Cloud Security Alliance guidance for data ownership

The Cloud Security Alliance has incorporated in recently-released implementation guidance issued by the Security as a Service Working Group a set of recommendations for cloud end users to adopt encryption of data-in-use as a best practice.

The guidance notes that it is critical that the customer, and not the cloud service provider, is responsible for the security and encryption protection controls necessary to meet their requirements.

In its guidance focused on email security and encryption (SecaaS Implementation Guidance – Category 4: Email Security), the CSA specifies as a best practice that organizations should adopt technologies that allow sorting and searching of encrypted text, while reducing the amount of data needing to be decrypted.

Specifically, the independent organization recommends encrypting data before it goes to the cloud and maintaining segregation of duties by keeping the encryption keys in the direct control of the customer, not the cloud provider.

Implementation guidance for encryption as a service (SecaaS Implementation Guidance – Category 8: Encryption) also notes that once data is safely transmitted to a cloud service provider, it should be stored, transmitted and processed in a secure way.