GRC Stack

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GRC Stack an Integrated Suite of Four Initiatives Download

About the GRC Stack

Achieving Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) goals requires appropriate assessment criteria, relevant control objectives and timely access to necessary supporting data. Whether implementing private, public or hybrid clouds, the shift to compute as a service presents new challenges across the spectrum of GRC requirements. The Cloud Security Alliance GRC Stack provides a toolkit for enterprises, cloud providers, security solution providers, IT auditors and other key stakeholders to instrument and assess both private and public clouds against industry established best practices, standards and critical compliance requirements.

Download GRC Stack Training Presentations

Participants in the GRC Stack training course at the Cloud Security Alliance Congress 2011 are eligible to download the full presentation courseware by following the link below. You will need a password to access the full version page.

Password protected full version: GRC Stack Courseware
Free version: GRC Stack Courseware

GRC Stack Initiatives


The goal of CloudAudit is to provide a common interface and namespace that allows cloud computing providers to automate the Audit, Assertion, Assessment, and Assurance (A6) of their infrastructure (IaaS), platform (PaaS), and application (SaaS) environments and allow authorized consumers of their services to do likewise via an open, extensible and secure interface and methodology. CloudAudit provides the technical foundation to enable transparency and trust in private and public cloud systems.

Visit the CloudAudit page

Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM)

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 Cloud Controls Matrix provides a controls framework that gives detailed understanding of security concepts and principles that are aligned to the Cloud Security Alliance guidance in 13 domains. The foundations of the Cloud Security Alliance Cloud Controls Matrix rest on its customized relationship to other industry-accepted security standards, regulations, and controls frameworks such as the HITRUST CSF, ISO 27001/27002, ISACA COBIT, PCI, HIPAA and NIST, and will augment or provide internal control direction for service organization control reports provided by cloud providers. As a framework, the CSA CCM provides organizations with the needed structure, detail and clarity relating to information security tailored to the cloud industry.

The CSA CCM strengthens existing information security control environments by emphasizing business information security control requirements, reduces and identifies consistent security threats and vulnerabilities in the cloud, provides standardize security and operational risk management, and seeks to normalize security expectations, cloud taxonomy and terminology, and security measures implemented in the cloud.

Visit the Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM) page

Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire (CAIQ)

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, and SaaS offerings, providing security control transparency. This effort by design is integrated with and will support other projects from our research partners.

The initial deliverable of this project is the Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire (CAIQ). This questionnaire is available in spreadsheet format, and provides a set of questions a cloud consumer and cloud auditor may wish to ask of a cloud provider. It provides a series of “yes or no” control assertion questions which can then be tailored to suit each unique cloud customer’s evidentiary requirements.

Visit the Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire (CAIQ) page

Cloud Trust Protocol (CTP)

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 that is claimed to be happening in the cloud is indeed happening as described, …, and nothing else. This is a classic application of the definition of digital trust.4 And, assured of such evidence, cloud consumers become liberated to bring more sensitive and valuable business functions to the cloud, and reap even larger payoffs. With the CTP cloud consumers are provided a way to find out important pieces of information concerning the compliance, security, privacy, integrity, and operational security history of service elements being performed “in the cloud”.

Visit the Cloud Trust Protocol (CTP) page

GRC Stack Leadership

Becky Swain, CSA

CSA GRC Stack Training

Outsourcing critical business functions into the Cloud can result in challenges of maintaining assurance and control over legal and regulatory obligations for data management and protection. The Cloud Security Alliance is offering a training session to show you how to leverage the CSA GRC (Governance, Risk Management & Compliance) Stack, a toolkit designed for peeling back and revealing those layers of accountability and responsibility between Cloud Service Providers and their Tenants, applying measurable risk-based decision making for both assessing and attesting to governance, risk and compliance best practices.

Document Release Date Download
Free GRC Stack Courseware 10/10/2011 Download (pptx)
Password Protected Full GRC Stack Courseware 10/10/2011 Access
Original GRC Stack Training Documents 01/02/2011 Download (pdf)

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Course Location Training Partner Date/Time Registration Link

GRC Stack News

July 18, 2012

CSA Research Sponsorship Opportunities Available

CSA announces the availability of several new opportunities to sponsor key research initiatives. Your support helps us maintain our aggressive research schedule and accelerate responsible adoption of cloud computing.

November 16, 2011

Cloud Security Alliance Releases Guidance Version 3

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) today unveiled the third version of its Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing. This effort provides a practical, actionable road map to managers wanting to adopt the cloud paradigm safely and securely.

July 26, 2011

Call for Volunteers for V.3 Guidance Group 2: GRC, Audit, Physical, BCM, DR

The Cloud Security Alliance and Group 2 GRC, Audit, Physical, BCM, DR Leadership team are looking for volunteers to assist with drafting Domain 2, 4 and 7 of version 3 of CSA’s Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing.

November 17, 2010

Cloud Security Alliance Unveils Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) Stack

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) today announced the availability of the CSA Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) Stack, a suite of enabling tools for GRC in the cloud, now available for free download at


GRC Stack

Release Date: March 08, 2013

GRC Stack Courseware

Release Date: October 10, 2011

GRC Stack Training Document

Release Date: March 06, 2011