Cloud computing is undoubtedly changing how organizations use, store, and share data, applications, and workloads. Unlike other good things, it blesses enterprises with several benefits, such as scalability, flexibility, cost-efficiency, and innovation.
However, cloud computing introduces new challenges and risks for IT audit, security, and risk professionals.
How can they ensure that cloud services are secure, compliant, and reliable? How can they provide assurance and value to their stakeholders in the cloud environment?
The ISACA Certificate of Cloud Auditing Knowledge (CCAK) certification is the first-ever technical, vendor-neutral credential for cloud auditing. It is designed to equip IT professionals with the knowledge and skills to audit cloud computing systems and services effectively.
The CCAK certification is developed by ISACA and Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), two leading global organizations in IT governance, audit, security, risk, and cloud computing.
What is the CCAK certification?
The CCAK certification certificate program validates your understanding of the essential principles of auditing cloud computing systems. It covers four domains:
- Cloud Governance
- Cloud Compliance
- Cloud Assurance
- Cloud Audit
The CCAK certification exam consists of 76 multiple-choice questions you must complete in two hours. The passing score is 70%. The exam duration is 120 minutes, so you will need to complete the exam within the time frame.
You can take the exam online at any time through a web browser. The exam has no prerequisites, but prior experience in IT audit, security, risk, or cloud computing is recommended.
The CCAK certification is based on two essential resources: the CSA Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM) and the ISACA IT Audit and Assurance Framework. The CCM is a comprehensive framework of cloud-specific security controls aligned with various standards and regulations.
The IT Audit and Assurance Framework is a set of guidelines and best practices for conducting IT audits in any environment.
What you will learn with the Certificate of Cloud Auditing Knowledge
The CCAK is the only certification covering essential skills and knowledge for auditing cloud-based systems. ISACA and Cloud Security Alliance® (CSA), the leading organizations in cloud security and governance, designed it.
Earning this certificate will show employers that you can handle the complex and dynamic challenges of cloud auditing. You will also learn how to protect data, ensure compliance, and reduce costs and risks. The certificate covers nine essential functions that you need to master, such as:
- Describe cloud governance concepts.
- Explain cloud trust, transparency, and assurance.
- Identify cloud governance frameworks and requirements.
- Discuss cloud risk management and cloud compliance considerations.
- Distinguish cloud governance tools and uses.
Cloud Compliance Program
- Explain the fundamental criteria for the cloud compliance program
- Build and design a cloud compliance program
- Describe legal and regulatory requirements and standards, and security frameworks.
- Define controls and identify technical and process controls
- Recall CSA certification, attestation, and validation.
CCM and CAIQ: Goals, Objectives, and Structure
- Identify the CSA Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM) and CCM domains.
- Explain the Consensus Assessment Initiative Questionnaire (CAIQ).
- Outline CCM and CAIQ structures.
- Recall CCM relationships with other frameworks (mapping and gap analysis).
- Compare transition changes from CCM V3.0.1 to CCM V4.
A Threat Analysis Methodology for Cloud Using CCM
- Describe threat analysis essentials.
- Use the Top Threat Analysis Methodology to analyze attack details.
- Document attack impacts based on the Top Threat Analysis Methodology.
- Apply Threat Analysis Methodology for the cloud using CCM.
- Evaluate a Top Threats method use case
Evaluating a Cloud Compliance Program
- Describe the compliance program evaluation approach.
- Recall the governance perspective.
- Outline the perspectives of laws, regulations, and standards.
- Define service changes.
- Explain the need for continuous assurance and continuous appliances.
- Outline audit characteristics, criteria, and principles.
- Describe auditing standards for cloud computing.
- Define auditing an on-premises environment vs. cloud.
- Recall differences in cloud services and cloud delivery models.
- Explain audit building/planning and execution.
CCM: Auditing Controls
- Detail CCM Auditing Guidelines.
- Define the CCM Audit Scoping Guide.
- Explain the approach taken in the CCM Risk Evaluation Guide.
- Evaluate the CCM Audit Workbook.
- Apply the CCM Auditing Guide.
Continuous Assurance and Compliance
- Explain continuous assurance and compliance.
- Define DevOps and DevSecOps.
- Apply DevOps and DevSecOps to security.
- Outline auditing deployment/CI/CD pipelines.
- Describe DevSecOps automation and maturity
- Outline the components of the STAR program.
- Explain the security and privacy implications of STAR.
- Describe the Open Certification Framework.
- Recall CSA STAR attestation and certification.
- Detail STAR continuous auditing.
Learning Objectives of the Certificate of Cloud Auditing Knowledge (CCAK)
- Learn about cloud auditing and its importance in cloud computing.
- Understand cloud computing risks, methods for evaluating system security, and control measures that can reduce risk.
- Understand cloud auditing principles, methods, and approaches, including data integrity, confidentiality, availability, compliance, and governance.
- Learn about cloud computing compliance frameworks, standards, and regulations, as well as the role that cloud auditing plays.
- Learn how to use cloud auditing tools and techniques.
- Identify and report cloud services' benefits, costs, and risks.
- Develop expertise in cloud auditing techniques to ensure data security, privacy, and compliance.
- Conduct a cloud audit using best practices.
- Identify the impact of regulatory and security requirements on cloud service providers and users.
- Identify and recommend appropriate controls and risks related to cloud computing.
Why is the CCAK certification important?
The CCAK certification is important because it addresses the unique challenges and opportunities of auditing cloud computing. Some of these challenges include:
- Identifying cloud usage and risks across the organization
- Assessing the effectiveness and compliance of cloud security controls
- Providing assurance and value to stakeholders in the cloud environment
- Maintaining regulatory compliance and alignment with standards
- Controlling and monitoring user access and data protection
- Obtaining the right to audit and evidence from cloud service providers
- Equipping the audit team with the necessary skills and tools to audit the cloud
Who should earn the CCAK certification?
The CCAK certification is suitable for anyone involved or interested in auditing cloud computing systems and services. This includes:
- Internal and External Assessors and Auditors
- Compliance Managers
- Third Party Assessors and Auditors
- Vendor/Partners Program Managers
- Security Analysts and Architects
- Procurement Officers
- Cloud Managers
- Cloud Architects / Security Architects
- Security & Privacy Consultants
- Cybersecurity Lead/Architect
- Cloud Compliance Experts
Why should you choose this certification program over others?
When it comes to why choose the CCAK over the other certificate program in the industry, cloud computing technology is changing the way IT systems work —and to become an expert in this field, you need to keep an eye on challenges and new concepts.
Unlike other IT audit certification programs focusing on traditional practices, this program will teach you how to audit cloud-based systems effectively and efficiently. You will learn how to deal with different security controls, access levels, and control objectives unique to cloud computing.
What are the benefits of the CCAK certification?
The CCAK certification can bring many benefits to your career and organization, such as:
- Enhancing your credibility and reputation as a cloud auditing professional
- Demonstrating your competence and commitment to continuous learning and improvement
- Increasing your confidence and ability to perform effective cloud audits
- Providing value and assurance to your stakeholders in the cloud environment
- Aligning your skills and knowledge with the latest industry standards and best practices
- Differentiating yourself from your peers and competitors in the market
- Advancing your career opportunities and earning potential
The final say
Certificate of Cloud Auditing Knowledge (CCAK) is a credential that ISACA and CSA offer to provide vendor-neutral, technical training for IT professionals who deal with cloud-specific concepts, terms, audit needs, and solutions as auditors, security experts, or risk managers.
If you want to take the CCAK exam, click the chat options below, and one of our consultants will contact you to guide you shortly.
Q. What does CCAK stand for? A. CCAK is the acronym for Certificate of Cloud Auditing Knowledge, the first credential that validates the skills and knowledge of cloud auditing professionals.
Q. What are the benefits of getting the CCAK certification? A. The CCAK certification demonstrates that you can deal with the challenges of auditing cloud-based systems and are familiar with the best practices and standards of cloud auditing. It is also a vendor-neutral certification, which applies to any cloud service provider or platform.
Q. What are the main topics covered in the CCAK exam? A. The CCAK exam covers the following topics: an overview of CSA, Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM), CAIQ, and STAR assessment; technical and strategic aspects of cloud auditing; audit and assurance processes in the cloud context; and governance and compliance issues in the cloud domain.
Q. How long is the CCAK valid for? A. The CCAK is a certificate program, not a certification program, so it does not have an expiration date or require continuing education credits.
Q. What is the role of a Cloud Auditor? A. A cloud auditor is a person who conducts regular assessments of the performance and compliance of a cloud service provider based on a set of predefined criteria and best practices. A cloud audit aims to ensure that the cloud service provider meets the expectations and requirements of the business and its stakeholders.