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Cloud Security Posture Management vs Cloud Security By Design



As businesses continue to migrate their operations to the cloud, maintaining a secure digital environment remains paramount. Among the key strategies employed in this regard are Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) and Cloud Security by Design (SbD). While both approaches aim to bolster the security of cloud environments, they each achieve this goal in different ways. 


Understanding Cloud Security by Design (SbD)

Cloud SbD refers to a proactive approach to integrating security measures into every stage of the cloud development and management process. It prioritizes security considerations right from the outset, rather than as a reactive measure.

This approach emphasizes the incorporation of security controls, mechanisms, and best practices into the design, architecture, and development of cloud-native applications and services. It involves implementing security measures such as encryption, identity and access management (IAM), backups, high availability, resilience,, and other security controls at every stage of the cloud application lifecycle.

The primary objective of SbD is to create resilient and secure cloud environments capable of withstanding potential threats and attacks from the onset, rather than addressing security issues reactively after deployment. It aims to construct a robust defense mechanism with built-in security, ensuring that potential vulnerabilities are addressed before they can be exploited.


Exploring Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)

Gartner coined the term CSPM and its definition today stands as follows “Cloud security posture management (CSPM) consists of offerings that continuously manage IaaS and PaaS security posture through prevention, detection and response to cloud infrastructure risks.” Traditionally most offerings in this category have been focused on detecting misconfigurations and were bought by the security teams. Remediating these misconfigurations however are 100x expensive, especially because infrastructure, like the foundation of a house is extremely resource intensive and expensive to fix without major investments. Over time some of the solutions started offering IaC scanning based on a shift left approach to help prevent misconfigurations. The focus though has never been on prevention and a lot was left to be desired. As a result cloud breaches still continue unabated and misconfigurations have become one of top threecauses of personal data theft in 2023. A paradigm shift is required.

 A SbD solution on the other hand is based on a first principles approach, takes a holistic view, is future-oriented and ground up focuses on preventing potential security breaches. 

It focuses on minimizing configuration mistakes and reducing compliance risks in various cloud environments, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). When implemented properly an SbD approach will not only reduce breach risk but will also save make security an enabler of business.


How to SbD?

While both CSPM and SbD are integral to maintaining a secure cloud environment, their methods and focus areas differ significantly. CSPM provides a reactive approach, identifying existing vulnerabilities and rectifying them, while SbD integrates security measures proactively during the design and development stages of cloud systems. However, the two approaches are far from mutually exclusive and often work in tandem to enhance overall cloud security.

CSPM, while invaluable, comes with certain challenges, including inadequate visibility, data leakage and exfiltration, and misconfigurations. Fortunately, implementing SbD can help overcome these challenges.


Need for expertise 

One of the significant challenges has been lack of a single solution to bring the two teams together, the Operations teams provisioning and managing cloud infrastructure and the security & compliance teams with the cloud security and risk understanding and governance mindset. Operations teams are motivated to keep business agile and meeting developer and business goals of speed of innovation and go to market. Security & compliance often becomes an obstacle to that goal. These requirements have to be translated into low level configurations, contextualized to the workloads and the risks the data carries and mapped to various compliance frameworks. Baking security in is referred to as the “security tax” that needs upfront investment in expert, highly skilled, multi-cloud trained, resources and time. 


Need for speed and automation

Current genertation of infrastructure automation tools also called as infrastructure as code solutions still do not do away with need for expertise, and need for time to actually code, test, provision, often resulting into operations teams employing time saving shortcuts in the actual configurations. Cloud created the expectation that cloud is so easy and secure that developers should be able to run their own code without the need for the traditional CIO infrastructure operations departments. In the “you built it, you run it” devops culture, where the expectation was for developers to run their own code, both the expertise in infrastructure, netowrking, security and the traditional operational discipline of using governance frameworks such as ITIL and CoBIT, are missing.  


Need for developers to focus on innovation 

To enable developers to run their own ocde and focus on innovation, cloud, security, risk and compliance expertise baked in along with hyper automation and solid framwork of governance discipline needs to be made available to the developers on a self service platform. This takes investment of time, often years, and resources that not every organization can afford. This is where platforms such as Invi Grid Intelligent Cloud shine. 


Conclusion

As businesses continue to embrace cloud technology, the need for robust and comprehensive cloud security strategies has never been more critical. Both Cloud Security by Design and Cloud Security Posture Management play vital roles in ensuring the security of cloud environments. While they are distinct approaches, the more comprehensive nature of Security by Design makes it a wiser and more effective option for businesses looking to go to market fast with their cloud-based products without worrying about security concerns. What makes Cloud Security by Design even more appealing is the presence of tools like Invi Grid Intelligent Cloud platform, that implement SbD in its most secure form in a few clicks, without writing a single line of code! Know more about IGICloud here.

 

 

 

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