The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) has unveiled the industry's first user certification programme for secure cloud computing.
The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) is designed to ensure that IT professionals have demonstrated awareness of the security threats and best practices for securing the cloud.
Cloud computing promises reduced costs and increased agility, but there is a critical need to provide training and certification of professionals to ensure the model is implemented securely, said the CSA.
The CCSK provides evidence that an IT professional has passed an exam on the key concepts of the CSA's best practice guide and a whitepaper on cloud computing by the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA).
"Critical services are now being provided via the cloud, which is creating a mandate for cloud security skills across the spectrum of IT-related professions," said Jim Reavis, CSA executive director.
The CSA is providing a low-cost certification that establishes a robust baseline of cloud security knowledge that, in combination with existing professional certifications, will help provide necessary assurance of user competency in this important time of transition, he said.
The CCSK is gaining broad industry support from organisations including Lockheed Martin, Qualys, CA, LogLogic and Symantec
"Security has been identified as the most significant issue associated with cloud computing adoption," said Melvin Greer, chief strategist, cloud computing, at Lockheed Martin.
The CCSK will provide a consistent way of developing cloud security competency and provide both organisations and agencies the confidence they need to adopt secure cloud solutions, he said.
"The CCSK is a natural step for security, IT and other professionals to demonstrate their awareness of cloud computing based on the Cloud Security Alliance Guidance v2.1," said Randy Barr, chief security officer of Qualys.
"This certification will address the demand for knowledgeable professionals who can evaluate and implement cloud computing within their organisation," he said.