About The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)

  • About The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)

    The Cloud Security Alliance has developed a widely adopted catalogue of security best practices, the “Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing, V3.0“. In addition, the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) whitepaper “Cloud Computing: Benefits, Risks and Recommendations for Information Security” is an important contribution to the cloud security body of knowledge.

    The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) provides evidence that an individual has successfully completed an examination covering the key concepts of the CSA guidance and ENISA whitepaper. More information from CSA.


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  • Key exam areas and concepts

    CSA Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing V3.0 English

    Domain 1: Cloud Computing Architectural Framework

    • NIST Definition of Cloud Computing (Essential Characteristics, Cloud Service Models, Cloud Deployment Models) Multi-Tenancy
    • Cloud Reference Model
    • Jericho Cloud Cube Model
    • Cloud Security Reference Model
    • Cloud Service Brokers


    Domain 2: Governance and Enterprise Risk Management

    • Contractual Security Requirements
    • Enterprise and Information Risk Management
    • Third Party Management Recommendations


    Domain 3: Legal issues: Contracts and Electronic Discovery

    • Cloud versus outsourcing
    • Three dimensions of legal issues
    • Contract enforceability
    • eDiscovery considerations
    • Jurisdictions and data locations


    Domain 4: Compliance and Audit Management

    • Compliance impact on cloud contracts
    • SAS 70 Type II / SSAE 16
    • ISO 27001/27002
    • Compliance analysis requirements
    • Auditor requirements


    Domain 5: Information Management and Data Security

    • Six phases of the Data Security Lifecycle and their key elements
    • Data Remanence
    • Data Commingling
    • Data Backup
    • Data Discovery
    • Data Aggregation


    Domain 6: Interoperability and Portability

    • Key Portability Objectives of S-P-I
    • Lock-In risk mitigation techniques by cloud delivery model


    Domain 7: Traditional Security, Business Continuity, and Disaster Recovery

    • Insider Abuse
    • Business Continuity Management/Disaster Recovery due diligence
    • Provider employee considerations


    Domain 8: Data Centre Operations

    • Provider selection
    • Resource sharing
    • Patch management
    • Technical support


    Domain 9: Incident Response

    • Recommended provider tools and capabilities
    • Response trade-offs
    • Questionable provider offerings


    Domain 10: Application Security

    • SDLC impact and implications
    • Differences in S-P-I models
    • Managing Application Security


    Domain 11: Encryption and Key Management

    • Key management best practices
    • Key management standards
    • Encryption practices in S-P-I models


    Domain 12: Identity, Entitlement, and Access Management

    • Identity Federation
    • Authorisation
    • Access Control
    • Provisioning


    Domain 13: Virtualization

    • Virtual Machine security features
    • VM attack surfaces
    • Compartmentalisation of VMs


    Domain 14: Security as a Service

    • Types of security as a service
    • Advantages and concerns of security as a service

    ENISA Cloud Computing: Benefits, Risks and Recommendations for Information Security

    • Security benefits of cloud
    • Risks R.1 – R.35 and underlying vulnerabilities
    • Information assurance framework
    • Division of liabilities
    • Key legal issues

    Applied Knowledge

    • Classify popular cloud providers into S-P-I model
    • Redundancy
    • Securing popular cloud services
    • Vulnerability assessment considerations
    • Practical encryption use cases

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