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Why Do You Need Data Security Posture Management?

The growth of cloud data has escalated concerns over the security of sensitive information. With the average cost of a data breach standing at $4.45 million, as reported by IBM, organizations face significant financial risks. 

In this context, Data Security Posture Management, or DSPM, emerges as a game-changing solution. DSPM equips organizations with vital intelligence to identify, assess, and fortify the security posture of their cloud data. 

Keep reading as we explore the significance of DSPM, exploring its functionalities and role in modern cybersecurity.

Understanding Data Security Posture Management (DSPM)

Data Security Posture Management, or DSPM, is a cybersecurity approach designed to address the challenges posed by the widespread distribution of sensitive data across various environments. DSPM Tool focuses on protecting sensitive and regulated data, ensuring they maintain the appropriate security posture, regardless of their location.

Unlike traditional security measures that prioritize protecting the systems themselves, DSPM prioritizes the security of the data. It offers organizations critical insights into where sensitive data is located, who can access it, how it is being used, and the security posture of the applications or data stores.

By automating data detection and protection, DSPM helps organizations overcome the visibility challenge inherent in secure data management. It enables security teams to swiftly identify and address data security and compliance issues, thereby reducing the risk of breaches and regulatory violations.

Recognized as a crucial component of modern data security strategies, DSPM enhances cybersecurity posture, particularly in cloud-based environments where traditional security controls may fall short.

Why Data Security Posture Management (DSPM)?

With threat actors specifically targeting companies for the lucrative data they hold, DSPM can play a major role when it comes to protecting data assets today. Without DSPM, organizations are left out in the open to face serious risks, including data breaches and severe harm to their reputation. DSPM helps align IT, security, and business goals, ensuring effective risk mitigation. With the rise of cloud computing and AI/ML, the need for DSPM is even more critical. 

Shadow data, stored in unmonitored environments, poses a significant threat, especially in multi cloud and hybrid cloud setups. By implementing DSPM, organizations can proactively manage data security risks, stay compliant, and protect their sensitive information across different platforms, thereby protecting their overall business objectives.

How Does DSPM Work?

Why Do You Need Data Security Posture Management

DSPM operates through a systematic process designed to identify, classify, assess risks, and remediate vulnerabilities in an organization’s data security posture. Initially, it employs data discovery to locate and catalog data sources, spanning databases, cloud storage, and applications. 

Subsequently, data classification categorizes the data based on sensitivity, determining access privileges and compliance requirements. 

Through data flow mapping, DSPM visualizes how data moves within the organization, pinpointing weak points and vulnerabilities. A risk assessment identifies potential threats like unauthorized access or data leakage, informing prioritized security efforts. 

Based on this assessment, appropriate security controls, such as encryption and access controls, are implemented to protect sensitive data. 

Continuous monitoring and auditing help detect anomalies and policy violations, ensuring ongoing compliance. In case of security incidents, DSPM facilitates swift identification of affected data and implementation of remediation measures to minimize impact. 

Overall, DSPM streamlines data security efforts, ensuring robust protection against evolving threats across diverse environments.

Understanding DSPM Through Real-world Examples

ScenarioHow does DSPM Help?
Risky Data Flows: A personally identifiable information, or PII, record is gathered via a web application. It is subsequently stored in CosmosDB and backed up to Azure Blob Storage. The data is then enhanced and transferred to Azure Synapse and Azure SQL for analytical and machine-learning purposes. Unfortunately, the organization faces challenges as it lacks clear insight into the security status of each service involved and the individuals who have access at each stage.Map data flow between services and storage, highlighting security risks due to permissive access rules or data duplication.
Overly Broad Permissions: In businesses utilizing Google Workspace, assigning permissions to Google Cloud is a simple process, often accomplished with just a few clicks. However, sometimes an administrator inadvertently grants extensive permissions to a sizable user group for a particular project and overlooks revoking them. Consequently, numerous individuals within the organization gain access to sensitive PII.Identify data stores with customer records and monitor access, checking and revoking unnecessary permissions.
Shadow Backups: Sensitive PII from a database has been copied to an unencrypted Amazon S3 bucket. Notably, this bucket falls outside the management purview of the central engineering organization.Automatically discover all S3 buckets storing sensitive data, classify the data, determine risk level, and alert the security team.
Data Leak from Unmanaged Database: A data leak occurs when a production database is replicated into a Windows VM as part of an on-premises migration process. However, the security team is unaware of this VM hosting the database. Furthermore, they are not alerted when a snapshot of this database is shared with a third party.Identify VM running a database, detect snapshot sharing, and alert SOC team for prevention.
Sensitive Data Copied by Third-Party Service: A data engineering team employs Fivetran to transfer Salesforce data to BigQuery. During a new technology assessment, they utilize the same connection to replicate a significant amount of customer records from BigQuery to a Snowflake data warehouse shared with external vendors.Map principals, SaaS products, and vendors accessing data, monitor data flows, and detect unauthorized data movement.
Snapshot Exfiltration: An orphaned snapshot of a dormant database, which has remained untouched for an extended period, is currently being distributed to an unfamiliar account.Detect orphaned snapshot sharing and alert security teams for containment and prevention.

The Business Logic Behind DSPM

DSPM is crucial for companies, especially those dealing with sensitive cloud data. With ransomware threats on the rise, strong security measures are essential. The high costs of breaches, averaging $4.45 million globally as mentioned before, creates the need for proactive defense.

Amidst the security challenges, DSPM emerges as a critical strategy for organizations. Through proactive investment in strong security measures, businesses can significantly reduce the impact and frequency of breaches, protecting both their financial interests and reputation.

How can CloudDefense.AI Help?

To cater to your requirements, CloudDefense.AI introduces its comprehensive DSPM solution to address the diverse challenges organizations encounter in protecting their cloud data and infrastructure. With a focus on multi-cloud and SaaS coverage, the platform empowers users to track sensitive data like PII, PHI, and PCI across their environments, promptly alerting them to potential exposure paths. 

Offering holistic visibility and threat detection capabilities, CloudDefense.AI helps organizations identify and eliminate data blind spots, enhancing their security posture. Simplifying regulatory compliance, the platform streamlines adherence to evolving regulations, reducing compliance stress and ensuring alignment with industry standards. Through AI-based remediation and seamless scaling, CloudDefense.AI enables organizations to adapt and grow without compromising on security. 

Emphasizing proactive prevention, the platform prioritizes data risks and facilitates faster remediation, empowering users to confidently secure their data. With continuous protection throughout the pipeline-to-deployment process and seamless integration into development workflows, CloudDefense.AI allows organizations to focus on innovation while ensuring strong security measures are in place.

Book a free demo with us now to witness the power of CloudDefense.AI’s DSPM solution!

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Anshu Bansal
Anshu Bansal, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist, currently co-founds CloudDefense.AI, a cybersecurity solution with a mission to secure your business by rapidly identifying and removing critical risks in Applications and Infrastructure as Code. With a background in Amazon, Microsoft, and VMWare, they contributed to various software and security roles.
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