What is Cloud Security Posture Management?

In a cloud-driven world, Cloud Security Posture Management is a necessity. CSPM is a set of IT tools that help identify misconfigurations and security risks inside a cloud environment. Read to know how you can use CSPM to your business’s advantage.

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Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) helps automate and identify the various levels of risks and their potential remedies across different cloud infrastructures. These can be Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

The main use of CSPM is risk visualisation, risk assessment, response to incidence, monitoring, DevOps integration, and regulatory compliance. CSPM helps apply the best practices and regulations to cloud security that includes multi-cloud, hybrid, and container environments.

Why Using CSPM Is Important

With the world moving closer to cloud-based systems, the security problems become more acute in nature. Over the course of a single day, a cloud tends to connect and disconnect from several thousands of other networks. This requires a cloud computer to be powerful in processing with negligent latency. However, this may leave them vulnerable at times and hard to secure. 

Some of the reasons why traditional security fails with cloud-based systems:

  • There is no defined perimeter to protect
  • The manual processes fail, with the required speed and scale
  • The dearth of centralization makes it difficult to pinpoint vulnerabilities 

Newer technologies are breaching the market at such a pace that their security requirements fail to catch up. We need cybersecurity now more than ever. While cloud-based computation ends up providing cost benefits, the security aspect can take away a large chunk of the ROI – with different technologies such as Kubernetes, microservices, containers, serverless functions, and more. 

How Does CSPM Work?

Discovery and Visibility

Cloud Security posture management systems discover different infrastructure assets and configurations. Users can access fundamental points of truth across the entire infrastructure.

Misconfiguration Management and Remediation

Cloud Security posture management eliminates security threats and accelerates the process of cloud application delivery and its configuration up to industry benchmarks. 

DevOps Integration

CSPM significantly reduces overhead charges and removes friction and complexity across the entire cloud infrastructure. A posture management system that is cloud-native and agentless provides central level control and visibility over the cloud resources.

The CSPM also integrates with DevOps and its toolsets to ensure faster remediation and response. The dashboards provide a shared understanding through different operations and security needs among the infrastructure teams. 

Additional Benefits of Enterprise CSPM

Cybersecurity and information or network protection. Future cyber technology web services for business and internet project

Fundamentally, there are two types of risks: Intentional and Unintentional. Most of the cybersecurity work revolves around intentional risks. These can be malicious attacks on the cloud and more. However, unintentional risks, such as leaving sensitive information in S3 buckets, can cause significant losses to an organisation. 

For example, in November 2020, around 10 million files containing information about travellers were exposed when they were found to be stored in S3 buckets that were improperly configured. This is just one of the many data leaks that we see every day – a common problem plaguing the cloud industry and businesses. 

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) aims to prevent accidental vulnerabilities by giving unified visibility through various cloud environments instead of having to verify different consoles and consolidate data from various vendors. Automatic misconfigurations are prevented, and the time for value is accelerated. 

Cloud Security posture management also helps in the reduction of alert fatigue since the different alerts come through a single system rather than multiple. False positives are severely reduced through the use of artificial intelligence. Security operations centre productivity increases significantly. 

CSPM further monitors and continuously assesses the environment for strict adherence to compliance policies. When an unknown tangent is detected, corrective measurements are run automatically.

Another important factor is that cloud security posture management systems also uncover hidden threats through continuous scanning of the entire architecture. This reduces detection time as well as the time for remediation. 

Why Do Misconfigurations Occur?

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a new technology that leverages the power of machine-readable definition files for its provision and management. This structure, which is primarily API-driven, is paramount to cloud-first environments since it makes it simple to change the infrastructural configurations on the fly. Unfortunately, it also makes it easy to program any misconfigurations that leave the environment open to all forms of security hazards. According to Gartner, 95 per cent of all security breaches are a direct result of misconfigurations, and these breaches cost companies nearly $5 trillion between 2018 and 2019.

The single largest vulnerability to cloud-integrated platforms is the lack of visibility. The typical enterprise cloud is complex and fluid, with hundreds and thousands of instances. Knowing the ins and outs of such a system requires sophisticated automation. With the lack of such automation, vulnerabilities might make the most of the misconfigurations within the system. These can remain undetected for days, weeks, and months if not constantly verified. 

Cloud Security Posture Management tackles these problems by monitoring the risk to the cloud environment continuously, by prevention, detection, response, and predicting the future risks and their appearances.

CSPM Secures Cloud Configurations Through Visibility