity for cloud service providers on the supply side is widely recognised and this can potentially have enormous impact on the delivery of services across the public sector. However, procurement in the public sector is bound by procedures and is not tailored to the dynamic, on-demand and elastic nature of cloud services. There is therefore a need to focus on new ways of procuring cloud-based services.

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SLAReady Project

SLA-Ready aims to provide common understanding of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for Cloud services with greater standardisation and transparency so firms can make an informed decision on what services to use, what to expect and what to trust. SLA-Ready services will support SMEs with practical guides, and a social marketplace, encouraging them to carefully plan their journey and make it strategic through an informed, stepping-stone approach, so the Cloud and applications grow with their business.

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SPECS Project

The Secure Provisioning of Cloud Services based on SLA Management (SPECS) project aims at developing and implementing an open source framework to offer Security-as-a-Service, by relying on the notion of security parameters specified in Service Level Agreements (SLA), and also providing the techniques to systematically manage their life-cycle. Providing comprehensible and enforceable security assurance by Cloud Service Providers (CSP) is a critical factor to deploy trustworthy Cloud ecosystems.

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APAC Research Projects

The CSA APAC research team is involved in 1 publicly funded project.


STRATUS project, a six-year, NZ $12.2 million cyber security project funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment. Led by the University of Waikato, CSA is part of the consortium that was awarded the funding and the work which began in November 2014. STRATUS, which is an acronym for Security Technologies Returning Accountability, Transparency and User-centric Services in the Cloud, is an ambitious project that intends to create a suite of novel security tools, techniques and capabilities that will return control of data to cloud computing users. More importantly, it aims to put New Zealand ICT industry onto the world map capitalizing on the global trend in cloud computing, cybersecurity and data analytics.

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Initiative Details Date Opened

Cloud Data Center Security Working Group Charter

April 18, 2016 Contribute now

Securing the Development of IoT Devices

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) IoT Working Group (IoT WG) is focused on providing recommendations that help to secure the IoT ecosystem as a whole. Secure IoT devices provide enterprise users with a solid starting point for implementing large complex IoT systems. This guidance is aimed at IoT device developers, including manufacturers of physical products that are adding new computing and communications capabilities to their offerings.

February 12, 2016 Contribute now

Defined Categories of Security as a Service – Continuous Monitoring as a Service

February 03, 2016 Contribute now

Mobile Application Security Testing Whitepaper Draft Open Peer Review

Mobile applications are becoming an integral part of not just modern enterprises but also of human existence and a huge part of this shift is due to the emergence of cloud computing. The Mobile Application Security Testing initiative will aim to create a safer cloud ecosystem for mobile applications by creating systematic approaches to application testing and vetting that helps integrate and introduce quality control and compliance to mobile application development and management.

December 14, 2015 Contribute now

Financial Services Working Group Charter

October 12, 2015 Contribute now

Open API Working Group Charter

October 12, 2015 Contribute now

Health Information Management Working Group Charter

October 12, 2015 Contribute now

CloudCISC Working Group Charter

October 06, 2015 Contribute now

Cloud Data Governance Working Group Charter

October 06, 2015 Contribute now

Cloud Controls Matrix Working Group Charter

October 06, 2015 Contribute now

Quantum‐safe Security Working Group Charter

July 08, 2015 Contribute now

Application Security

Understanding the limited opportunities to secure apps from secure coding practices, third party security add ons, and testing procedures in app stores.

June 26, 2015 Contribute now

Mobile Authentication

Understanding the fundamental concepts of authentication in layered mobile computing environments to ensure proper implementation, maintenance, and monitoring of secure mobile devices.

June 26, 2015 Contribute now

NFV/SDN Position Paper Project Charter

June 18, 2015 Contribute now

Open API Charter

June 08, 2015 Contribute now

Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing v3.0

May 26, 2015 Contribute now

BYOD – Legal Analysis & Practical TIPs

March 30, 2015 Contribute now

Privacy Level Agreement Version 2

November 18, 2014 Contribute now

Anti-Bot Working Group Whitepaper

CSA as the industry leader has an obligation to articulate solutions to prevent, respond and mitigate against botnets occurring on cloud infrastructure. The CSA Anti-Bot Working Group is the primary stakeholder for coordinating these activities.

July 29, 2014 Contribute now

Cloud Broker Working Group Proposed Charter

The CSA Cloud Broker Working Group will address the above challenges through intelligent market outreach, aligning brokers with cloud governance best practices, documenting use cases, identifying standards requirements, and creating other innovative research artifacts.

July 21, 2014 Contribute now

Mobile BYOD Policy Guidance

It is becoming common for employees to request (demand) the ability to use their personal mobile devices(*) in the course of their work related activities. Allowing them to do so may improve employee productivity, talent retention and business agility but probably runs contrary to existing Corporate/IT policy. A strategy should be chosen to provide the desired level of control, such as a containerization of company data and applications or a full-device, MDM centric approach.

April 28, 2014 Contribute now

SLA Guidance

Service Level Agreements (SLA) represents a key component of any cloud service agreement and the concept, upon first glance, appears to be easy to understand: a commitment to performance on the part of the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) to the Cloud Service User (CSU). The reality is that while the concept is simple, the application, enforcement and the monitoring is not.

February 28, 2014 Contribute now

Best Practices in Big Data Security and Privacy

This document lists out in detail the best practices that should be followed by big data service providers to fortify their infrastructures. We present ten best practices for each of the top ten challenges in big data security and privacy providing us a roster of one hundred best practices.

July 23, 2013 Contribute now

Next Generation SIEM

The capabilities of today’s modern SIEM infrastructures have already changed compared with traditional SIEMs that enterprises used to deploy 5 years ago (extended functions like compliance monitoring, broader input from additional event sources, different ways to store and access data, less complex to set-up and operate). But the evolution is ongoing and there is a broad discussion about what the next generation SIEM technology should be able to deliver and how. While Cloud environments might introduces more complexity (virtualization layer, distributed infrastructure, federated applications, …) and thus are more complex to monitor by a SIEM, at the same time the cloud “technology” and SecaaS based SIEM services create new opportunities for enterprises and the Cloud can help in storing and processing the increasing amount of data captured by SIEMs.

July 03, 2013 Contribute now

Mobile App Security

The security of smart phones and the software being used on them will become increasingly important. The CSA Mobile Working Group is trying to identify and document recommendations to establish guidelines for the mobile device environment.

April 01, 2013 Contribute now

NIST Cyber Security Framework – Candidate Mapping

January 01, 2013 Contribute now