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Cloud security certification in the works

Two not-for-profit groups have recently announced a partnership that seeks to develop a certification system for cloud security.

(ISC)2, a global not-for-profit professional body for information security, and Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), a not-for-profit group promoting best practices in assuring security within Cloud Computing, said they will work together to develop a new professional certification for information security.

The partners said their collaboration will try to establish "a common global understanding of professional knowledge and best practices in the design, implementation and management of cloud computing systems". They have set a deadline of 2014 for the credential and first examinations.

The initiative stems from the fact that cloud computing has been gaining a following. Yet, there is little common industry knowledge about the technology and the risks involved, said W. Hord Tipton, CISSP-ISSEP, CAP, CISA, executive director, (ISC)2.

The (ISC)2 2013 Global Information Security Workforce Study (GISWS) that covered more than 12,000 respondents has noted that businesses are embracing cloud computing and that there is a demand for training in cloud computing. "Virtually all respondents" in the study said they have some "level of cloud computing" while 61 percent said they have public or hybrid cloud. Yet, three quarters of the respondents also said there is a need for new skills and technical knowledge about cloud security.

In the Asia Pacific region, there is much concern about potential security threats, said Clayton Jones, managing director, (ISC)2, Asia-Pacific.

"It is key to develop an international set of best practices for cloud computing that will help not only practitioners but also management to understand how to evaluate cloud deployment. We look forward to collaborating with CSA in this region to promote the security awareness of cloud computing," added Jones.

With the collaboration, both organisations will put together their expertise and body of research. (ISC)2 is tasked to lead subject matter experts drawn from the memberships of both organisations to develop a "focused common body of knowledge" that will indicate the expertise requirement and technology-agnostic approach that will become the foundation for the (ISC)2 certifications. The collaboration will also determine a globally accepted benchmark for the level of experience required to denote competency in the field of practice covered by the common body of knowledge (CBK).

"Our combined effort ensures the world's knowledge leaders are put to the task," said Tipton.


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