The Cloud Security Alliance is extending its membership to a new level that serves SMBs and the cloud providers serving that small and medium business (SMB) market segment. Announced at InfoSecurity Europe in London, the CSA SMB Membership and SMB Working Group are meant to provide SMBs with guidance in cloud security.

For cloud providers, CSA plans to work with them through this new membership level and working group to help them understand the cloud security needs of SMBs. However, this kickoff of the new SMB-focused membership and working group is just the beginning, as the first step for the organization will be to create an SMB version of the CSA Guidance documents, as well as cloud security materials that can be readily consumed by SMBs, many of which likely don't have the IT and security capabilities and knowledge base enjoyed by enterprises.

Don't be in too much of a rush to get the CSA SMB Guidance, as it looks to be a sizeable undertaking. CSA plans to release the document by the end of the calendar year, at which point it will be available to members. The organization hinted that this will be only the first of CSA SMB Guidance documents.

"Small businesses are the workhorses of a strong economy, yet they continue to be faced with a myriad of challenges such as access to funding, skilled labor and new affordable technologies," said Daniele Catteddu, CSA managing director for EMEA, in a prepared statement. "By educating and helping these businesses understand and apply best practices to cloud computing, we hope to give them the cost-effective competitive edge to create new opportunities and markets for their businesses."

Although launched in Europe, the CSA SMB Membership and Working Group are global initiatives being led by the association's United Kingdom Chapter. The working group will be led by Vladimir Jirasek of Jirasek Security Consulting and Paul Davies of Verizon Terremark, and charter members are from the EMEA and APAC regions.