What is Cloud Security Posture Management?

Cloud Security Posture Management - A detailed explanation

What is Cloud Security Posture Management?

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) are solutions used for securing public clouds like AWS, Azure, GCP, DigitalOcean and others.

A CSPM tool automates cloud security across multiple clouds and diverse infrastructures. This makes possible continuous monitoring of cloud environments and has an option of remediating the security issues automatically. CSPM covers but is not limited to GRC, Misconfiguration, Drift, and Real-time visibility into what’s going on inside your cloud. With a CSPM tool, you can map and identify unused assets and resources, giving you complete visibility of all the assets in your cloud.
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What is the scope of CSPM?

Tools, practices, and methodologies make a good CSPM that enables organizations to proactively identify, assess, and manage potential security risks and vulnerabilities in their cloud environments. At the core, it must continuously monitor the cloud environments for adherence to security policies and compliance requirements.

What are the advantages of using Cloud Security Posture Management?

CSPM is very important for cloud security. Misconfigurations in cloud environments are a common cause of security breaches.
According to Gartner, "The vast majority of [cloud] mistakes are self-inflicted wounds—mistakes that the customer makes. Cloud security posture management (CSPM) tools create automated guide rails to ensure consistent security controls across workloads."
Cloud infrastructure security is both the cloud provider's and the user's responsibility.
The shared responsibility principle includes the following:
  • Things like the correct configuration of the cloud.
  • Right-sizing IAM permissions.
  • Identifying the crown jewels.
  • Protecting the data.
CSPM solutions are pivotal in continuously checking for misconfigurations that can lead to data breaches and leaks. CSPM provides automated detection and monitoring capabilities and enables organizations to make necessary changes continuously, reducing the risk of unnoticed misconfigurations.

Misconfigurations often occur unintentionally. Due to the programmable nature of public clouds, the risk of these misconfigurations is very high and easy, putting the users of these cloud platforms at significant risk. These misconfigurations often arise due to the mismanagement of interconnected resources where the practitioners might be looking at a single resource and sometimes need help understanding the entire picture. For example, lacking visibility and a deep understanding of resource interactions can lead to applying for overly permissive permissions across resources, neglecting the principle of least privilege.

Enterprise environments have become increasingly complex, with the tech stack getting more options. This makes tracking and maintaining large numbers of resources and accounts challenging. Developers may inadvertently set liberal permissions or lose track of critical assets as business wants to operate at the speed of light. Also, lack of upskilling means that not all cloud operators know what it takes to stay secure 24x7.

CSPM solutions address the above challenges as follows

  • Provide visibility into public cloud infrastructure.
  • Allow organizations to gain insights into the number of cloud resources running and configurations.
  • Detect and address misconfigurations so that they do not go undetected for extended periods compromising the security of the data and workloads.
CSPM tools which do not provide automation are not scalable for organizations and will rather waste a lot more team time and effort.

The key areas below are necessary for any modern and effective CSPM platform

  • 24x7 assessment of compliance policies: 1-time assessment is a thing of the past. Your CSPM should ensure a continuous assessment and upgrade and map new services to compliance controls.
  • Realtime threat detection: Any change in the infrastructure should be assessed for threats, anomalies, and potential attacks and reported to the user using preferred notification channels.
  • Incident response management: A central dashboard that integrates with project management tools like Jira, Asana to review the detection, quarantine, and remediation of threats originating within the cloud environment and detected by the CSPM platform.
  • Risk identification: Identify and classify risks to maintain robust cloud security and drive prioritization.
CSPM solutions are essential for securing cloud configurations and safeguarding sensitive data. Organizations across all verticals, including Financial institutions and healthcare providers, rely on CSPM tools to protect their valuable information.

In addition to its core security functions, CSPM offers additional advantages. It can identify unused assets, map security team workflows, verify the integrity of recently deployed systems, and provide insights into the most utilized technologies. These capabilities enable organizations to optimize resource allocation, reduce costs, identify training opportunities, and leverage CSPM as a comprehensive solution for their cloud environment.

Interested to see how a CSPM helps you?

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