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.

Comics
The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Cloud Email Migration In today’s litigious society, preserving your company’s data is a must if you (and your legal team) want to avoid hefty fines for data spoliation. But what about when you move to the cloud? Of course, you’ve probably thought of this already. You’ll have a migration strategy in place and you’ll carefully…

Two 2017 Trends From A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Two 2017 Trends From A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Reaching For The Stars People who know me know that I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I recently had the opportunity to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While I won’t give any spoilers away for the few who haven’t seen the movie yet, I do want to mention a couple of trends from…

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap You’re out of your mind if you think blocking access to file sharing services is filling a security gap. You’re out of your mind if you think making people jump through hoops like Citrix and VPNs to get at content is secure. You’re out of your mind if you think putting your…

Four Trends Driving Demand For Data Security In 2017

Four Trends Driving Demand For Data Security In 2017

Data Security Trends 2017 will be a hallmark year for security in the enterprise as all industries have reached a tipping point with respect to cloud and mobile adoption, forcing more and more data beyond the corporate firewall. Over 100 IT executives weighed in on their plans for 2017 in our latest survey; buried among…

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

Individuals and Password-Sharing With the 1980s came the explosion of computing. In 1980, the Commodore ushered in the advent of home computing. Time magazine declared 1982 was “The Year of the Computer.” By 1983, there were an estimated 10 million personal computers in the United States alone. As soon as computers became popular, the federal government…

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Out-of-the-box Cloud Solutions Although people may argue that data is not safe in the Cloud because using cloud infrastructure requires trusting another party to look after mission critical data, cloud services actually are more secure than legacy systems. In fact, a recent study on the state of cloud security in the enterprise market revealed that…

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…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…