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Cloud Security

What is CSPM? | Definition, Benefits, and Use Cases

Organizations are increasingly adopting cloud tools and services, focusing on moving away from traditional on-premise infrastructures to scalable and cloud-based environments. Many cloud migrations have been done in recent years, and every organization faces different challenges in today’s constantly evolving threat landscape.  Modern Cloud Security Posture Management solutions offer advanced capabilities and unique features that […]

Mansi B.

Written by Mansi B.

August 4, 2023 | 6 min read

Organizations are increasingly adopting cloud tools and services, focusing on moving away from traditional on-premise infrastructures to scalable and cloud-based environments. Many cloud migrations have been done in recent years, and every organization faces different challenges in today’s constantly evolving threat landscape. 

Modern Cloud Security Posture Management solutions offer advanced capabilities and unique features that meet various enterprise needs. This blog will provide an overview of cloud security and explain why CSPM or cloud security posture management is so important. 

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Cloud Security?
  2. What is CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management)?
  3. Why is CSPM Important?
  4. How does CSPM work?
  5. What are the Benefits of CSPM?
  6. What solutions are available for CSPM?
  7. What are the CSPM Use Cases?
  8. Conclusion

What is Cloud Security?

Businesses are migrating from on-premises infrastructure to cloud computing platforms and accelerating digital transformation. Shifting to the cloud means having improved accessibility and enables teams to enjoy better collaboration and content management.

Cloud security is a collection of security measures to safeguard cloud-based applications, data, services, and infrastructure components. It also prevents distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, malware, and botnet invasions and eliminates instances of unauthorized or unrestricted access. There are different types of cloud environments, and every security solution is unique, but remediating critical vulnerabilities and security gaps is the top priority of these solutions.   

What is CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management)?

According to the CSPM definition, cloud security posture management (CSPM) identifies and remediates security risks across cloud infrastructures, including Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platforms. CSPM is applied to organizations for enhanced visibility, incident response, DevOps integrations, and compliance management and can uniformly implement the best security practices consistently across multi-cloud, hybrid, virtualized, and container environments.

Why is CSPM Important?

Cloud security posture management is essential because it protects organizations from unforeseen data breaches. CSPM reduces alert noise throughout the development lifecycle and ensures that vulnerabilities are not exploited. Cloud security posture management tools also reduce overheads and provide a frictionless experience across multi-cloud environments and accounts. These solutions promote centralized visibility and ensure complete control over all cloud resources by enabling cloud-native, agentless posture management. They implement a single source of truth and allow security teams to prevent compromised assets from undergoing privilege escalations or network lateral movements, thus ensuring business continuity, safety and stopping threats from progressing. 

How does CSPM work?

CSPM uses automation to enforce shift-left security and continuous agentless vulnerability management across multiple cloud and hybrid environments. As the cloud landscape evolves and threats become increasingly sophisticated, it is crucial to maintain a healthy security posture throughout modern cloud infrastructures. CSPM solutions provide continuous risk assessments, compliance checks, and audits, enabling organizations with the right blend of security tools and processes to perform these assessments. They identify and fix critical misconfigurations before threat actors can detect and exploit these vulnerabilities. They also prevent unnecessary security exposures and data breaches and safeguard organizations’ reputations. 

CSPM tools can mitigate cloud vulnerabilities across assets, verify identities, and enforce security policies using a predefined list of criteria. They can spot security bugs, extend security solutions to third-party services, provide seamless DevOps integrations, and secure various infrastructure platforms such as SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS cloud services. 

What are the Benefits of CSPM?

There are many benefits of cloud security posture management, and they are as follows: 

1. Lesser expenses – Cloud security posture management tools help enterprises reduce operational costs and lower the need to hire dedicated internal security teams. There is no need to buy expensive hardware equipment, pay upfront costs, or commit to long-term subscriptions. 

2. Increase availabilityCSPM tools improve accessibility to cloud data and applications and make them readily available to authorized users. Cloud security tools eliminate potential security gaps, safeguard sensitive information, and ensure that accounts are not in any way compromised at any point in time. 

3. Centralized security – Cloud security posture management solutions provide centralized security management, eliminate data silos, and unify defenses. It becomes easier to manage various applications, data sources, and devices through centralized dashboards and establishing a single source of truth. Cloud security posture management tools also streamline threat monitoring, data analysis, and web filtering and offer additional features. 

4. Firewalling and DDoS Protection – Denial of Service (DDoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are the leading causes of cloud data breaches. CSPM (cloud security posture management) tools enable firewalls and prevent unauthorized traffic from invading network perimeters. Eliminating external threats also drastically reduces the chances of ransomware attempts. 

What solutions are available for CSPM? 

Choosing a good cloud security posture management solution starts with understanding the security requirements of an organization. Generally, modern CSPM tools are designed to be simple and intuitive. Opting to use the free trial period for these solutions allows business owners to test various features before committing to annual subscription plans. It’s essential to consider user reviews before buying and test the effectiveness of these solutions.

The following are the most popular solutions available for cloud security posture management in 2023: 

1. PingSafe 

PingSafe cloud security provides unparalleled native protection for multi-cloud infrastructures and automates compliance management. It supports different compliance standards like SOC2, ISO, GDPR, RBI, PCI-DSS, NIST, etc. Whether performing a simple on-premise migration or advanced threat detection, the company’s solution helps enterprises secure business assets and prevents data leakages and misconfiguration.

PingSafe’s CNAPP (Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform) makes it easy for organizations to enforce shift-left security, troubleshoot vulnerabilities, and adopt 360 security for containers, cloud VMs, and serverless functions. Kubernetes Posture Management secures containers from code to runtime, and the Platform also includes comprehensive IaC security during development and before deployment.

2. Wiz 

Wiz enables contextual CSPM across multi-cloud environments and remediates vulnerabilities across containers, serverless functions, VMs, and cloud workloads. It uncovers blind spots in cloud security, detects hidden nested log dependencies, and prioritizes critical security risks by ensuring swift resolutions. There is no need to deploy agents, and the solution uses one-time cloud-native API deployments for easy vulnerability management. 

Wiz does not require ongoing maintenance and supports over 30+ operating systems and thousands of applications. It offers a single pane of glass view for cross-cloud vulnerability assessments. It even provides comprehensive security assessments for third-party firewalls, thus making it one of the best CSPM security tools in the industry. 

3. Scrut Automation

Scrut automation takes a risk-first approach to cloud security and enables organizations to automate risk assessments and threat monitoring and effortlessly manage multiple compliances. It is an all-in-one GRC platform, offers collaborative workflows, and promotes seamless artifact sharing to manage various tasks. Scrut automation provides clients with automated reminders and security alerts and is one of the market’s top cloud security posture management tools.

What are the CSPM Use Cases?

1. Cloud Security Posture Management solutions can automate self-servicing and provide Just-in-time (JIT) access to cloud systems, data resources, and applications on a need-only basis. It can streamline customer onboarding and offboarding processes, account creations, updates, and deactivations across multi-cloud and hybrid environments.

2. CSPM solutions can turn on multifactor authentication and implement encryption across all cloud accounts. They can prevent credentials leakages, data theft, and various misconfigurations. CSPM can initiate account logging, threat detection, incident response, infrastructure asset management, and continuous compliance. It makes it easier for organizations to identify potential risks, log malicious changes, and extend workload protection for maximum cloud visibility and security. 

3. CSPM solutions provide in-depth analytics and allow enterprises to analyze their cloud resources and environments. They help businesses scale up effectively without compromising data privacy or security. CSPMs can continuously evaluate against secure baselines, respond to security deviations, and use intelligent workflows to streamline identity and access management in environments. 

How is CSPM Different from CIEM? 

Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) is used to inventory cloud identities in environments on a large scale and eliminate unauthorized privilege escalations. It maps out dormant identities, identifies unused accounts with granted access privileges, and even checks non-person identities across virtual machines, serverless functions, cloud roles, and service principles. Organizations that need to streamline their permissions management and discover the full scope of access will find CIEM solutions to be more effective. 

Cloud security posture management (CSPM) turns on multifactor authentication and ensures all cloud environments are secured and audited at a foundational level. It creates security baselines to follow, continuously evaluates for network anomalies and irregularities, and strengthens cloud security posture overall. Organizations that require continuous compliance monitoring, logging, and auditing find CSPM tools to be more effective and can implement policy enforcement.

Conclusion 

Users can define security policies and protect cloud environments by using CSPM solutions. Continuous monitoring and analysis are essential to effective threat remediation and intelligence collection. CSPM tools are designed to address security gaps since most cloud vendors fail to implement security by design.

For organizations that want to improve overall efficiency, and productivity, detect vulnerabilities, and scale up, CSPM solutions offer a variety of protocols and policies that standardize security and enable effective remediation. They also make it easier to enhance visibility and centralize inventory management across multiple cloud servers and