Cloud Security Posture Management
What is CSPM?
Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) uses automated visibility, continuous monitoring, threat detection, and remediation workflows to identify and fix potential risks in diverse cloud infrastructures. Scanning for misconfigurations ensures that your cloud environment remains secure and compliant. CSPM tools provide a unified view of the security posture of cloud assets and cloud services. This might include cloud resources like virtual machines, containers, storage buckets, and network configurations across multiple cloud environments.
According to G2, “Cloud security posture management (CSPM) software is the next evolution of vulnerability management technology for the cloud-native world.” However, CSPM is not the endgame for all security needs, even in a cloud-native world.
A robust CSPM solution and a solid Data Security and Posture Management (DSPM) solution will uplevel any company’s security posture. They are more effective together than either is alone. Organizations need to take a multi-layered approach to data security. Combining different security solutions, such as CSPM, DSPM, and Data Detection and Response (DDR) offers better holistic security.
Why is Cloud Security Posture Management Important?
CSPM helps organizations identify and remediate security issues related to cloud infrastructure misconfigurations and policy violations. These are the most common causes of cloud security breaches.
CSPM tools scan and assess cloud infrastructure for potential security risks. Such risks may include insecure configurations, unauthorized access, and mismanagement of sensitive data.
Once identified, CSPM tools provide recommendations to remediate these issues and ensure that cloud infrastructure remains secure and compliant. This is important to businesses for several reasons:
- Compliance: Many industries have regulatory compliance requirements that mandate certain security measures to be implemented. CSPM tools help businesses ensure that their cloud infrastructure meets these compliance requirements and avoid costly fines and brand damage.
- Risk management: The increasing complexity of cloud infrastructure increases the risk of security breaches. CSPM helps businesses identify and manage potential security risks, reducing the risk of data breaches and associated financial and brand damage.
- Increased visibility: CSPM provides a unified view of the security posture of cloud assets across multiple cloud environments. It provides businesses with increased visibility into potential security risks.
- Cost-effectiveness: CSPM tools automate the process of identifying and remediating security issues. This reduces the time and resources required to maintain a secure cloud infrastructure.
CSPM Tools Offer Cloud-Focused Security
CSPM tools are software solutions that help organizations ensure the security and compliance of their cloud infrastructure. These tools are designed to monitor and secure the configuration and compliance of cloud assets across multiple cloud environments.
CSPM tools provide a unified view of the security posture of cloud assets, allowing organizations to identify and remediate security issues related to cloud infrastructure misconfigurations and policy violations. These tools scan and assess cloud infrastructure for potential security risks, like insecure configurations, unauthorized access, and mismanagement of sensitive data.
Once identified, CSPM tools provide recommendations to remediate these issues and ensure that cloud infrastructure remains secure and compliant.
Some common features of these tools include:
- Continuous monitoring: continuously monitor cloud assets for potential security risks and provide real-time alerts when security issues are identified.
- Automated remediation: automate the process of identifying and remediating security issues, reducing the time and resources required to maintain secure cloud infrastructure.
- Compliance management: helps organizations ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and industry best practices.
- Configuration management: provide visibility and control over cloud infrastructure configuration, ensuring that it is secure and compliant.
- Risk management: helps organizations identify and manage potential security risks, reducing the risk of data breaches and associated financial and brand damage.
CSPM tools are essential for organizations with cloud infrastructure as they help ensure the security and compliance of cloud assets, reduce potential security risks, increase visibility into potential security issues, and ultimately save time and resources in maintaining secure cloud infrastructure.
CSPM is important for securing the cloud infrastructure. But, it doesn’t address data security issues like data encryption and access controls. It's not silver bullet security, as any good CSPM vendor will tell you. They aren’t focused on data in the cloud, and they do have their limitations.
Limitations of CSPM Tools
CSPM tools have some limitations in terms of coverage, context, approach, complexity, and integration, which may impact their ability to provide comprehensive data security. It is important for organizations to understand these limitations. This allows them to consider other security solutions to address the gaps in their cloud data security strategy.
Limited coverage: They typically only cover infrastructure security and compliance but may not address data protection and management issues, such as data encryption and access controls.
- Limited context: They may lack context around the types of data being processed or the purpose of data usage. This makes it difficult for organizations to make informed decisions about how to secure their cloud infrastructure.
- Reactive approach: They are often reactive, meaning they can only detect security issues after they occur. This may leave organizations vulnerable to new and emerging security threats.
- Complexity: They can be complex to set up and maintain, requiring significant expertise and resources to manage effectively.
- Lack of integration: Some CSPM tools may not integrate well with other security solutions, such as Data Security and Posture Management (DSPM) tools, which can limit the effectiveness of the overall security strategy.
Effective Data Security is Multi-Layered
For comprehensive data security, a multi-layered approach that incorporates different solutions is crucial. Complimentary security solutions that work well together, like CSPM, DSPM, and DDR, are best. It's critical, though, to know that the chosen solutions are capable of integration without increasing the security team's workload.
With CSPM, you can rest easy knowing that your cloud infrastructure is being closely monitored and secured against misconfigurations and policy violations. CSPM identifies and quickly remedies any potential security issues, keeping your cloud environment both compliant and secure.
DSPM takes things a step further by focusing specifically on the protection of sensitive data within the cloud environment. Through techniques like data discovery, data classification, and data governance, DSPM prevents unauthorized access and data leakage. This ensures all sensitive and proprietary information remains secure.
When it comes to real-time identifying and responding to data exfiltration, ransomware, and other data misuses, DDR is the go-to solution. Continuously monitoring all data-related events against a full data threat model, it assesses each activity related to data, determining if an event is suspicious and requires escalation for investigation.
CSPM, DSPM, and DDR: Better Together
When used together, these solutions can provide a comprehensive data security strategy that addresses different aspects of data security. CSPM can ensure the security and compliance of cloud infrastructure, while DSPM can secure sensitive data within the cloud, and DDR can detect and alert in real time when changes occur that increase the risk of data exposure.
CSPM, DSPM, and DDR work together to provide a comprehensive data security solution that addresses cloud infrastructure security, data protection, and real-time response. For example, CSPM can integrate with DSPM to ensure that sensitive data is properly secured. Then DDR focuses on data events happening in real-time, allowing teams to respond when changes occur.
As seen in the table above, CSPM is focused on securing the cloud infrastructure. DSPM is focused on securing sensitive data within the cloud. DDR is focused on real-time detection and response to threats of data exfiltration and compliance violations. All three solutions are important aspects of data security and can work together to provide comprehensive protection for organizations.
The most effective security doesn’t employ CSPM, DSPM, or DDR solutions in isolation. Modern comprehensive security integrates these with each other and other security solutions to provide a layered approach to data security.