July 23, 2012, 5:28 PM — Amazon Web Services has submitted an entry to the Cloud Security Alliance's Security, Trust & Assurance Registry (STAR), a move that sheds some light into the security features of its IaaS cloud offering.
The CSA launched its STAR program last August as a forum for users to investigate the security practices of various cloud providers, but since then it's been slow to catch on. About six months after it launched there were only three submissions to the registry. Microsoft Azure was the first major cloud provider to join the registry in April, while in the past few weeks infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers Amazon Web Services, Terremark and Box.com have all now joined, bringing the total entrants to a dozen.
BACKGROUND: Cloud security registry slow to catch on
SLIDESHOW: How to choose an IaaS provider
AWS released an updated whitepaper outlining its security practices to become listed in the STAR program. The 42-page document runs through the various certifications and compliances AWS has for its cloud and provides answers to more than 190 questions from the CSA as part of the STAR program's questionnaire. In the document, AWS says that its service has received SAS70 (Statement on Auditing Standards) Type II audits, as well as International Standards Organization (ISO) 27001 certification. AWS has a SOC1 (Service Organization Controls) report under SSAE16 (Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements), which is a financial certification by the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). AWS has Payment Card Industry Level 1 Service provider authority, and it is listed as at a "moderate" level for its Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) controls.