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Glossary Term

Data Security Posture Management

Unauthorized access, misuse, or theft of data are some of the most critical security threats organizations can face. Attackers use these and other tactics to access and steal confidential information, delete critical data, and modify system configurations. As more businesses transition to cloud-based data management solutions, understanding potential security pitfalls becomes paramount so organizations can better safeguard their data across multiple platforms and environments.

What is Data Security Posture Management?

Data security posture management (DSPM) is a company’s practices and technologies for assessing, monitoring, and reducing risk related to cloud-stored data, particularly multi-cloud environments. It acts as a digital security guard, working tirelessly behind the scenes to protect personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive records.

DSPM helps organizations manage data security by providing a comprehensive view of:

  • Where their data resides.
  • How it’s being used.
  • Who has access to it.

It delivers a bird’s-eye view of a business’s data landscape, identifying potential risks before they become problems. This proactive security approach sets DSPM apart from traditional methods, which typically focus on dealing with threats after they’ve occurred. DSPM is also highly adaptable, with companies able to tailor strategies to fit their unique needs. As their businesses grow and evolve, their data security measures do, too.

With global data protection regulations becoming stricter, a robust DSPM strategy ensures an organization stays compliant, avoiding financial, legal, and reputational harm. An essential tool in any modern organization’s data security arsenal, DSPM is a significant step toward a safer, and more resilient and trustworthy digital environment.

How Does DSPM Work?

DSPM uses a structured methodology that combines visibility, risk assessment, and automated response mechanisms to secure organizational data across various environments, an essential process in modern digital landscapes where data is distributed across on-premises systems and cloud environments. This integration allows businesses to proactively manage and secure their data across diverse environments, ensuring a robust security posture in the face of evolving threats.

  1. Visibility. DSPM solutions scan and map data across an organization’s digital assets to learn where it is stored, accessed, and processed. Companies can then use this inventory of data repositories, types of data, and access patterns to identify potential security gaps and risk areas.
  2. Risk assessment. By analyzing an organization’s data against predefined security policies and regulatory compliance requirements, DSPM identifies discrepancies and vulnerabilities. It also evaluates the data’s sensitivity and context of use to prioritize risks, focusing efforts on the most critical areas that could impact an organization’s security posture.
  3. Automation. DSPM implements automated controls and responses based on the risk assessment findings. This can include adjusting access permissions, encrypting sensitive data, or flagging unusual data access patterns for further investigation. These automated responses enable companies to quickly mitigate risks, often before they escalate into security incidents.

Real-world risk scenarios that DSPM helps solve include:

  • During an on-premise database migration, a data leak is shared with an unauthorized third party. DSPM identifies the database as containing PII. It takes and shares a snapshot, alerting the security team in real time so it can take appropriate steps.
  • Businesses that use Google Workspace regularly grant teams access for specific projects. If they forget to revoke the permission, it could give dozens of people access to PII. DSPM recognizes when a database with sensitive information has been shared and checks whether those permissions are still necessary.

DSPM for cloud environments ensures an organization’s data security management practices are consistently applied across on-premises and cloud-based data stores and align with the hybrid data storage strategies many businesses now use. The system adapts to the dynamic nature of cloud services, providing scalable and flexible security management that’s in sync with cloud deployment models.

Key Components of DSPM

DSPM comprises many parts that collectively form a framework for safeguarding data across different environments. These elements are essential for organizations looking to enhance their data security measures effectively:

  • Data discovery and classification involves identifying and categorizing data across digital assets. It distinguishes between sensitive and non-sensitive data, enabling targeted security measures for data that requires higher protection levels. Automated tools scan and tag data based on predefined benchmarks like PII, financial records, and intellectual property.
  • Risk assessment evaluates the potential for data breaches, leaks, or unauthorized access. It uses factors such as data sensitivity, access patterns, and compliance requirements to prioritize security efforts, focusing on the most critical vulnerabilities.
  • Policy management, including the creation and enforcement of data security policies, dictates how data should be handled, accessed, and protected based on its classification and associated risks. It ensures consistent application of security measures across the organization, aligning with regulatory compliance and industry best practices.
  • Access controls and identity management involves implementing strict access controls and identity verification processes to ensure only authorized personnel can access sensitive data, thereby reducing the risk of insider threats and unauthorized data exposure.
  • Continuous monitoring and analytics of data access and usage patterns is critical for identifying potential security incidents. DSPM solutions use advanced analytics to detect anomalies, including unusual access patterns or data movements, which could signal security threats.
  • Rapid incident response and remediation quickly isolate affected systems, mitigating vulnerabilities and implementing corrective actions to prevent future incidents.
  • Compliance management ensures an organization’s data handling practices meet legal and industry requirements, reducing the risk of compliance-related issues.

Together, these components create a holistic approach to managing and securing data, enabling organizations to maintain a robust data security posture in an ever-changing digital landscape.

Effective Database Security Management

Database security management (DSM) focuses on protecting and securing databases against unauthorized access, misuse, or theft. Integrating DSM into your DSPM strategy bolsters your organization’s ability to safeguard its data through strict access controls, encryption, and routine monitoring and vulnerability assessments. You’re able to ensure your company’s databases significantly contribute to the resilience and reliability of your data protection efforts.

In essence, DSPM is a critical investment in the future of data security, ensuring organizations are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of the digital age while safeguarding their most valuable assets. AI-powered Velotix helps companies secure data in the cloud, ensuring their DSPM is a formidable defense against existing, emerging, and future threats.