Cloud Compliance Audit: Learn More On The Unified Certification Standard From The MSP Alliance

Cloud Compliance Audit

I have written previously about various types of audits that are necessary to validate your cloud service.  In this post, I will cover the cloud service audit that helps you pick the right cloud service provider (CSP). While it is important that customers take the initiative in checking the various guarantees offered by the vendor on their own, it is helpful to have an industry certification that verifies each of the major parameters and that backup the vendor’s claims.

The Unified Certification Standard (UCS) from the industry body, the International Association of Managed Service Providers (MSP Alliance), shows promise in this regard.

The UCS, previously known as the Managed Services Accreditation Program (MSAP), has auditors who visit the facilities of the CSPs that request to be audited, and evaluate the CSP on eleven major control objectives.

1. Provider organization, governance, planning and risk management

This verifies that the vendor company has established an organizational structure that will allow it to effectively manage their services and provide an appropriate level of risk management.

2. Documented policies and procedures

This part verifies that the employees are trained and made aware of compliance procedures and that there is a periodical review of those procedures.

3. Service change management

This part verifies that the vendor is properly documenting the capacity planning and control change operations.

4. Event management

Customer support is essential for cloud computing customers. Thus, the audit verifies that the vendor has an established ticketing system and a help desk, and that it staffs their Network Operations Center (NOC) with trained personnel.

5. Logical security

Physical access to the servers and password management procedures are verified in this audit.

6. Change management

This part of the audit verifies that changes to policies and systems are logged and documented.

7. Data integrity

Security of your organization’s data is very important, and in this audit the vendor’s policies concerning data access and security policies are evaluated.

8. Physical and environmental security

The vendor must have sufficient safeguards in its datacenter to protect itself against vandalism and other kind of attacks. Apart from this, the audit checks that the environment is sufficiently safe from natural forces and has an effective DR/BC (Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity) planning.

9. Service level agreements

The vendor must provide SLAs that are duly signed by the clients.

10. Client reporting, billing and satisfaction

The vendor must provide proper invoicing and billing and send periodic reports to its customers.

11. Financial health

To ensure that you have an uninterrupted access to your services, the vendor’s financial position must be stable and it must have been running a profitable business over the past six months.

All these factors are important for any cloud customer, and it would be great if all CSPs were accredited according to these objectives. Let us know, if your vendor is accredited by UCS and share your experiences.

By Balaji Viswanathan

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
Fintech Exploiting AI and Blockchain Technology

Fintech Exploiting AI and Blockchain Technology

AI and Blockchain Technology The field of artificial intelligence (AI) had progressed rapidly in the last ten years, though first recognized in the 1950s. From autonomous motor vehicles to digital personal assistants, the technology is making its way into a variety of industries, enabling better task automation, language processing, and data analytics. But more recently,…

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security It’s no secret many organizations rely on popular cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft for access to computing infrastructure. The many perks of cloud services, such as the ability to quickly scale resources without the upfront cost of buying physical servers, have helped build a multibillion-dollar cloud industry that continues to grow each…

What’s On The Horizon For Cloud Computing

What’s On The Horizon For Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Trends Now that we are a little more than halfway through 2016, many experts are beginning to make their predictions about cloud computing for the rest of the year and beyond. While many of the trends aren’t too unexpected (the ever increasing acceptance of cloud solutions by businesses, for instance) other trends are…

Tesla Solar Plan Would Cost Billions To Implement

Tesla Solar Plan Would Cost Billions To Implement

A 1,500-word manifesto that Elon Musk unveiled last week, outlining his plan to expand Tesla Motors Inc.’s electric-vehicle line and to build “stunning solar roofs,” may end up costing the company tens of billions of dollars to carry out. Musk, Tesla’s chairman and chief executive officer, gave the estimate on Tuesday after a tour of the…

Healthcare IoT Security To Grow To $47 Billion In 2021

Healthcare IoT Security To Grow To $47 Billion In 2021

Healthcare IoT Security It’s obvious that IoT can make the entire healthcare industry more efficient. The kind of data involved can be used to save time, physical energy and operating costs. Because of this, devices that facilitate medical data are becoming more commonplace in the industry. This includes things such as wearables that can track…

Are CEO’s Missing Out On Big Data’s Big Picture?

Are CEO’s Missing Out On Big Data’s Big Picture?

Big Data’s Big Picture Big data allows marketing and production strategists to see where their efforts are succeeding and where they need some work. With big data analytics, every move you make for your company can be backed by data and analytics. While every business venture involves some level of risk, with big data, that risk…

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Cloud Security Mindset Businesses are becoming wise to the compelling benefits of cloud computing. When adopting cloud, they need a high level of confidence in how it will be risk-managed and controlled, to preserve the security of their information and integrity of their operations. Cloud implementation is sometimes built up over time in a business,…

How You Can Improve Customer Experience With Fast Data Analytics

How You Can Improve Customer Experience With Fast Data Analytics

Fast Data Analytics In today’s constantly connected world, customers expect more than ever before from the companies they do business with. With the emergence of big data, businesses have been able to better meet and exceed customer expectations thanks to analytics and data science. However, the role of data in your business’ success doesn’t end…

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Hybrid Cloud Environments After several years of steady cloud adoption in the enterprise, an interesting trend has emerged: More companies are retaining their existing, on-premise IT infrastructures while also embracing the latest cloud technologies. In fact, IDC predicts markets for such hybrid cloud environments will grow from the over $25 billion global market we saw…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

There is a Difference – So Stop Comparing We are all familiar with the old saying “That’s like comparing apples to oranges” and though we learned this lesson during our early years we somehow seem to discount this idiom when discussing the Cloud. Specifically, IT buyers often feel justified when comparing the cost of a…

Protecting Your Web Applications In A Hybrid Cloud Environment

Protecting Your Web Applications In A Hybrid Cloud Environment

Protecting Your Web Applications It’s no secret that organizations are embracing the cloud and all the benefits that it entails. Whether its cost savings, increased flexibility or enhanced productivity – businesses around the world are leveraging the cloud to scale their business and better serve their customers. They are using a variety of cloud solutions…

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud One of the least considered benefits of cloud computing in the average small or mid-sized business manager’s mind is the aspect of disaster recovery. Part of the reason for this is that so few small and mid-size businesses have ever contemplated the impact of a major disaster on their IT…

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

Containerization: The Bold Face Of The Cloud In 2016

Containerization: The Bold Face Of The Cloud In 2016

Containerization And The Cloud “Right now, the biggest technology shift in the cloud is a rapid evolution from simple virtual machine (VM) hosting toward containerization’’ says the CTO of Microsoft Azure, Mark Russinovitch, a man who deals with the evolving cloud infrastructure every day. In his words, containerization is “an incredibly efficient, portable, and lightweight…

Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Balancing The Playing Field For Startups According to a Goldman Sachs report, cloud infrastructure and platform spending could reach $43 billion by 2018, which is up $16 billion from last year, representing a growth of around 30% from 2013 said the analyst. This phenomenal growth is laying the foundation for a new breed of startup…

Big Data and Financial Services – Security Threat or Massive Opportunity?

Big Data and Financial Services – Security Threat or Massive Opportunity?

Big Data and Financial Services Cloud Banking Insights Series focuses on big data in the financial services industry and whether it is a security threat or actually a massive opportunity. How does big data fit into an overall cloud strategy? Most FI’s have a positive mind-set towards cloud IT consumption as it not only enables…