What is Cloud Security Posture Management?

Coined by Gartner, cloud security posture management solutions are making an impact mitigating misconfiguration in cloud infrastructure. Similar to other evolving and emerging cloud security categories, CSPM may lack some of the visibility and a clear understanding of its ROI for users and system admins to seek to integrate these solutions on a large scale. However, CSPM’s growing market share and clear value have increasingly brought this category to the forefront of the cloud security landscape.

Defining the terms

According to Gartner: “Cloud Security Posture Management(CSPM) is a market segment for IT security tools that are designed to identify misconfiguration issues and compliance risks in the cloud. An important purpose of CSPM programming is to continuously monitor cloud infrastructure for gaps in security policy enforcement.”

Gartner understands CSPM products as vital to automate security and enhance compliance assurance in the cloud ecosystem. While the technologies and applications are still evolving rapidly, all CSPM products seek to connect administrators with a diverse range of security risks, data visualization, and remediation applications, all centralized in one process. Some CSPM solutions may offer Robotic Process Automation to remediate issues while other permutations offer automatic security alerts and advanced tools for examining and comparing cloud environments.

Often, CSPM products are implemented by organizations that have adopted a cloud-first strategy and need or want to apply industry-standard best practices to hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments. “While CSPM is often associated with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud services, the technology can also be used to minimize configuration mistakes and reduce compliance risks in Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud environments.”

What is the value of CSPM solutions?

CSPM tools shine in their ability to continuously assess the security risk and manage the security posture of 

The most significant features CSPM products offered are:

●detect and perhaps automatically remediate cloud misconfigurations;

●    maintain an inventory of best practices for different cloud configurations and services;

●     map current configuration statuses to a security control framework or regulatory

standard;

●      work with IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS platforms in containerized, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud

         environments; and

●      monitor storage buckets, encryption, and account permissions for misconfigurations

         and compliance risks. 

CSPM solutions have been refined to assist IT professionals to identify and mitigate complex cybersecurity risks across the cloud. By unifying many cloud-based security and management tools CSPM can analyze configurations and detect potential security issues and fix misconfigurations before hackers or illicit players can exploit those vulnerabilities.

According to Gartner, “misconfiguration of the cloud environment is one of the more common mistakes in the cloud that can lead to a data breach — and use of a CSPM tool can reduce cloud-based security incidents due to misconfigurations by 80%”.

In practice, CSPM reduces the attack surface by eliminating misconfigurations through continuous monitoring of cloud infrastructure. With Gartner reporting that most cloud breaches vulnerabilities lie in initial misconfiguration, CSPM’s automation ensures human error can be minimized while elevating the depth of data and conductivity of cloud-based security solutions.

Tips moving forward

In a cloud environment the sheer quantity of data, security processes, applications, and monitoring tools can overwhelm admins before a problem has even risen from the abyss. With CSPM the cloud can be better maintained and configured, automated, and simplified.

Through the integration of auto-remediation capabilities, and compliance protocols, CSPM can resolve many of the struggles of cloud maintenance and in the process provide a less human-directed management process of cloud-based data sets. With CSPM tools system admins are now empowered to better centralize their cloud applications, data, and processes to mitigate cyber threats across the chain.

  • CSPM tools can significantly mitigate cloud misconfigurations
  • Through continuous monitoring, CSPM provides admins with broad cloud visibility
  • CSPM tools can help ensure compliance with industry standards and best practices, such as HIPAA, GDPR, SOC2 PCI-DSS, and CIS
Enthusiastic Cybersecurity Journalist, A creative team leader, editor of privacycrypts.com.

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