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How Does CSPM Discover Cloud Misconfigurations?

How Does CSPM Discover Cloud Misconfigurations?

Errors in cloud configurations are the number one threat to the public cloud.

For a company, a single cloud misconfiguration can lead to a data breach and the leaking of sensitive data. That’s why this is the vulnerability that cyber criminals look for first.

One misconfiguration can open the door to the user’s login credentials, mobile phone number, or credit card information. What the criminal might compromise depends on the sensitive data a company stores within its database.

How can you protect sensitive user and company data?

Cloud providers have to secure the infrastructure they offer as a service. However, those who use the service are also responsible for keeping data in the cloud safe. For instance, they have to properly configure their cloud assets.

One cybersecurity tool tailored for continual security management of modern cloud infrastructures is Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM).

Here are four ways in which CSPM helps you detect and patch cloud misconfigurations.

Increases Visibility of the Cloud Environment

Misconfigured clouds can be challenging to identify because security professionals don’t have complete visibility of a cloud environment. Today, such environments are large, hybrid, and consist of multiple cloud components sourced from different vendors.

As a result, it’s challenging to keep an eye on the entire architecture — especially if it’s used all the time and changing from one minute to the next.

The way different cloud technology has to be configured can drastically vary from one cloud vendor to another.

Without visibility, cloud misconfigurations can remain overlooked long enough for a bad actor to uncover them. And use them to gain illicit access and steal important documents.

It’s hard to protect what you don’t see.

CSPM gives you an insight into the entire cloud environment — including how every cloud component is configured.

Generally, it lets you know which resources are kept within the cloud, where they reside within the architecture, and what kind of asset we’re talking about exactly.

For example, it can let you know where all the sensitive data is and who is accessing it around the clock.

Automates Security Processes

The cloud is an environment that shifts and changes quickly. One minute, it can be free of weaknesses, the next it could feature critical cloud misconfiguration.

To keep up with this fast-paced environment, CSPM automates security processes that keep the cloud safe from cyber threats.

Every company has these predefined security policies and compliance requirements. CSPM is designed to learn what they are and continually cross-compare them with existing security posture.

It cross compares whether the components are properly configured and enforces the best security practices across the entire cloud architecture.

For example, CSPM can automate:

  • Compliance that the company needs to meet depending on the industry
  • Insider security protocols and processes
  • Identification of critical threats and flaws within the environment
  • Entire security management — from monitoring and identification to remediation of threats

Since it runs around the clock, it ensures that both new and existing assets meet compliance and don’t have weaknesses that might be exploited by hackers. It also scans versatile components (e.g. IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS) at all times to detect issues before hackers do.

Identifies Critical Risks

Security teams don’t have the time to investigate and address every single alert. Not every vulnerability is fatal. Therefore, it’s important to separate high-priority risks that need to be dealt with right away from issues that can wait another day.

Besides increasing the visibility of the cloud environment, CSPM also knows that not every risk carries the same weight. That is, critical vulnerabilities such as cloud misconfigurations need to be resolved first.

As it continually identifies and classifies possible risks, it helps teams prioritize the threats and flaws that are most likely to lead to unauthorized privileged access or stolen personally identifiable information.

For example, security tools might find these mistakes with configuration:

  • Unrestricted communication through open ports
  • Inadequate data management processes
  • Lax security for data backups
  • Free access to containers
  • Broad access privileges

The more advanced versions of CSPM rely on machine learning and behavioral analysis to pinpoint where the high-priority risks are within massive infrastructures. They learn and use new data to detect anomalies unique to one’s system.

Starts the Process of Remediation

If the CSPM does detect the signs of a cyber incident, it either mitigates it right away by following the pre-established policy. Alternatively, it alerts security teams to resolve the issue. It depends on the type of threat or vulnerability that has been discovered.

From one interface, you can see how issues such as cloud misconfigurations are resolved within your infrastructure. That is, you can see which remediation steps have been taken to protect the cloud.

In case the possible threat or flaw is too advanced for automated tools, CSPM offers guidance for the security teams on how to resolve them within the system.

For instance, it might offer concrete steps that security can follow manually to rectify misconfigured cloud components.

After the problems are resolved, CSPM returns to step one. It continues finding the critical threats and scanning as well as learning about the growing cloud environment of a company. With it, it automates and continually manages cybersecurity.

Using CSPM When There’s No Room For Error

When you work in security, you know that you have to be right 100% of the time — and to know which weaknesses need immediate patching. But if you’re a cybercriminal, you only have to be right once. A hacker needs to find only one misconfiguration to compromise your system.

CSPM is the security tool that helps IT teams detect and mitigate the most common weaknesses within the cloud environment. Cloud misconfigurations top that list.

With its non-stop and automated monitoring, incident response, and identification of critical risks, CSPM can help you see and resolve the most common and critical threats and vulnerabilities that compromise the cloud.

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