The cloud is increasingly becoming the de facto choice for enterprises to build their digital channels. According to Gartner, nearly 95% of all new enterprise digital workloads will be deployed on the cloud by 2025, and more than 85% of all organizations will align to a cloud-first philosophy for their digital ambitions.
Flexibility, reliability, scalability, affordability, serverless functions, etc. - the list of attractive attributes favoring cloud adoption is nearly endless. Irrespective of the workload dynamics, the cloud offers an environment where businesses can rapidly innovate and diversify their digital services with minimal technical complexity and lower costs.
However, despite the advantages, there is one area where enterprise leaders are still skeptical of cloud adoption - cloud security. A recent survey by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) points out this apprehension considerably amongst enterprise leaders. 58% of the respondents are still concerned about security risks in adopting the cloud as their default enterprise technology foundation.
It is hard to blame their thoughts given the recent incidents of major security breaches like the ones at Kaseya and SolarWinds that affected thousands of businesses worldwide and ultimately impacted millions of end consumers.
Cloud Security Posture Management - A Primer
As organizations rapidly transition into multi-cloud environments for running their preferred digital services, the question of efficiently managing cloud security is quite significant. A huge concern in such environments is the vulnerabilities created owing to misconfigurations and compliance violations to security frameworks and policies in multi-cloud tenancy.
This is where Cloud Security Posture Management or CSPM becomes highly relevant.
In simple terms, CSPM is a security framework that helps organizations eliminate compliance and misconfiguration risks in multi-cloud environments. It leverages automation to discover threats, eliminate vulnerabilities, and implement best practices across different cloud segments used in modern enterprise technology like IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.
CSPM tools work to discover and remediate misconfiguration-led defects in multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments through automated comparison with known best practices in respective cloud environments. Any deviation or non-compliance to standard norms is immediately flagged and corrected.
Their capabilities can be extended by integrating with multiple compliance standards like HIPAA or with Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) to investigate suspicious data flows between on-premises and cloud infrastructure of providers.
CSPM offers a plethora of opportunities for enterprises to secure their cloud ecosystem by fostering transparency and visibility into integrations with a multitude of cloud vendors and cloud service providers.
This results in several benefits. Let us explore the top three:
Real-Time Threat Detection
Using automation, CSPM tools can proactively and continuously monitor cloud environments and discover threats when configuration changes that do not reflect standard information flows are detected. They can assess data risk in real-time as well through CASB integration which allows risk-free information exchange between internal systems and cloud servers or applications.
Moreover, the scale of detection of threats in the form of policy violations is immense as CSPM can proactively monitor multiple cloud vendors simultaneously to provide 365-degree security of an enterprise’s cloud landscape.
Strengthen Identity Access Management
Compromised access credentials constitute a major threat in any cloud environment. While basic IAM privileges of modern cloud services offer some layer of protection, CSPM can help in enforcing compliance in access control. It can prevent any cloud configuration that compromises credential verification processes from being deployed. Thus, it adds another layer of added security to IAM.
Enable Disruption-Free Cloud Operations
Misconfigurations, either by vendors or customers, can often lead to disruptions in digital services being delivered over the cloud. As CSPM offers a 24X7 monitoring of the cloud, it can detect potential misconfiguration requests at both the core server infrastructure level as well as with the network connectivity level.
It doesn’t stop at discovery and also provides detailed recommendations of remedial measures or can even be automated to implement the remedies autonomously. This allows enterprises to eliminate disruptive events in the continuous operations of their cloud environments.
The increasing diversity of cloud usage in enterprise technology is sounding alarms for traditional security policies and frameworks. The use of containers, microservice architecture, Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC), and other innovative development approaches add further to the complexity.
Imagine the scale of responsibility that security tools have to bear when this diversity extends to millions of end-consumer accounts, networks, and devices fueled by the growth of IoT, 5G, and edge computing.
Enterprises need to have automated and unbiased management of their cloud security landscape which is possible through implementing CSPM. However, CSPM does have its own unique nuances when it comes to tools available, approaches, and customization.
This is where an expert partner like Wissen can help implement the right CSPM strategy in your enterprise. Get in touch with us to explore in detail how CSPM can safeguard your cloud assets and how it can be implemented in the right way.