Microsoft has launched the Windows Azure Trust Center meaning that they are looking to provide customers and partners with easier access to regulatory compliance information.
The Shared Responsibility Protocol
As a public cloud services platform, Windows Azure requires shared responsibility between customers and Microsoft. Here is what that means:
- Microsoft is responsible for the platform, and provides a cloud service that can meet different conditions for the customer, namely security, privacy, and compliance needs.
- Customers, on the other hand, are responsible for their environment, including their applications, data content, virtual machines, access credentials, and compliance with regulatory requirements applicable to their particular industry and locale.
With both sides having to meet these conditions, it helps provide a stable computing environment. The goal is to help customers make their own regulatory assessments.
The Cloud Security Alliance Star Registry
Since security it one of the more important features offered by the Azure Cloud, they have submitted their guidelines and control offerings to the Cloud Security Alliance STAR registry. STAR is a free, publicly accessible registry. It documents the security controls provided by various cloud computing offerings. The idea is that the Cloud Security Alliance can give customers the ability to evaluate cloud services before they decide which ones to purchase and join. STAR has published the Cloud Control Matrix (CCM) to provide that customer service.
For its part, Microsoft has developed a white paper to outline how Windows Azure security controls map to the CCM controls framework, providing customers with in-depth information on Windows Azure security policies and procedures.
Microsoft’s commitment to making the Azure Cloud a viable option for businesses that need to make decisions about which cloud service to go to. While the Microsoft brand is well known in the OS and Office Suite products, customers have to have assurance that their data and IT operations will be well handled. The Azure Cloud Trust Center does that.
Source: Microsoft Blog