Cloud technology was definitely a game changer. Businesses were quick to utilize these new applications and services to further optimize their workflow. However, with all these great new opportunities, some threats arose as well.
One of the unfortunate truths of the cloud is that its tools and services are open to the internet, which means some of them can be readily available for criminals wanting to exploit them.
As technology evolves, so does the refinedness of cyber attacks. Now businesses need to think about every aspect of their cyber security because threats lurk on every corner. It doesn't take much for cyber criminals to reach their goal and harm your business.
Even the smallest of vulnerabilities is enough for them to get in. And if you’ve implemented an especially complex cloud solution with many connected devices and cloud services, you need to be especially careful.
Traditional security models fail to address these new challenges - they are too slow and too inefficient. One of the most costly and prevalent cyber threats is data breaches. They are more usual than you might think. Almost all businesses will experience some form of data breach sooner or later.
When a data breach occurs, customers will lose their faith in the organization, and its reputation will suffer leading to loss of business. Research shows that the large majority of these breaches are caused by misconfiguration, something that could have been avoided.
Broadly defined, Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) encompasses all protocols, policies, strategies, tools, and applications that have the goal of securing and protecting the cloud environment while reducing security risks. However, nowadays CSPM is almost exclusively used in the context of products (software) providing cloud security.
Such solutions aren’t a luxury but should be a crucial part of any business’s security strategy. As mentioned before, it’s only a matter of time before your business encounters a threat. And some cloud providers don’t even offer security services, it’s primarily up to you to protect yourself as best as you possibly can.
CSPM tools automate security by looking for potential hazards, risks, gaps, and vulnerabilities. They can inspect and analyze code, containers, platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), etc. These tools assess the threats by comparing the current cloud environment to a defined set of best practices. The scans are regular, but the frequency can vary from solution to solution. Afterward, they alert the security team of all found errors. This is a huge benefit because the team doesn’t have to manually check for vulnerabilities anymore. Also, this minimizes the risk of a security error being overlooked.
It’s hard to properly define all expected CSPM tool functionalities because they can vary from provider to provider. Not all of them are compatible with every cloud environment. But here are some overall capabilities you should be looking for while searching for a CSPM solution:
While an advanced CSPM tool can do wonders for your business security-wise, there are two main goals every tool should achieve:
Misconfigurations are the sources of data breaches because they leave the business’ data exposed or vulnerable to cyber-attacks. They usually happen as a result of an improper cloud setup process, or mismanagement of cloud resources. Misconfigurations are not at all rare, especially while implementing advanced cloud solutions. CPSM tools scan for and recognize misconfigurations so the business can make the proper changes.
The larger the organization, the more data it has to keep track of. Therefore it is not uncommon for some organizations to lose track of their files. Such data that is not visible enough provides a security risk - especially if they are not even aware an attack is happening. Businesses should be familiar with what they have stored and where it is stored at all times. That’s why one of the goals of CSPM scans is to discover and identify all data, and make it visible.
Businesses are moving to the cloud, but while doing so they are unfortunately opening themselves to new kinds of security threats. Migrations can sometimes create misconfigurations, leaving the data open. Also, while migrating some files can lose their visibility and can’t be easily found anymore.
Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) tools are made to answer these challenges by providing real-time continuous risk monitoring, assessment, and identification. They play a key role in a business’s security strategy because the teams don’t have to do manual checkups anymore.
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