What is CSPM? Security Solutions for Your Cloud

3 mins to read

Some Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) security tools may be limited to only one cloud provider, others can be used to detect misconfigurations in a multi-cloud environment, but they all share a purpose: to examine your cloud infrastructure and compare it against a set of best practices, policies, and known security risks, in order to help you improve your compliance with certain regulations, as well as your cloud security posture.

If you are aware of the Shared Responsibility Model practiced by the cloud providers. You also understand that the security offered by cloud providers is insufficient against cloud threats. This revelation means you need more efficient tools to secure your cloud.

What is CSPM?

CSPM is a methodology that can help protect cloud environments from attacks and misconfigurations. 

According to Gartner, nearly all successful attacks on cloud services are the result of customer misconfiguration, mismanagement, and mistakes. In fact, 99 percent of cloud security issues will be the customer’s fault through 2025, according to the research firm. 

Gartner defines CSPM as a continuous process of cloud security and improvement and adaptation, which reduces the likelihood of successful attacks.

You can learn about the history and evolution of CSPM here.

So Why Should You Consider Using CSPM For Security?

Here are just some of the CSPM security capabilities that might make you want to start using one for your cloud infrastructure:

Misconfiguration Detection and Prevention

Misconfigurations are most often caused due to a lack of visibility and mismanagement of people and non-people resources in the cloud.

Cloud infrastructures are complex, and they differ from one provider to the other, meaning that misconfigurations can easily happen, and the making of the organization can be open to the possibility of data breaches.

In many situations, a CSPM security solution offers cross-cloud visibility, while potentially dangerous events are highlighted for you to see faster. Events such as users’ accounts being granted excessive permissions, having accidentally granted public access to storage buckets or containers, and other similar mistakes.

Compliance Monitoring

Cloud resources are being created and destroyed often, having data frequently duplicated across regions – these represent common events in cloud infrastructure, but when it comes to managing compliance, they become challenges that were not encountered before, in the old work, on-prem configuration. 

Since the CSPM security toolset runs continuously, rather than being a sort of one-time setup analysis, they offer continuous monitoring of the cloud environment, helping to flag policy violations and other concerns in real-time.

CSPM tools offer predefined frameworks for the most popular benchmarks and compliance standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, ISO 27001, NIST 800, PCI DSS, SOC 2, CCPA which may help you meet these challenges. 

Once you have set up the policies you consider relevant, the CSPM will give you instant notifications for security and compliance drifts.

Built-in remediation advice or actions are provided in some cases, making it easier for your team to have the dynamic approach needed to follow cloud compliance requirements.

Security & Incident response

To effectively apply security best practices, you need to be able to visualize what assets exist, what is the current protection in place, and what are high-risk alerts that you need to attend to first. Fast response in case of a security incident is crucial.

Since the CSPM tool set runs continuously, rather than being a sort of one-time setup analysis, they offer continuous monitoring of the cloud environment, helping to flag policy violations and other concerns in real-time.

CSPM solutions enable organizations to automate cloud security processes and evidence collection and help mitigate attacks.

Risk Visualization & Assessment

Using CSPM security tools, your organization can assess just how secure your networks are in advance of issues and gain visibility into areas of concern, like policies that give users too many permissions. The CSPM will continuously monitor the cloud environments in real-time for threat detection. It will automatically assess your security posture immediately after onboarding, and you will have the possibility to create policies that meet your needs.

There are different approaches depending on the vendor, but one thing is clear: “The use of a CSPM tool can reduce cloud-based security incidents due to misconfigurations by 80%”, according to Gartner.

Common Risks CSPM Can Detect

CSPM offerings typically focus on identifying the following types of policy and security violations:

  • Lack of encryption on databases or data storage.
  • Lack of encryption on application traffic, especially that which involves sensitive data.
  • Improper encryption key management such as not rotating keys regularly.
  • Excessive account permissions.
  • No multi-factor authentication MFA enabled on critical accounts.
  • Misconfigured network connectivity, particularly overly permissive resources directly accessible from the internet.
  • Data storage is exposed directly to the internet.
  • Logging is not turned on to monitor critical activities such as network flows, database access, or privileged user activity.

Adding CSPM Into Your Security Program

You just need to find the CSPM solution that suits your cloud security posture management and cloud compliance needs and gives you the best possible visibility over your cloud assets. It will surface crucial issues of all your interlinked cloud assets, helping you improve your security and data governance procedures.

Complete visibility over your infrastructure and deep contextual understanding of your cloud assets inventory is possible only by using the unique power of Sonrai Security Cloud Platform, so get your demo today.