The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) developed the Consensus Assessment Initiative Questionnaire (CAIQ) as a tool for cloud customers and auditors to assess the security capabilities of cloud service providers (CSPs). As the use of cloud services and infrastructure continues to accelerate, the CSA CAIQ is also adapting to changing business needs. For this reason, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) has published an updated CAIQ v4. This level of transparency provides organizations with insight into Oracle’s security processes, policies, and OCI controls.
How a CSP secures and protects its infrastructure and services should be one of the default measures for cloud customers’ choice of a reliable and trusted provider. Evaluating cloud security, and especially compliance, is difficult. Not only is it different from industry to industry and varies globally, but it’s also constantly evolving and being refined by regulators, which is why many global organizations use the CSA CAIQ to conduct their own due diligence, evaluate, and choose a trusted cloud provider.
The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is a global nonprofit research organization focused on addressing security challenges within the cloud cyber security and compliance spaces. Since its founding in 2009, CSA has been dedicated to offering cloud service providers and cloud customers with a framework and resources to ensure secure cloud services and cloud adoption strategies.
To carry out its mission, the CSA developed a widely adopted three-tiered CSP assurance program with the Security, Trust, & Assurance Risk (STAR). The program includes the following levels of evaluation:
Level 1 is a self-assessment and includes the Consensus Assessment Initiative Questionnaire (CAIQ v4)
Level 2 is an independent third-party audit against the CSA Cloud Control Matrix (CCM v4)
While the CAIQ is part of the submission process for CSPs to be listed in the STAR Registry for Level 1 certification, it doubles as a useful questionnaire covering CCM control objectives, such as cryptography, encryption, key management, supply chain management, transparency, and accountability. The CAIQ v4 introduces more shared responsibility features that can help cloud customers understand that control objectives are shared, which are their responsibility, and which belong to the CSP.
To keep up with the pace of the dynamic landscape of global regulations related to the use of cloud technology, the CCM is updated and revised regularly. In 2021, the CSA released an updated version of the CCM, and associated CAIQ.
With a new Logging and Monitoring domain, the CCM is now comprised of 17 domains, compared to 16 in the earlier version, with about 50% more control specifications. Increasing from 133 to 197 CCM controls, the CAIQ v4, although with fewer questions in its version 4, is designed to evaluate cloud operators’ security practices, implementation, and policies, albeit with fewer questions in its version 4. The CAIQ v4 also gives CSPs the opportunity to be transparent about their security practices and capabilities.
Customers can use the CSA CCM and CAIQ to evaluate cloud security practices and controls. For this reason, Oracle has been a CSA STAR Member, and OCI completes regular independent third-party assessments against the CCM to provide ongoing assurance to its customers in areas such as data security, access control, and data privacy, among many others. With the CSA STAR Level 2 assessment program, OCI also publishes a CAIQ annually on the CSA STAR Registry.
OCI’s CAIQ v4 is used by organizations worldwide to assess OCI’s security practices and policies and determine what controls they need to implement to meet their business objectives and regional requirements. The updated questionnaire covers critical security topics that relate to current global cloud regulations, such as business continuity and resilience, data encryption, and vulnerability management.
As cloud adoption grows among organizations and businesses around the globe, so does its need for compliance. Approaching cloud security global norms using CAIQ questions and CCM controls is an effective way to get answers to some of the most important areas of cloud security and how your cloud service provider addresses them.
Investing in capabilities to help address customer security and compliance needs is a top priority for Oracle. For more information about OCI’s capabilities and services, reach out to our representatives.
With the OCI CAIQ, you can use the following resources to further evaluate Oracle Cloud Infrastructure’s security posture: