Many of today’s companies do business in the cloud. It reduces the need for software applications and physical servers. It enables users to access data and files from almost any device.
But like any virtual platform, the cloud comes with security risks. Cloud security posture management (CSPM) reduces security issues. It refers to IT tools that run continuously to monitor for weak spots in security enforcement.
What are the Main Functionalities of CSPM?
- Detects and corrects misconfigurations in the cloud
- Creates and maintains an inventory of the best cloud practices and security risks and compares them against the system
- Ensures the system is in line with security standards
- Integrates with SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS across various cloud environments
- Checks for misconfigurations and compliance risks in encryption, permission settings, and storage buckets
How Do Cloud Security Posture Management Tools Work?
CSPM tools scan the cloud environment and make comparisons with the best security practices and common security risks. Some tools will alert users when a risk is detected. More advanced tools will correct issues automatically.
Some CSPM tools can only be used in certain environments. For example, some tools will only detect risks in AWS or Azure. Choose a tool compatible with your system.
The tools can also be integrated with other software. They can work alongside a cloud access security broker (CASB). They protect data traveling from the company’s physical IT assets into the cloud.
CSPM tools can also be configured to meet certain standards. For example, medical professionals may benefit from a tool updated to HIPAA standards. Tax professionals may configure a tool that checks for SSTS standards.
The tools also integrate with DevSecOps (development, security, and operations). They provide a seamless experience for companies that manage multiple cloud accounts. They serve as a centralized control for all cloud resources. They can also be integrated with event management tools to provide insight into common security issues for faster remediation.
What Companies Should Invest in CSPM Tools?
CSPM tools are for any company that works with hybrid and multi-cloud environments. They are often used with IaaS but are also compatible with PaaS and SaaS.
What are the Benefits of CSPM?
Easily Locates Misconfigurations: CSPM tools compare the system against the Center for Internet Security (CIS) Benchmarks and similar standards to spot misconfigurations quickly. They will alert companies and recommend updates or fix them automatically.
Assesses Risk: The tools identify risks that cannot be detected by network providers. They detect human errors like incorrectly installed applications that make the network vulnerable. They mitigate risk in these environments.
Controls Account Permissions: CSPM solutions will scan the network for account breaches. If an employee has access to an account they should not have access to, the tools will detect the activity and block them.
How Effective are CSPM Tools?
A Gartner Research survey shows that misconfigurations cause 95% of data breaches. They cost companies $5 trillion in damages in 2018 and 2019. A CSPM can reduce security incidents by 80%.
Cloud environments are especially susceptible to data breaches. They are vast networks that are not contained in a specific area. As a result, they require higher levels of security.
Additionally, cloud misconfigurations are a common issue. Cloud services involve various moving parts that are difficult to manage.
Misconfigurations are especially likely to occur when two or more systems are used to transfer data and perform activities through Application Programming Interfaces (API) integration. Organizations that do not understand how resources interact make themselves vulnerable.
Companies may also come across configurations when they leave storage buckets open. They may allow public access to the buckets and increase the risk of an attack.
Technology has been developed to improve cloud security and provide companies with greater visibility into their networks. But they tend to be expensive and must be overseen by highly skilled professionals. CSPM is an efficient solution that adapts to the cloud’s evolving environments and detects breaches quickly.
What are Recommended CSPM Practices?
Prioritize High-Risk Situations: CSPM tools will identify a wealth of security breaches. They may overwhelm your staff. Identify high-risk situations and prioritize those that impact your cloud assets.
Consider Benchmarks: Organizations should measure their system against CIS benchmarks. They will help maintain a secure environment within the cloud’s evolving infrastructure.
Implement Checks in Dev Channels: The changing nature of the cloud means organizations must constantly update policies to protect themselves from vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals hunt for newly created gaps that expose companies to breaches. Businesses that integrate misconfiguration checks into their dev channels will discover breaches quickly. Implementing remediation processes will help them correct misconfigurations immediately.
How to Choose a CSPM Provider
Compatibility: The provider must offer a CSPM solution that’s compatible with your cloud environment, whether it be Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud. It should integrate with other tools you use such as your identity and access management (IAM) systems, and your cloud access security brokers (CASBs).
Coverage: CSPM offers various features. It manages vulnerability, compliance, and configuration. A variety of features is beneficial, but you must also consider the coverage. Businesses that must conform to certain standards, like HIPAA and PCI DSS, need coverage that complies with these standards.
Ease of Use: The system must be easy to use and manage. Choose a system that does not require technical expertise. Opt for one with a user-friendly interface and reliable customer support. The tool should also seamlessly integrate with your existing system.
Scalability: Choose a system that will grow with your company. A CSPM tool that is high-performing, cost-efficient, and flexible will adjust to your future needs.
Cost: It’s essential to choose an affordable system, but you must also consider the value you are getting for your money. Does the provider charge licensing and support fees? Do they charge more for compliance management? Do they offer a free trial? These are considerations to make when deciding on a system within your budget.
Good luck finding the system that’s right for you.