Securing data is one of the top priorities of modern companies, regardless of their size. While digital transformation keeps racing, companies face the challenge of having a greater volume of data in hands and a harder time maintaining control over it.
There are several strategies to ensure data protection, but the most traditional ones are not being able to keep up with the modern world of tech. Today, we’ll talk about one alternative that has been standing out recently: Data Security Posture Management (DSPM).
What is Data Security Posture Management?
The motto of DSPM is pretty simple and can be summed up in these 4 points:
- Knowing where all the data is stored;
- Who can access it;
- How it’s being used;
- How it is secured.
In other words, Data Security Posture Management is a practical approach to protect data by ensuring a complete assessment of vulnerabilities and risks, followed by defining guidelines to help maintain a company’s data safe and to plan incident response.
The first step of Data Security Posture Management is to detect and identify vulnerabilities that could lead to unauthorised access, alteration or even destruction of specific data. This analysis can be done through various methods, such as penetration testing (pentesting), scans, security audits, among others.
Once those risks are understood, the second step is to define a set of practices to improve data security. Let’s get to know them.
Best practices of DSPM
Having a data security posture can include:
- Data inventory and classification
An essential first step that consists of listing all data and classifying it by type and sensitivity level.
- Security assessments
Once you know where all the data is, it’s important to assess your data security controls – level of encryption, access permissions, required authentication, among others. It could mean redefining who can access sensible data or ensuring Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
- Monitoring data activity
It’s also important to be aware of how data flows within the organisation, so that potential anomalies can be quickly detected.
- Minimising impact
If there is an unnecessary volume of data exposed, stored in the same place, misconfigured or misplaced, it could help to archive, delete or reorganise certain data. The impact of an eventual attack could be significantly lower.
Why is DSPM different from other security strategies?
Above anything else, it’s a data-centric approach. While other methods focus on securing the perimeter around the data, to prevent cyberattackers from reaching it, Data Security Posture ensures, first and foremost, data visibility and a full holistic analysis across all platforms.
Why should modern companies adopt a Data Security Posture?
Broadly speaking, Data Security Posture addresses a major challenge in modern environments: to keep data safe and secure in a world where technology keeps evolving and transforming itself, and where cyberthreats and attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated.
Here are the specific advantages to this approach:
- Understanding where all the company’s data is stored and how it is secured (particularly sensitive data);
- Reduced exposure of sensitive data;
- Stronger and more organised security procedures;
- Tighter compliance with security policies (which facilitates audits);
- Reduced data attack surface;
- Empowerment of operational teams (with the automation of DSPM policies, they will be able to focus on other core activities);
- Cost savings (due to a greater security efficiency and the ability to avoid the costs of a breach).
What about CSPM?
Let’s start with the name itself. CSPM means Cloud Security Posture Management, meaning that it focuses only on cloud data security. It differs from DSPM because the latter is a broader approach, which focuses on the overall data security posture, encompassing both on-premises and cloud environments.
Keeping data safe is a priority in today’s world. Most traditional security approaches are not always being able to keep up with how technology, cloud environments, and cyber threats are evolving.
That’s why Data Security Posture has been gaining ground recently and has quickly become one of the preferred practices in cybersecurity, as it responds to modern challenges and proposes a new way to organise data, keep track of it and protect it.
Whether an organisation chooses to adopt only one good practice of DSPM, or all of them, there’s really nothing to lose. It can only help to reduce business risk and to enhance security posture.