So, your cloud subscriptions were on point and, thanks to them, your business plans are shaping up nicely. But you know your cloud-native business must be secured. There are too many financial and legal risks of not doing so.
Previously, we explained how cloud security posture management (CSPM) secures your cloud usage. We showed what capabilities to look for in CSPM tools. In this guide, we’ll explain nine factors you can use to select the best cloud security posture management vendors.
1. Abundant Security Experience
A good vendor’s management and engineers should have considerable experience in cybersecurity management. They should have proven experience in vital security tasks like threat detection and incident response following data breaches.
2. Deep Expertise in Cloud Security
The cloud computing landscape is already complex and grows more complex every year:
- Public clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform regularly introduce new infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. Each cloud provider has special security policies. Each cloud configuration has unique security implications.
- Some organizations prefer multi-cloud environments for high availability and disaster recovery. Others prefer hybrid clouds that mix cloud assets with on-premises assets.
- A lot of enterprise data processing has moved permanently to the cloud. Processing technologies like Kubernetes and serverless computing have become popular. Each has its particular security nuances.
To manage all this complexity and protect your sensitive data, vendors offer security tools like cloud security posture management, cloud access security broker (CASB), and cloud workload protection platform (CWPP).
A capable vendor should be proficient in all these cloud platforms, their security policies, and security solutions.
3. In-Depth Understanding of SaaS Security
Many organizations are using SaaS applications to get their business plans up and running as quickly as possible. Misconfigurations in their settings can open up security vulnerabilities that threat actors may exploit. Unfortunately, end users are unlikely to know about such consequences until it’s too late.
An important reason to use a CSPM security platform is to identify cloud misconfigurations as soon as they occur. Your vendor’s engineers should have deep familiarity with the SaaS applications you use. They should identify possible misconfigurations and analyze their security consequences. They should know how to apply automation in the detection and remediation of vulnerabilities to protect your cloud data at all times.
4. Follows Security Best Practices
You should thoroughly check the security of your vendor’s organization and cloud platform. You are granting administrator-level access to their CSPM solution and employees in the hope that your security risks will reduce. That level of access to your systems can easily become your biggest security risk if it falls in the wrong hands. You should ensure that their service never compromises or reduces your security level.
Ask your vendors these questions:
- Are they following security frameworks designed by organizations like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Cloud Security Alliance?
- Do their processes adhere to the CIS critical security controls?
- Do they have robust risk management and security assessments in place?
5. Implements Security Compliance Programs
Closely related to the best practices is a vendor’s continuous compliance with security and regulatory standards. There are two reasons to check that a vendor is compliant:
- They certify, through independent audits, that the vendor follows security and privacy best practices.
- Your organization’s compliance audits may be affected by a vendor’s lack of compliance.
Look for compliance with the following general or industry-specific standards:
- ISO 27001
- Service Organization Control 2 (SOC 2) Type 1 and Type 2 reports (type 1 certifies security practices at a point in time while type 2 certifies it over a period)
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS)
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
6. Employee Proficiency
The effectiveness of the vendor’s CSPM tools depends on how proficient its security engineers are. You can assess them from their work experiences and their security certifications like:
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
- GIAC Security Expert (GSE)
- CompTIA Security+, Cloud+, cloud security analyst (CySA+), or advanced security practitioner (CASP+)
7. Transparency and Flexibility
Your main goal behind purchasing security solutions should be to help your security teams improve your organization’s cybersecurity and reduce your security risks. You can’t do that if you keep the dialogue only between your management and the vendor’s sales team.
Your security teams must be included in the process. They should get demos of the solution’s capabilities, and they should get to ask questions and receive clear answers from vendors. Ideally, they should be able to test-drive all the features. If there are limitations, the vendor should be ready to address them.
If a vendor seems cagey about their solution’s capabilities, treat it as a red flag. It may have limitations that hamper your security teams.
8. Offers High Quality of Service
Check the vendor’s promised quality of service levels and legal obligations. If your cloud infrastructure faces a cyberattack, you need to ensure that:
- Your downtime is minimized.
- The vendor’s cloud security posture management tools remain available, protecting all your cloud resources and cloud applications.
9. Provides Suitable Pricing Plans
Most CSPM vendors follow one of two subscription models — a fixed fee or a pay-per-use fee. A fixed fee subscription provides a set of features for all your cloud resources. In contrast, a pay-per-use plan is proportional to the number of cloud resources and features your organization uses.
Work out your current and future costs under both models after consulting your security teams and operations people. Select the one that works best for your organization.
Choose ThreatKey as Your Cloud Security Posture Management Vendor
Given the number of choices, selecting a great CSPM vendor isn’t simple. But breaking the problem down into measurable factors like cloud security expertise, level of compliance, service level, costs, and so on gives you a useful rubric to objectively evaluate your choices.
Here’s why we think you should make ThreatKey your CSPM vendor:
- Experience: We've built and run security programs on a global scale. This experience has given us unparalleled insight into the tools and tactics used by security teams at some of the largest tech companies.
- Deep knowledge of SaaS security: ThreatKey security professionals have extensive insights into the security of popular SaaS apps. We support office suites like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. We secure your communication tools like Zoom and Slack. Also, we have deep insights into Salesforce security, and we protect your storage services like Box. If you’re a software company, we secure your DevOps flows involving GitHub and your PaaS platforms like Okta.
- Flexibility: Don't see a SaaS you need? Request support for your favorite SaaS.
- User experience: ThreatKey engineers have firsthand experience of false positives and alert fatigue. We ensure that our service surfaces only confirmed security issues and policy violations in real-time as they occur. Our dashboards enable visualization of all your threats and provide detailed actionable findings.
- Compliance programs: ThreatKey operates a SOC 2 Type 1 compliant cloud service.
- Certified engineers: ThreatKey’s proficient engineers have decades of combined security work experience between them. We hold a wide range of security certifications, including GIAC and CompTIA certifications.
- Transparency: We can’t wait to show your security teams what our platform can do! Request a demo. You can also test-drive ThreatKey for free.
- Pricing: We charge a simple subscription fee with no additional or variable costs.
Contact our sales team to learn more about our enterprise plan.
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