Kristin has over 15 years’ experience in marketing, holding various positions in product marketing, global programs and customer retention. She has spent most of her tenure in cyber security and has a bachelor’s degree from Rowan University and a Master’s from the University of Westminster in London.

In this exclusive Cyber Talk interview, Kristin Manogue discusses cloud security posture management (CSPM) and how to assertively pursue stronger cloud security results.

Tell us about what you’ve seen in regards to cloud threats lately:

Applications continue to be a major vulnerability. While open source, API and containers are vital tools for software development, they are creating a labyrinth of complexity for security experts within today’s organizations.

How should enterprises view cloud security posture management solutions?

In short, a cloud posture management solution monitors cloud infrastructure for gaps in security policy enforcement, identifying misconfiguration issues and compliance risks. In today’s threat landscape that’s not enough. I would encourage companies to look for a CSPM platform that is fully integrated into a larger cloud native security portfolio, offering application/workload protection and threat intelligence. Both security experts and developers need a strategy that doesn’t hinder work productivity, but still improves application security.

What are key considerations for evaluating a cloud security posture management solution?

It’s essential that a CSPM solution integrates into the DevOps process, combining scans to improve visibility, and validate and prioritize findings early on, so there are no surprises in the testing phase.  A good solution will provide a near real-time scanning cadence and automatic inclusion of all discovered assets in the scan coverage.  Bring developers into the evaluation process to ensure that potential solution includes out-of-the-box integrations with popular CI/CD tools and also includes APIs to create custom integrations.

Aside from SHIFTLEFT capabilities and continuous asset discovery, some other key areas to evaluate include:

  • Continuous compliance that keeps up with high-velocity CI/CD pipelines, ephemeral workloads, and the highly elastic nature of public cloud infrastructure.  Make sure offering provides a complete range of out-of-the-box and always up-to-date compliance frameworks, such as SOXPCIHIPAA, and GDPR, as well as cyber security and compliance best practices, such as CIS Controls™ and CIS Benchmarks
  • Easy rule creation: Even with a library of pre-built rules, you will still require a way to easily customize requirements to your organization’s unique needs. Take notice that the system dynamically translates governance requirements into error-free, easy-to-understand rules that are automatically applied in a consistent manner across all infrastructures
  • Context-aware, enriched asset visualizations of all resources connected to the network and the relationships among them, for inspecting, detecting, and fixing misconfigurations. These should be actionable, providing clear situational awareness including auto-classification of high-risk assets, real-time topology, and visual tracking of traffic flow and user actions

Can you share a bit about integrating CSPM platforms into multi-cloud environments?

Organizations today must be able to take advantage of all the business enablers each cloud service provider offers, but this creates a severe lack of visibility and control. Each cloud vendor has their own set of processes and tools, making it impossible to streamline and manage these multi-cloud environments.  By incorporating cloud posture management you can provide an overlay or single pane of glass that connects and protects the entire cloud infrastructure.

What types of cloud computing and/or cloud security innovations would you recommend that C-levels continue to keep an eye on?

We all recognize that organizations are supporting the largest remote workforce than at any other point in time. Reevaluate your security plan and make sure you are incorporating a Zero Trust model. Cloud workloads quickly multiply without any oversight or formal governance of cloud platform credentials and configuration settings. This has increased the number and complexity of cloud entitlements. These entitlements contain many user permissions in a range of infrastructure systems and business applications. Enlist in a CSPM solution that includes, cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM) to ensure privileged accounts and entitlements across all cloud environments are consistently managed and assigned following the principle of least privilege

Anything else that you wish to share with the Cyber Talk audience?

We are still in the early days of cloud…even now.  Partner with well-established organizations that have the experience and history when it comes to cyber security.  They not only have the resources, knowledge and experts that span the globe, but most likely have a larger portfolio offering to see you into the future.