What Is Cloud Security Posture Management and Why Is It Important?
We store a huge amount of data in the cloud. And all the important information can get exposed if there’s a misconfiguration in your cloud-based assets.
That’s why you need to implement Cloud Security Posture Management. These tools reduce misconfiguration issues to a minimum and enable you to detect cyber threats within your network.
So what is Cloud Security Posture Management? How does it work?
What Is Cloud Security Posture Management?
Formulated by Gartner, Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) is the continuous act of improving your cloud security to limit the chances of getting attacked by cybercriminals.
Its primary roles are to detect misconfiguration anomalies in systems and provide compliance assurance in the cloud.
CSPM is implemented across cloud systems such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (Saas), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). So what do those mean?
- Infrastructure as a Service: IaaS is a type of cloud computing that offers virtualized computing resources on the internet.
- Software as a Service: SaaS are workflow tools that enable users to store and manage their activities in the cloud.
- Platform as a Service: PaaS is the complete development and deployment environment in the cloud with resources that allow you to create things from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated cloud-enabled enterprise applications.
Some of these CSPM tools alert your cloud environment to remediate a security risk. The more advanced ones resolve cyber threats automatically with the use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
Why Is Cloud Security Posture Management Important?
CSPM is about data security and management. It ensures that your cloud-based data has an enabling environment without unauthorized access or alteration to compromise it. This is key, especially in today’s highly volatile cyberspace. Data breaches are common and are often due to errors associated with cloud misconfigurations.
Cloud-based systems provide a dynamic working environment for your organization, allow for collaboration between employees, and serve as a resource for networking. However, it’s your duty and that of your IT experts to see that they are in good condition for optimal performance.
CSPM tools ride on the coattails of older cloud-based security frameworks to provide adequate security to your data stored in the cloud. With CSPM, you can automatically track the activities in those services. And when a threat is detected, you get an alert.
How Does CSPM Work?
Although CSPM is relatively new, it has proven to be effective in creating a safer environment for cloud-based offerings. From the detection of cyber threats to launching a defense mechanism, it assures you that your cloud-native and cloud-based applications aren’t endangered.
CSPM works by performing the following functions.
1. Misconfiguration Management and Remediation
CSPM tools are effective in making your cloud environment risk-free. They examine the security level of your applications by comparing their configurations against industry benchmarks. And then they proceed with the identification and remediation of existing violations.
Time is of the essence in cybersecurity. Security issues like open ports, misconfiguration, and unauthorized modifications expose your cloud resources to cyberattacks. But CSPM solutions fix the loopholes before cybercriminals take advantage of them.
CSPM tools also monitor your cloud storage to ensure that the right permissions are given to the public and no sensitive data is leaked. Users can only engage with your network based on the access level granted to them. They also make provisions for enabling database instances used for encryption, and backups.
2. DevSecOps Integration
CSPM creates a synergy that helps your organization to lower its overhead cost and remove the complexity of using multi-cloud accounts and services. It offers centralized control and visibility across the cloud environment.
Managing your cloud assets in a single platform gives your security and DevOps teams a definite path to follow. Since they have full visibility and control of your cloud environment, it’s easier for them to stop compromised assets from going into your system.
Interestingly, you can also merge your organization’s CSPM solutions with your Security Iinformation and Event Management (SIEM) tools to get more insights into policy violations and misconfigurations.
3. Continuous Threat Detection
CSPM tools have a systematic way of discovering cyber threats and managing them at the development stage to prevent potential attacks. Based on their assessment of the applications, they focus on the areas that are more vulnerable. Once spotted, malicious codes are prevented from getting to the production stage.
The cloud environment is continuously checked to detect suspicious activities and traces of unauthorized access.
Responses against cyber threats are more effective when initiated early enough, before the threats gain momentum. With continuous detection, your CSPM solution tackles threats head-on, leaving no room for escalation.
4. Discovery and Visibility
Gaining visibility of your cloud infrastructures and security configurations is a given with CSPM. You have a single source across your cloud environment, enabling you to automatically discover networking, misconfiguration, and security activities happening there.
CSPM features enable them to perform several roles that secure your applications. Suffice to say, the whole aim of having CSPM tools is defeated if they fall short in carrying out the following functions.
- Discover and correct cloud environment misconfigurations.
- Track account permissions for misconfiguration, monitor storage buckets, encryption, and compliance risks.
- Identify the current configuration state of your cybersecurity applications.
- Maintain the documentation of best practices for different cloud services and configurations.
- Prevent data leakage.
- Analyze data of interactions within cloud assets for projections.
- Evaluate new assets to ensure that they comply with established policies and regulations.
- Mitigate accidents made by insiders that could lead to a data breach.
Secure Your Cloud Assets With CSPM
Since cloud assets are accessed remotely, they are a target for cybercriminals. If authorized users can gain access, they can do the same.
No matter how determined you are about securing your cloud-based assets, you can’t keep an eye on them 24/7. Besides cultivating healthy web application practices, you need to adopt a system that can pull its weight even if you dropped the ball.
Just how safe is the data you’ve stored in the cloud? You may be surprised.
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