Data Security and Cloud Security: A Unified Approach to Posture Management

Data Security and Cloud Security

In today's world, data is used to power our businesses, our governments, and our lives. And with so much data comes a lot of responsibility. We need to make sure that the data entrusted to us is safe and secure, both from external threats and from internal errors. This is where data security comes in, which is all about protecting data from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, and destruction.

At the same time, how we store, handle, and access data has been changed by cloud technology, and protecting your data and apps in a cloud environment is known as cloud security. 

In this blog post, we will explore data security and cloud security, along with their similarities and differences in detail. Furthermore, we will also learn how they offer the convenience of accessing data easily but without compromising the quality of the data.

DSPM and CSPM, Same, but Different?

Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) and Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) are two closely related concepts that are essential for protecting sensitive information. The protection of data from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, alteration, and destruction is called data security. The term "cloud security" describes the preventive measures taken to safeguard data kept on a remote server accessed through the internet.

For companies of all sizes, data security and cloud security are both crucial. Data breaches may have disastrous effects on businesses, including monetary loss, damage to reputation, and even legal action. Businesses that keep sensitive data on the cloud, such as financial information, customer data, or intellectual property, should pay particular attention to cloud security.

If you’re ever feeling confused about DSPM vs CSPM, remember that CSPM seeks to improve the infrastructure concerning cloud security, whereas DSPM uses context-aware strategies to provide visibility and security to the data hosted on the cloud.

How Do DSPM and CSPM Work?

DSPM and CSPM Work
Source: Zscaler
Before trying to understand how DSPM and CSPM work, the important question that needs to be asked is “Where is my data?”. This is because unless we know where and how our data is stored, it is not possible to visualize the data flow and nor the flaws in the existing system. So, better visibility is the first step to securing data.

How Does DSPM Work?

DSPM is a three-step process. It begins by determining where the data is located and analyzing its content. Next, it detects which datasets are at risk and prioritizes the order of remediation by mapping user access to specific datasets. Thereafter, it creates a lineage for data tracking to identify where the data came from and who had access when the data inflow occurred. The final step is to remediate the vulnerabilities and apply data security practices to close the loophole in the security.

The implementation of DSPM is quite abstract. There’s no one fixed path or sequence of steps for the implementation because it mainly emphasizes on visibility and there are multiple ways with which the data visibility can be enhanced. On the other hand, the implementation of CSPM is relatively more concrete and the sequence of actions is ordered, i.e., scanning for vulnerabilities, flagging the potential risks, etc.

How CSPM Works

CSPM scans and examines SaaS, PaaS, and other cloud services at regular intervals, and the frequency of these scans varies depending on the CSPM solution that is implemented. The main objective of such scans is to identify vulnerabilities, security misconfiguration, and potential compliance breaches. If any threats exist, alerts are sent to the security teams. All this information is usually broadcasted using interactive UI dashboards.

Taking a Unified Approach to Posture Management for Data and Cloud Security

Now that we’ve understood data and cloud security, let us try to incorporate our understanding into taking a unified approach to posture management. Taking a unified approach simply means integrating security policies and methods that cover both DSPM and CSPM.

Since DSPM and CSPM are closely related, taking a unified approach typically blurs the line of differentiation, and it should be totally fine to do so. Here are some proven ways of realizing the unified approach.

  • Holistic Security Strategy: Create a thorough security plan that takes data and cloud security into account. The plan should be in line with the overall business goals and risk tolerance of the organization. It needs to take into account the particular difficulties and needs of protecting data in cloud environments.
  • Clustering the Data: Data needs to be segregated based on its regulatory requirements. This would further help in applying the right set of access controls to the appropriate data, regardless of whether it is stored on-premises or on the cloud.
  • Applying Common Security Controls: While specific data might require fine-grained security controls, it is also good to have a common security strategy across both environments that acts as an additional layer of security.
  • Using a Centralized Management System: To monitor and manage security across both data and cloud environments, use a centralized management platform. This makes it possible to quickly respond to security problems and to have a consistent view of the security posture.
  • Frequent Audits and Assessments: To examine the efficiency of the unified security measures, conduct routine audits and assessments. For both data and cloud-based environments, this includes penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, and compliance audits.
  • Monitoring, Logging, and Incident Response: Implement regular evaluations of the cloud and data infrastructures to promptly detect security incidents. Establish a clear incident response strategy so you can deal with security breaches quickly and effectively.
  • Improvements and Miscellaneous: Strive to continuously update unification strategies and your approach to security with the latest industry trends and standards. In addition, as a rule of thumb, it is also advisable to educate employees about the unified approach and their role in maintaining data and cloud security. To ensure that everyone is actively supporting a good security posture, cultivate a culture that is security conscious.


Organizations continuously expand and upgrade their cloud infrastructure as they grow. Just like people misplace household items when moving, it is very much possible for enterprises to misplace their data or configurations during the migration. Hence, DSPM in conjunction with CSPM gives a clear visibility of data and their states so that the migration is performed seamlessly and, most importantly, without suffering data loss or compromising on security controls.

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