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What is CIEM and how does it work?

The Definition of CIEM

Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) is a security solution that helps organizations manage permissions in the cloud. CIEM facilitates secure access to resources across multiple cloud platforms within a unified infrastructure.

Entitlements are the rights that entities have to access cloud resources. They can be granted to users, applications, groups or roles. CIEM ensures appropriate entitlements, which enables organizations to maintain visibility, control and compliance in their cloud environments.

How Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) works

The main components of a typical CIEM solution are:

  • Access visibility: This component provides a centralized view of identities and access privileges across the entire infrastructure.
  • Entitlement governance: CIEM enforces policies to govern entitlements, which minimizes the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches.
  • Unified management: The solution also offers a centralized dashboard to manage entitlements for all your cloud applications and services.

CIEM scans the cloud environment to gather data related to resources, users and entitlements. It uses this data to create a holistic view of the organization's cloud security posture. This view helps in identifying potential security risks, like excessive permissions and unused accounts.

CIEM also uses this data to enforce security policies. For example, it can automatically revoke unnecessary permissions or block access to unauthorized users. By continuously monitoring the cloud environment, CIEM detects anomalies and alerts administrators to policy violations or potential threats.

Additionally, CIEM generates extensive reports that help organizations in auditing user access and checking compliance with regulatory standards.

How Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) works

Benefits of Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM)

CIEM offers several benefits for cloud-first organizations. Let’s explore some.

1. Create a comprehensive cloud security policy

In today's cyber-vulnerable world, a CIEM solution is essential for creating a comprehensive cloud security policy. It offers a holistic view of entitlements, allowing you to visualize the entire access control spectrum and identify any security gaps.

By continuously monitoring, alerting and automatically fixing security vulnerabilities, CIEM helps you mitigate threats and reduce your attack surface.

2. Improve operational efficiency

CIEM simplifies and automates entitlement management, resulting in increased operational efficiency. With a centralized dashboard, administrators can efficiently manage entitlements across multiple cloud platforms, such as AWS or Azure, saving time and reducing the chances of human error.

3.  Meet regulatory  compliance

CIEM solutions facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements and compliance standards. They offer detailed reports, providing key insights into access controls, entitlement usage and policy adherence. These reports play a crucial role in evaluating the level of compliance and identifying potential reasons for non-compliance.

4. Scalability and dynamicity

Most CIEM solutions are designed to adapt to the dynamic nature of the cloud. They can scale as needed, and easily accommodate changes in a cloud infrastructure.

For example, consider a scenario where a company uses a CIEM solution to manage their multi-cloud infrastructure. Over time, new resources and users are added, while others may be decommissioned. The CIEM solution dynamically adjusts to these changes, automatically updating its inventory and monitoring entitlements in real-time. This ensures that the company always maintains an up-to-date view of its cloud security posture.

5. Align with the principle of least privilege

CIEM enables adherence with the principle of least privilege by offering a comprehensive view of access rights. This visibility helps organizations identify users with excessive permissions, ensuring that nobody has more privileges than they need to do their jobs.

For example, CIEM may identify a user with administrative permissions to a production database. However, the user only needs to read data from the database, which means that their administrative privileges can be revoked. This will eliminate the risk of the user accidentally or maliciously modifying or deleting data from the database.


CIEM, SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) and CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management) are three distinct but interconnected solutions for cloud security. Let's explore the differences and synergies between them.

CIEM is all about managing entitlements and mitigating risks associated with overprivileged accounts and access. It provides consolidated visibility, entitlement governance, continuous monitoring and alerting, automatic remediation, and compliance reporting.

On the other hand, SIEM focuses on real-time event monitoring and incident response. SIEM solutions collect and analyze log data from various sources to detect and investigate security incidents, preventing service disruption and potential damage.

CSPM tools help organizations identify and mitigate risks associated with misconfigurations in cloud environments. They assess, monitor and enforce cloud security best practices, scanning for vulnerabilities, detecting misconfigurations and enforcing compliance standards.

While each tool has a distinct function, they can be used together to enhance overall security. CIEM may feed valuable insights to SIEM, enriching event analysis. CSPM can benefit from data collected by both CIEM and SIEM to identify misconfigurations and policy violations.

Features CIEM vs SIEM vs CSPM

  • Manages entitlements and mitigate risks associated with overprivileged accounts and access.
  • Collects and analyzes log data from various sources to detect and investigate security incidents.
  • Helps identify and mitigate risks associated with misconfigurations in cloud environments.
  • Entitlement governance, continuous monitoring and automatic remediation.
  • Real-time event monitoring and incident response, threat intelligence and correlation.
  • Detection of misconfigurations and assessment of cloud security best practices.
  • Decreases attack surface and enforces adaptive security.
  • Detects and investigates security incidents, prevents service disruption and enriches event analysis.
  • Mitigates risks associated with misconfigurations and enhances overall cloud security.
  • Can be complex to set up and manage.
  • Can report false positives and negatives.
  • May not be able to detect all misconfigurations or risks.
  • Cloud security, compliance and operational efficiency.
  • Security incident response, threat hunting and compliance.
  • Cloud security and optimized configurations.


Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management is a crucial part of a modern cloud security strategy. It enables organizations to create infrastructure-wide policies, meet compliance requirements and enhance operational efficiency in a dynamic cloud setup. For security-first organizations, CIEM is a crucial tool for staying ahead of emerging security challenges in the ever-changing landscape of cloud computing.

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