Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)

Rethinking security for the cloud’s ever-changing landscape


Modern cloud deployments are tremendously complex and typically span multiple clouds. There’s no doubt the cloud has transformed the way organisations function; largely due to its capacity to quickly deliver scalability and flexibility.

As organisations migrate data and infrastructure to the cloud, they must adapt to an ever-evolving threat landscape, and be mindful that the cloud is not the same as on-premise networks. Traditional security approaches designed for inside a network’s perimeter are not relevant for this dynamic environment. Cloud assets, workloads and configurations undergo swift transformations, making it an ongoing challenge to maintain a robust security posture.

While at face value, operating your business in the cloud achieves the same, or similar end goal as a more traditional on-premise approach. From a security point of view, things are completely different.

While public cloud providers dedicate extensive efforts to security; customers retain responsibility for how they use those services, including the data that is stored in them, and how it is shared and accessed.

What is cloud security posture management (CSPM)?

Gartner coined the term CSPM and describes it as “offerings that continuously manage security posture through prevention, detection and response to cloud infrastructure risks”. 

CSPM tools enable organisations to identify and remediate risks through security assessments and automated compliance monitoring. There are a variety of different tools available: some alert customers when there is a need to remediate a security risk, while other more sophisticated tools use robotic process automation to remediate issues automatically.

CSPM solutions have evolved significantly since their inception. Initially, they were simple tools for API monitoring and data visualisation, aimed at giving SecOps teams a clear view of their cloud infrastructure. Now they’re comprehensive security platforms that incorporate features such as: identity and access management (IAM) and workload monitoring. 

The three key areas that CSPM tools address are:

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Protection of sensitive data
As the amount of sensitive data being stored in the cloud increases, the safeguarding of it becomes paramount; not only to maintain customer trust and to protect competitive advantage.
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Ticking regulatory compliance boxes
Many industries have stringent compliance regulations such as: PCI DSS, GDPR, and HIPAA. CSPM continuously monitors the configuration of all cloud applications and services, and ensures they adhere to specific standards and regulations.
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Cloud environments are highly dynamic. CSPM adapts to these changes ensuring that security remains consistent and effective.

See how Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) can enhance your cybersecurity

Why is Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) important?

The rate of intentional and accidental security risks is rising in sync with the growing numbers of people and organisations heading to the cloud. While data breaches are common, the highest percentage of errors still come from cloud misconfigurations and human error.

In fact, according to Gartner, 99% of cloud failures are due to mistakes like misconfigurations. A recent report by Illumio found that in the last year, 47% of all data breaches originated in the cloud, and more than 6 out of 10 respondents believe their cloud security is not only lacking, but it poses a severe risk to their business operations. Again, according to Gartner, using a CSPM tool can reduce cloud-based security incidents due to misconfigurations by 80%.

Arguably the biggest risk that comes with the cloud is that of identity. In a world of hybrid and multi-cloud, traditional network security no longer offers the same advantages or protection. Increased cloud adoption has resulted in a deluge of new human, and even non-human identities that threat actors can compromise. Identity is the new perimeter, and it has become a critical attack surface for bad actors.

CSPMs are important because modern enterprises need to manage, operate and protect complex perimeter-less multi-cloud IT infrastructures where misconfigurations, poor visibility, compliance challenges and cybersecurity vulnerabilities are common.

How does CSPM work?

CSPM tools utilise the many application programming interfaces (APIs) that are made freely accessible by public cloud service providers to gather data from a wide range of sources. This includes a wide range of cloud configuration data and workload events. The CSPM tools continuously monitor the environments looking for security risks, such as misconfigurations, vulnerabilities and risks inside of workloads (servers, VMs, applications, data, appliances etc) and CI/CD workflows.

There are four key capabilities of CSPM that make it a ‘must-have’ when it comes to cloud security:

CSPM allows enterprises to identify and remediate misconfigurations at the cloud, application and host layer. This can reduce risk, improve compliance and enable operational efficiency more effectively.

BlueFort’s methodology

BlueFort’s methodology is designed to face the reality of modern cybersecurity – the volume of data is escalating like never before, attack surfaces are increasing, the workforce is dispersing, and the cloud is fundamentally shifting how CISOs and SecOps teams must approach security. More technology creates more risk. BlueFort’s tightly integrated security disciplines make security environments fit for purpose by prioritising assessment, consolidation and optimisation.

Driven by industry standard methodologies including NIST, ISO27001, CyberEssentials+ and CTEM, BlueFort’s tightly integrated security disciplines deliver complete solutions that ensure continuous discovery, validation and control for your organisation.

What you need to know

  • What is the difference between SSPM and CSPM?

    SSPM (Security Service Posture Management) addresses user access and privileges, while CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management) focuses on securing the configuration and compliance of cloud infrastructure.
  • What are the limitations of CSPM?

    CSPM may face challenges in detecting nuanced security threats, adapting to evolving cloud environments, and requiring active user management for optimal effectiveness.
  • How is CSPM implemented?

    CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management) focuses on securing cloud infrastructure, while CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) manages access to cloud services, ensuring data protection and compliance.

Have more questions?

Speak to our CSPM experts.

Delivering Cloud Security Posture Management with the power of Evolve

BlueFort’s Evolve allows you access to flexible and on-demand cyber skills and expertise to help you deploy any new solution and fill in any cyber skills shortage you may have.

Why work with BlueFort?

BlueFort is the UK’s leading independent Security Solutions Partner (SSP). Our unique combination of people and technology is focused on simplifying your cybersecurity journey. With a curated suite of tools, products and skills, BlueFort partners with CIOs, CISOs and SecOps teams to simplify, consolidate and optimise their cybersecurity environment.

When it comes to cloud security, CSPM serves as the backbone of a robust cloud security strategy by providing proactive protection in a threat landscape where cyber threats are common.

BlueFort’s carefully tested suite of tools and technology simplifies the chaos of the cyber landscape, while our in-house experts provide a rapid and immediate solution to the cybersecurity skills shortage, reducing pressure on internal security teams and delivering ongoing, on-demand cyber resource flexibility.

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“Without Evolve, we would have to get in additional resources for bespoke deployments and we would certainly have to spend a lot of time in the research phase to make sure we are buying the right technology. We use BlueFort’s expertise to guide us down the right path – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.”

Gary Lewis, Head of IT, Atrium Underwriters

See how BlueFort can help you simplify your cybersecurity