Cloud adoption has accelerated over several years, and cloud security posture management is becoming a critical component of an enterprise’s digital transformation.
With enterprises moving or copying more workloads to the Public Cloud, it’s crucial for security teams to have visibility into their company’s internet-facing profiles to monitor changes and receive alerts when necessary. They would also prioritize and manage issues according to criticality in an ideal world.
So, What is a CSPM?
CSPM provides new opportunities for organizations, but it’s also creating a myriad of security concerns that the enterprise must address. Because of its dynamic nature, visibility into your internet-facing assets must be managed on an ongoing basis, not just when you’re in a state of crisis.
This article will explore the eight critical areas companies should focus on to gain visibility into their internet-facing profiles and ensure a solid cloud security posture management strategy in place.
1. Have a Centralized Asset Inventory
Have a comprehensive and centralized asset inventory to gain visibility into your network. Without this, you won’t be able to track or monitor changes to your environment, and you’ll be flying blind when it comes to security.
The inventory should include all of your organization’s devices, applications, users, and data. It should also include information on how the assets are interconnected and their dependencies on other systems.
This information is critical to understanding your company’s risk posture and enables security teams to identify which systems should prioritize protection.
2. Manage Your IAM Strategy
Identity and access management (IAM) is another critical area that must be well-managed for your organization to have a robust cloud security posture.
Ensuring that employees have the correct access to systems and data is essential, but it must be accompanied by solid authentication methods to protect against unauthorized access.
Just as you would manage your asset inventory, IAM should also be centralized for easy management and visibility into cloud-based assets. You can’t effectively secure your environment without it.
3. Know Which Data is in the Cloud
It would help if you had a good handle on what data is being stored in your cloud services, but you also need to know where it is physically located.
This information is necessary when determining how data storage impacts your company’s security profile and can be used to help enforce compliance requirements around data residency.
4. Monitor Your Cloud Infrastructure
Cloud infrastructure is constantly changing and evolving, so it’s essential to have a system in place that can monitor those changes and alert you to any potential security concerns.
Tools such as cloud security posture management (CSPM) platforms can help automate this process, but it’s essential that your team actively monitors the infrastructure for changes.
5. Implement a Change Management Process
Changes to your cloud infrastructure can significantly impact your security posture and must be managed accordingly. A change management process helps ensure that all changes are adequately tested and authorized before implementation. It also enables you to track which changes were made, by whom, and when.
Change management complements your existing change control process, which should be in place before implementing a cloud strategy, and is another crucial step in gaining visibility into your environment.
6. Secure Your Inbound Network Connections
One of the main concerns with moving workloads to the Public Cloud is that there’s no guarantee of security once data leaves your environment on its way to a service provider.
This is particularly problematic for regulated industries that must meet compliance requirements for storing and processing sensitive data, such as healthcare or financial services organizations.
Ensuring that your internet-facing workloads are secured is of utmost importance in preventing unencrypted data from leaving your network.
7. Encrypt Data When Storing It in the Cloud
Given that there’s no guarantee that encrypted data will remain secure in a cloud, it is vital to take steps to encrypt all sensitive information before uploading it into any public cloud environment.
You can do this by applying file-level encryption if you use object storage or encrypt your data before being transmitted to the Cloud.
8. Understand Your Organization’s Risk Profile
The Cloud can introduce new security challenges, but it also has many capabilities that can help support and strengthen your security posture when adequately implemented.
To maintain a solid security posture, you need to understand your organization’s risk profile and identify which areas present the most significant risk. Then you can focus on implementing the appropriate security controls to mitigate those risks.
Now that you know the answers to, “what is CSPM?” you will be able to understand that implementing it correctly is essential for protecting your Cloud data. By following these eight strategies, you can ensure you use the Cloud in a secure, compliant, and cost-effective way.