For those of you who have struggled with cloud security and the subsequent customer conversations, a new tool from Microsoft may offer some support. The Cloud Security Readiness Tool is geared toward businesses with more than 500 employees, and while not necessarily built for the channel, I don’t see why solution providers couldn’t find some value in it. To access the tool, you have to take a survey (come on people, nothing is free …) on the Microsoft website.
According to Microsoft, the goal is to offer insight that may accelerate cloud adoption by addressing the issue of cloud security right up front. CRN offered this quote from Microsoft in its coverage: “When we talk to the companies who have not adopted cloud, 44% raised security concerns,” said Jeff Jones, director of Microsoft’s Trusted Computing Group. “We then asked what would help them to overcome those concerns, and they called for better use of industry-standards, plus they were looking for a high level of transparency, so they could better understand what they were getting.”
Fair enough, right? Now, as I said, this tool isn’t necessarily being pitched for channel use, but Microsoft says the assessment – which includes 27 questions and measures security levels in 20 areas – can certainly be used by both end users and solution providers. The audit can be customized for verticals, and leverages the Cloud Security Alliance’s existing standards to examine the cloud readiness of security as it relates to architecture, human resources, facilities, information, data governance, legal, risk management, release management, resiliency and operational management.
While I don’t agree a “standardized test” can offset the concerns some customers have, I do believe that every tool you have in your arsenal to help openly converse with customers about cloud security is a good tool to have. So take a few minutes, download the assessment, and spend a few hours messing around.