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What is Cloud Security Posture Management?

What is cloud security posture management?

Cloud security posture management refers to the overall security standing of an organization’s cloud infrastructure. It includes the configuration of cloud resources, the Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies, the data security standards, the threat detection and response workflows, and adherence to security best practices.

Because it protects cloud resources and applications from unauthorized access, data loss and other security threats, a strong security posture is crucial to navigating the perimeter-less world of cloud computing.

The meaning of CSPM

CSPM, or cloud security posture management, is a set of tools and processes that enable organizations to track, maintain and improve their cloud security posture. CSPM tools offer protection for different kinds of cloud environments, including Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

CSPM tools are complementary to other cloud security solutions, including:

How does CSPM work?

CSPM solutions are responsible for the overall hardening and protection of cloud infrastructure. A typical CSPM tool has the following components:

  • Discovery: CSPM tools scan cloud environments to create an inventory of resources, including virtual machines, containers, databases and cloud services etc.
  • Risk assessment and reporting: They assess and identify potential risks in the deployment, including misconfigurations, security gaps and policy violations.
  • Policy enforcement: CSPM tools also help in enforcing security policies across the entire infrastructure.
  • Incident detection and response: They can detect and respond to security incidents in real time. For example, if someone tries to copy sensitive data out of an environment without authorization, a CSPM tool may intervene and stop the copy, as well as block the user's account.
  • Remediation: CSPM tools may automatically fix security gaps or create tickets for manual remediation with recommendations.
  • Integration and automation: They can integrate with other security and orchestration tools to automate and streamline security operations.
  • Continuous monitoring and compliance: CSPM ensures continuous compliance by evaluating an infrastructure against regulatory requirements and compliance standards, and can also generate reports to demonstrate compliance posture for audits and reporting.
How does CSPM work?

Why is CSPM important for companies?

While cloud platforms offer advantages like scalability, agility and enhanced performance, they also introduce a higher potential for security issues, including:

  • Misconfigured cloud services and resources
  • IAM policies with excessive privileges
  • Violations of security principles
  • Publicly accessible resources
  • Insecure APIs
  • Sensitive data exposure
  • Lack of visibility, resulting in unmanaged or zombie assets

CSPM tools can help mitigate, prevent and resolve these and other issues, often without requiring any manual efforts. For example:

  • A CSPM tool may detect that a particular AWS Lambda function is running an outdated runtime. Depending on the tool’s configuration, it may automatically update the runtime, or send an email to an administrator to request a manual update.
  • A CSPM tool may detect an IAM policy that violates the principle of least privilege. It may deactivate the policy itself or request administrative intervention.
  • A CSPM tool may detect that an API doesn’t require an API key or token for access. It may temporarily block all API access or escalate the issue to an administrator.
  • A CSPM tool may detect that there are some EC2 instances that no one has accessed for a specified amount of time. It may automatically deprovision them, or just block access to them and notify administrators.
  • A CSPM tool may detect that a database with sensitive data is publicly accessible. It may apply a more suitable access policy to it or log a ticket for an administrator to do it.

What are the benefits of CSPM?

CSPM tools take a holistic approach to cloud security, providing organizations with a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Complete visibility: CSPM tools offer maximum visibility into a cloud infrastructure. Whether you want to review configurations, track access to a resource, delete zombie VMs or check for application vulnerabilities, a CSPM tool allows you to do so.
  • Reduced risk of a security breach: CSPM tools can reduce the risk of a security breach by detecting and remediating security misconfigurations before they are exploited by attackers.
  • Automated and centralized security enforcement: Using a CSPM tool, administrators can define a security policy once and enforce it across their entire cloud infrastructure to significantly reduce administrative overhead, operational costs and the risk of human error.
  • Improved compliance: CSPM tools help organizations avoid fines and penalties by maintaining compliance with industry regulations, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
  • Automated remediation: A CSPM solution can improve the overall efficiency of the security team by automating the remediation of certain security issues, freeing up the security team to focus on more demanding tasks.
  • Scalability: As a cloud environment evolves, CSPM scales and adapts to new services, applications, resources and technologies, ensuring ongoing, future-proof security effectiveness.
  • Improved security posture: By detecting and fixing misconfigurations, flagging and resolving security gaps, deprovisioning zombie assets, protecting sensitive data and performing continuous monitoring, CSPM solutions decrease the attack surface and improve the security posture of an organization, helping them avoid costly breaches, downtime and data loss.


Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) offers a complete cloud security package, from asset discovery and risk management to policy enforcement, compliance monitoring, automated remediation and incident response, making it a must-have technology for security-conscious organizations with public, private or hybrid cloud infrastructures.

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