What is CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management)?
What is Cloud Security Posture Management?
Cloud security posture management (CSPM) is a category of security products that deliver continuous security protection and compliance assurance for cloud networks. CSPM solutions offer coverage for the full breadth of cloud computing services, including Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Capabilities include risk detection and remediation, compliance monitoring, policy enforcement, and vulnerability assessments, as well as integrations to assist DevSecOps and incident response workflows.
Key Features of CSPM Solutions
The lack of a traditional protection perimeter makes cloud networks difficult to secure, and legacy tools are unable to keep up with the distributed, dynamically-changing cloud architectures. CSPM solutions are designed to accommodate the complexity of the hybrid multi-cloud environment.
Achieving visibility across the full hybrid multi-cloud stack is a unique technical challenge that requires harmonizing information from both private on-premises datacenters and off-premises public clouds, often including multiple public cloud providers. CSPM solutions provide unified visibility that legacy point tools cannot.
Manual processes cannot keep pace with the hyperdynamic cloud environment, where new instances spin up and down in real-time, with complex interdependencies between millions of assets. Comprehensive security requires protection that “moves at the speed of the cloud,” by employing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation.
Why is CSPM important?
As organizations increasingly adopt a cloud-first philosophy to take advantage of the flexibility and power of cloud architecture, the same dynamism that makes clouds useful also makes them more difficult to secure.
Cloud breaches and data leaks are all too common, costing organizations millions of dollars annually. Particularly in a cloud ecosystem where dev teams are trying to remain agile, the push toward quick deployment can lead to unintentional risks—such as private data buckets becoming publicly exposed, or users being given excessive access privileges. Vulnerabilities can arise via user error, configuration drift over time, bugs in deployment code, and so on.
Organizations should be careful not to assume their cloud service provider (CSP) will handle all the necessary security. Although CSPs are responsible for protecting their infrastructure layers, it’s up to users to enforce the proper security and compliance posture across their applications and data. The vast majority of cloud security errors—up to 95% of them—will be due to misconfigurations on the user’s end.
Even a single vulnerability could lead to a data breach, and without ongoing monitoring, a misconfiguration may go unnoticed for hours, days, or even indefinitely. Therefore security and compliance posture must be continuously enforced for organizations to minimize their risk.
A CSPM solution helps organizations ensure their cloud assets are deployed correctly, proactively avoiding vulnerabilities and misconfigurations whenever possible, and reducing Mean Time to Remediation (MTTR) when incidents do occur.
Furthermore, organizations employing a multi-cloud strategy will benefit from a CSPM solution that is capable of uniting information from across multiple environments into a “single pane of glass,” which streamlines the labor required from IT security teams and allows them to properly triage security concerns across previously-siloed cloud stacks.
How does CSPM work?
CSPM capabilities address three key categories:
Attaining complete visibility of the full cloud stack is a prerequisite for accurately characterizing security posture at the enterprise-wide level. Blind spots must be eliminated, as they can conceal the true state of risk and worsen the likelihood that a vulnerability will go overlooked.
To achieve visibility, CSPM solutions can interface with public cloud providers via APIs, which allows them to monitor the environment in real-time. Collecting information from across the entire cloud estate is best achieved using agentless architecture to interface with the diverse elements of the cloud platform infrastructure: containers, orchestrators, serverless components, and virtual machines/datacenters.
Note that some CSPM solutions may be well-suited to a particular CSP, but not others (e.g. Azure, but not AWS). Therefore, organizations with multi-cloud architecture should choose a CSPM platform capable of unifying data and control planes across diverse CSP environments in a single shared console.
CSPM solutions continually monitor for security and compliance violations by detecting mismatches between the defined security policies and the actual security posture. Monitoring events and logs—such as user access, configuration changes, and creation of new instances—can help detect threats like compromised accounts or stolen access keys. Network flows analysis can identify traffic anomalies that potentially indicate malicious activity, and port scans and sweeps can probe servers to check for open ports.
Common misconfigurations might include unencrypted data, publicly open ports, or overprivileged credentials. By reporting on such misconfigurations, a CSPM solution guides IT teams toward hardening security posture. For example, in the case of overprivileged credentials, the CSPM will automatically monitor to ensure that user access is restricted to only the necessary resources, helping to enforce the principle of least privilege.
Risk reporting alone does little to improve security posture unless followed up with actionable remediations. CSPM platforms help users to manage remediation strategies through a centralized console, with recommendations based on security best practices, as well as compliance standards for any required frameworks. Continuous compliance can be enforced using custom definitions and/or pre-defined standards such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOC 2, ISO 27001, and so on.
For manual remediations, a CSPM solution may provide specific instructions on how to fix the issue or other steps users can take to eliminate risks. More sophisticated CSPM platforms offer the option to remediate risk using robotic process automation (RPA), which can automatically deploy remediations for vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and compliance drifts in near real-time as these issues arise.
CSPM Uses and Capabilities
Employing these capabilities for visibility, risk detection, and remediation allows CSPM solutions to address a wide varied of security and compliance use cases, such as:
- Continuously monitoring the entire cloud footprint and tracking components on an ongoing basis as instances spin up and spin down
- Providing visibility into hybrid multi-cloud network components across providers
- Enforcing security policies consistently across all clouds / CSPs in a multi-cloud environment
- Scanning compute instances for misconfigurations and vulnerabilities
- Providing logical network topology with flow metrics, and information on application interdependencies, connection ports, and protocols.
- Logging events such as user access, configuration changes, application usage, data storage, and creation of new container instances.
- Monitoring the creation of storage resources (e.g. Amazon S3 and Google Cloud storage buckets)
- Identifying and remediating storage bucket misconfigurations to ensure sensitive data is not open to the public
- Automating vulnerability remediation, i.e. using Robotic Process Automation
- Guiding manual remediation workflows with step-by-step instructions, and/or click-of-a-button approval
- Performing risk assessments against industry security standards, such as ISO 270001 and SOC 2
- Assessing compliance posture and enforcing standards to meet regulatory requirements such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, etc.
- Applying policies to new deployments to enforce security and compliance during the DevOps process
- Integrating with ticketing systems and incident response workflows
- Interfacing with Cloud Workload Protection Programs (CWPP) and/or Cloud Native Application Protection Programs (CNAPP) as part of a broader cloud management platform
Why Choose Caveonix CSPM?
Caveonix Cloud’s CSPM is the industry’s leading security posture management solution for hybrid multicloud environments, offering best-in-class features you won’t find in our competitors.
Caveonix’s agentless CSPM continuously tracks and analyzes applications, platforms, and infrastructure in both on-premise and off-premise environments, delivering comprehensive visibility throughout every level of every cloud, harmonized into a single pane of glass.
Caveonix CSPM employs API integration to monitor the cloud stack in near real-time, giving users complete confidence in the current state of security and compliance—unlike competitors’ products that read event logs after the fact, resulting in stale data and security monitoring that moves slower than the state of risk.
Caveonix’s proprietary Neural-InsightTM Engine employs artificial intelligence for advanced risk analytics, incorporating real-world business impact and temporal risk scores for security recommendations that deliver the greatest payoff with the fewest resources. The platform’s robust posture reporting, mapping, and management workflows help organizations effectively communicate security and compliance findings, while granular security scores can be reported in per-asset, per-application, per-cloud, and enterprise-wide views.
Caveonix delivers industry-leading MTTR, with exposure windows reduced to as little as 30 seconds. Combining Neural-Insight™ AI with our DefenseBot™ Robotic Process Automation allows the platform to interpret AI risk models, identify the ideal remediation strategy, and automatically deploy it, proactively keeping your cloud environment secure and compliant.
Custom Deployment to fit any Enterprise
Caveonix Cloud Platform offers a variety of delivery options: either locally in a dedicated deployment, as a Private SaaS for an enterprise, or via a Public multi-tenant option.
The platform offers custom controls and configurability, as well as immediate “out of the box” value with built-in support for 30 global compliance controls to help enterprises meet compliance requirements in sensitive sectors such as finance, healthcare, and government.
Unified Platform Capabilities
Caveonix CSPM can be deployed as a module within Caveonix Cloud Platform, a comprehensive cloud management solution combining CSPM features with Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP) and Cloud Native Application Protection Program (CNAPP) capabilities and in a uniquely holistic approach, uniting powerful security, compliance, and governance modules into a single unified platform.