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Verifying the security and privacy controls of Google Cloud: 2021 CCAG customer pooled audit

Earning the role as our customers’ most trusted cloud requires commitment to ongoing transparency, collaboration and assurance. Our products regularly undergo independent verification, achieving certifications or attestations of compliance against global regulatory requirements, frameworks, and guidelines. At Google Cloud we work closely with our customers, their regulators, and appointed independent auditors who want to verify the security and privacy of our platform. One example of how the Google Cybersecurity Action Team supports customers’ risk management efforts is our annual audit with the Collaborative Cloud Audit Group (CCAG). In 2020, faced with the global COVID-19 pandemic and the demands for teleworking, Google Cloud swiftly enabled customer audits in completely remote settings. 2021 brought additional challenges for organizations globally with an increased number of cybersecurity threats, data breaches, software supply chain attacks, as well as rapidly evolving data transfer and privacy requirements. These heightened challenges emphasized the importance for customers to rigorously assess the controls that enable them to independently operate and confidently protect their data and applications in the cloud. So, not surprisingly, the scope of the 2021 CCAG pooled audit included, among others, the measures ensuring Google keeps customer data secure and private, effectively manages threats and vulnerabilities, and ensures transparency and accountability across the full software supply chain.

CCAG is an initiative of 39 leading European financial institutions and insurance companies who depend on cloud infrastructure and technologies to deliver innovative solutions and experiences for their customers. For the third year in a row, the CCAG audit of Google Cloud enabled the group members to manage the risks associated with outsourcing material workloads and satisfy strict national and EU regulatory obligations.

Hamidou Dia, VP for Solutions Engineering in Google Cloud, spoke about how critical verifiable transparency is to earning and retaining customer trust: 

“Our customers recognize the need to secure their global workforce, applications, and data across all platforms, which includes understanding cloud service providers’ relevant policies and controls,” said Dia. “Successful enterprise trust partnerships require transparency, along with access to information, premises and experts, all of which help our customers rapidly complete their risk management and due diligence.”

The pooled audit executed by CCAG is a great example of customers working together to efficiently deploy their resources and gain detailed information and assurances of Google Cloud’s trust posture. The annual engagement lasts approximately six months and is a comprehensive assessment of the design and the effectiveness of Google Cloud security and privacy controls.

“This year we primarily focused on testing Google’s infrastructure security, cryptographic and data privacy controls, and supply chain management. An audit of the scale performed by CCAG requires extensive preparation and resources on both sides. To satisfy the participating members’ individual risk assessments, as well as meet regulatory compliance requirements, we reviewed a large number of policies, processes, technical documents, and test samples”, said Christina Hepp, Divisional Head IT, Operations & Sourcing Group Audit, Commerzbank. “Google Cloud teams pulled together subject matter experts across the organization and secured leadership support to help us successfully complete the audit.”

Verifying the security and privacy controls of the platform through pooled audits is one way Google Cloud maintains the commitment to being the industry’s most trusted cloud. We continue to partner with customers to meet their evolving regulatory compliance requirements. To learn more about Google Cloud Trust & Compliance, visit our Compliance resource center.

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