As dependence on the cloud has continued to increase throughout the
new century, the CSA recognized that this burgeoning technology could
introduce major security flaws if implemented without any form of
regulation. The CSA took it upon themselves to create and share
documentation of commonly accepted industry standards and security
controls for cloud-based services (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS). The CAIQ
provides organizations with essential transparency into the tactics,
technologies, and policies that are used by cloud vendors to protect
sensitive data and manage risk.
The CAIQ is essentially a survey.
Version 3.1 (the most updated version available) consists of 295 yes/no
questions directed at cloud providers. These questions are designed to
give cloud consumers and cloud auditors insight into how well the
provider complies with established regulations and best practices.
Another version, referred to as CAIQ-Lite, provides an easier, slightly
less-thorough assessment using ~70 questions, designed for cybersecurity
professionals and cloud-procurement models.
Simply put, vendor
risk management teams, by using a standardized questionnaire, can reduce
costs while increasing efficiencies. The CAIQ helps protect
cloud-adopters from becoming exposed to unnecessary cybersecurity risk.
CAIQ provides an essential service to cloud providers, as well. Vendors
can use CAIQ to inform their security, and effectively showcase those
offerings to customers using a standardized set of terms and concepts.