Navigating cloud security posture management vendors

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The modern attack surface is an ever-evolving organism that requires constant vigilance. Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigation Report states that the 13% jump in ransomware attacks is higher than the last five years combined. So, what’s with the jump?

Almost 90% of devices in the modern organization are cloud-based, but outdated security training and legacy IT systems are not built to handle that reality. In fact, the majority of organizations felt some level of confidence in their cloud security, yet over half of them have experienced a breach. Whether they are among the 82% of breaches involving human error or the 13% involving misconfigurations, having a cloud security posture management (CSPM) tool to discover, identify, and remediate issues in your cloud environment is critical to ensuring the safety of your organization.

With so many tools on the market and so many acronyms to keep track of, how can you decide on the best CSPM solution for your team? Here’s what you need to know when choosing a CSPM vendor, and when to choose CAASM instead.

What to look for in a CSPM Vendor

As your cloud expands, so does your threat landscape. A good CSPM solution will give you assurance that your cloud infrastructure and cloud services adhere to industry compliance standards in spite of the speed, complexity, or scale of your infrastructure.

Inventory and Visualization

Your organization may function on multiple cloud environments with thousands of cyber assets in each one. Whether your cloud environments live on Google Cloud Platform, Azure, AWS, or another cloud service provider (CSP) like Alibaba Cloud, your CSPM vendor should be able to integrate and be compatible with your existing infrastructure to give you a comprehensive, up-to-date look into your cyber asset universe.

But wait, there’s more…

Having a list of your assets is great, but it’s not enough. By understanding the relationships between your cyber assets, you get important contextual knowledge that helps you answer complex questions and identify the root cause of vulnerabilities.

Key features to look for in this category include:

  • List view with detailed information about each asset so you can sort by variables, see total results, and see the output of a query at a glance
  • Graph view that maps relationships between assets so you can visually understand blast radius and dependencies
  • Query-based search functionality that allows you to answer any question about your assets and environment
  • Integrations with cloud-based systems other than your CSP to ensure you’re able to map and secure everything in your cyber asset environment

Continuous Compliance and Governance

While almost 90% of devices in modern organizations are cloud based, cloud policies represent less than 30% of total security guardrails.

By automating compliance elements like access rights, rules, and alerts, or even implementing predefined industry standards and frameworks, your security team can be notified the second you risk noncompliance. A good CSPM tool should provide a continuous view of the state of your cloud environments while tracking drift over time to help you fix issues as fast as possible.

Key features to look for in this category include:

  • Out-of-the-box compliance frameworks for easy compliance with standards like HIPAA, NIST, CIS Benchmarks, and PCI DSS
  • Customizable compliance frameworks for compliance with internal best practices and standards
  • Automated alerting with ability to tag specific teams for accelerated, process-driven incident response
  • Custom alerts to turn any query into an alert
  • Dashboards to monitor your compliance activities in near real-time

Customer Repository

How do you know if a CSPM vendor is able to meet your specific needs? Look for their customer base! Are they diverse? Are they cloud-based?

Maybe they service some of your competitors. Either way, how they attend to their customers’ needs is a huge indicator for what they can do for you. It means they know the industry you’re in, the standard of security you operate in, and they can anticipate your needs without you having to ask first.

How to evaluate a vendor’s customer relationships:

  • Case studies and testimonials
  • Logos on the website
  • Reference calls with customers
  • Customer community or user groups
  • Support resources

Free Demo

Any reputable CSPM vendor will offer a demo or free version of their product. Not only is it the perfect opportunity to try out the features first hand, you can also talk to a sales rep or solution architect that would be able to address your specific pain points.

JupiterOne: The Next-Gen CSPM Vendor

In order to secure your cloud environment, you need to secure all cyber assets; not just endpoints, IP addresses, or devices. A modern cyber asset can be operational entities like code repos, data stores, IAM policies and roles, security controls, people, vulnerability findings, or more, meaning your CSPM solution has to ingest information about all of these possible definitions. Unfortunately, many do not.

JupiterOne’s CSPM+ solution goes beyond traditional CSPM by looping cyber asset attack surface management (CAASM) capabilities in with it. JupiterOne’s platform allows you to monitor custom configurations that are important to your unique security architecture. By investing in CAASM, your security team can visualize your entire attack surface, including the public cloud and beyond, exposing the misconfigurations and asset relationships that traditional CSPM cannot understand.

Book a demo to see how JupiterOne’s CSPM+ solution protects your cloud attack surface.

Tanvi Tapadia
Tanvi Tapadia

Born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Tanvi is a marketer who strives to create the perfect balance between data-driven decisions and creative marketing. She is an NC State graduate who loves to explore, eat, and play with her dog Butter.

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