Organizations are transitioning to the cloud at a rate faster than ever. As your company's cloud presence grows, so does the importance of your cloud security posture. According to a 2021 research study on cloud security, the majority of organizations felt some level of confidence in their cloud security, yet over half of them experienced a breach.
Enter Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM).
What is Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)?
Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) tools let you discover, identify, and remediate threats, misconfigurations, misuse, and compliance violations across your cloud service provider infrastructure.
Enterprises require the dynamic scale and complexity of public cloud deployments to keep up with changing business needs. CSPM gives organizations and security leaders assurance that their cloud infrastructure and cloud services are implemented securely and compliant with industry standards in spite of the speed, complexity, and scale of their cloud deployment. For enterprises that have a multicloud strategy, CSPM tools can provide a way to implement and monitor security and compliance guardrails across multiple IaaS providers at once.
Read on to learn:
- Cloud Security Posture Management Benefits and Use Cases
- Important Features and Capabilities of a CSPM Solution
- Limitations of Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)
- CSPM vs CSPM+ vs CAASM: What is the difference?
- CSPM vs CAASM: Which do you need and why?
- Additional CAASM and CSPM+ resources
Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) Benefits and Use Cases
Traditional CSPM offerings manage assets from the major cloud service providers (CSPs) including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure Cloud (Azure). Others may support public clouds like Alibaba Cloud, Oracle Cloud (OCI), IBM Cloud, SAP, etc. Almost all CSPM only tools have limited integrations and support beyond CSPs.
Cloud security posture management is focused on identifying the following types of policy and security features for enterprises:
- Inventory of cloud service provider assets
- Inventory across multi-cloud environments
- Misconfigured cloud assets
- Cloud assets exposed to the public internet
- Excessive account permissions
- Lack of multi-factor authentication enabled on accounts
- Data storage exposed to the internet
- Lack of encryption on databases, data storage
- Lack of encryption on application traffic, especially that which involves sensitive data
- Limited compliance mapping across cloud assets
Important Features and Capabilities of a CSPM Solution
At its core, CSPM solutions help you manage cloud security risk. Critical capabilities to help manage that risk include the ability to:
- Inventory across all Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), including AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Azure, and more
- Detect and remediate cloud misconfigurations
- Detect compliance drift across cloud infrastructure
- Map cloud assets to security control framework or compliance framework
- Monitor storage buckets, encryption, and permissions for cloud misconfigurations
While these capabilities can provide a decent foundation for early CSPM programs, they lack other critical capabilities required by more complex or cloud-native companies.
Limitations of CSPM and Why CSPM+ Is the Next Generation
The benefits of CSPM only tools are significant, but so are their limitations. They fall short when it comes to integrations and support beyond CSPs, securing only about half of your cloud infrastructure and assets.
That is why, in addition to traditional CSPM tooling, enterprises have found it necessary to adopt other cloud security tools such as:
- Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)
- Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP)
- Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM)
- Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP)
- Cloud-Native Configuration Management Database (CMDB).
In general, each of these tools is simply a group of features bundled together to support various use cases that help secure cloud assets and infrastructure.
To address the limitations of CSPM, security vendors are evolving this technology into what some call "CSPM+".
Yes — another acronym. But market trends show a convergence across various cloud security technologies and point solutions. Security and IT leaders are veering away from traditional point solutions like CSPM because they can't effectively scale to address the increasing complexity of cloud infrastructures and broader cyber asset ecosystems.
A CSPM+ solution combines traditional CSPM features and functionality with other use cases.
One of the fastest growing CSPM+ solutions is traditional CSPM plus CAASM features/functionality. CSPM is about monitoring, reporting, and securing workloads and preventing vulnerabilities, while Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management (CAASM) delivers complete visibility and actionability over much more than just the assets stored in a handful of CSPs.
This is critical for cloud-native companies because a CSPM can help report or alert on a cloud misconfiguration that puts your cloud and sensitive data at risk. By combining the functionality in CSPM with CAASM, you have complete visibility across all of your assets and the ability to quickly identify, map, analyze, and secure your broader attack surface (e.g. cloud assets, users, identities, vulnerabilities, permissions, code repos, code commits, workload statuses, etc).
Choosing CSPM+ solutions with more expansive capabilities to cover your cloud security use cases scales better as your security strategy and program grows. An effective CSPM+ offering helps you create an accurate knowledge base for your entire digital and cloud-native operations.
Additional CSPM+ and CAASM Resources and Related Blogs
- The Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management Guide
- CAASM is the Future... CSPM is Dead
- Better Together: CMDB + CSPM = Cloud Native Cyber Asset Management
- CAASM Should Be an Early Security Investment in Every CISO's Playbook
- The Debate: Should You Build or Buy CAASM?
- The 3 Biggest Challenges of Cyber Asset Management and How to Solve Them
- A Modern Definition for Cyber Assets
- Gartner Hype Cycle for Security Operations, 2021
Source: State of Cloud security Posture Management https://opscompass.com/resources/blog/state-of-cloud-security-posture-management/