SSPM, short for “SaaS Security Posture Management,” is the continuous monitoring of cloud-based SaaS applications automatically. With it, companies can minimize misconfigurations in programs, including Slack, Salesforce, and Microsoft 365. That helps security and IT teams ensure compliance.

SSPM can prevent credential theft, network performance issues, and malware infection targeting SaaS applications.

Other interesting terms…

Read More about “SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM)”

Before going into the nitty-gritty, let’s tackle the basics first. That means breaking down the components that comprise SSPM.

SSPM Definition Components

SSPM has three primary definition components—SaaS, security posture, and management.

What Is SaaS?

SaaS, short for “software-as-a-service,” is a means of delivering applications as a service over the Internet. Users access the program online instead of installing and maintaining it. That frees them from making the software work with their hardware, which could become complicated, especially for not-so-tech-savvy users.

What Is Security Posture?

Security posture refers to how strong an organization is in terms of cybersecurity. It includes how well it can detect and respond to security threats.

What Is Management?

In this case, management refers to how a company configures its network components, specifically SaaS applications, to work with all connected devices and for individual users. In addition, it encompasses configuration, administration, and monitoring.

The SaaS application must work seamlessly with all devices and users. Specific users should be able to access their individual configurations tied to their profiles when they log in to the program. And the IT and security teams should be able to see what’s happening behind the software so they can act fast if issues (e.g., technical problems or cyber attacks) arise.

Now that we’ve done that, you can hopefully understand SSPM better.

What Are the Elements That Comprise SaaS Security Posture Management?

SSPM has four elements—visibility, policies, alerts, and remediation. Let’s define each below.

  • Visibility: This refers to staying on top of the security posture of all the SaaS applications an organization uses.
  • Policies: These should be compared with industry best practices and tested against standards to ensure they can minimize risks for the company.
  • Alerts: These should notify the IT and security teams about issues, such as misconfigurations and access control failures, as they arise.
  • Remediation: This includes recommendations and guidelines that should make threat resolution or technical configuration a breeze for security and IT teams.

How Does SSPM Work?

SSPM brings SaaS applications to a point where their security meets regulatory compliance standards. Organizations can do that by:

  1. Setting up the compliance rules
  2. Identifying possible SaaS application issues or misconfigurations
  3. Assessing risks
  4. Fixing the problems
How Does SSPM Work

What Are the Benefits of SSPM?

Early on, we said that SSPM simplifies configuration and ensures security. Specifically, it provides the following advantages:

  • Simplifies compliance management: Organizations typically use several SaaS applications and comply with various regulations simultaneously. Setting up compliance rules to issue notifications when issues arise simplifies compliance management.
  • Prevents cloud misconfigurations: Many data breaches often stem from botched cloud application settings. SSPM can tell you instantly if changes that have been made to a program still work with the compliance rules an organization has in place.
  • Detects overly permissive settings: Part of ensuring security is to control who has access to what. SSPM evaluates user permissions automatically, and issues alerts when anyone oversteps their boundaries. That ensures only those authorized can access SaaS applications at their designated levels.
  • Detects vulnerabilities: Any misconfiguration can lead to weaknesses in network security. SSPM helps with vulnerability detection, and once the gap is identified, it can be addressed, preventing exploitation.
  • Hastens incident response: Because security teams instantly get alerted to issues, they can respond to attacks as fast as possible.

SSPM doesn’t involve IT and security teams as much as on-premises installed software because the SaaS application provider takes care of most of the users’ technical needs. Instead, the in-house administrators will have to pick the regulations they need to comply with and each user’s access level to ensure security.

SSPM is, as you’ve seen, a faster way of handling security and compliance regarding SaaS applications.

Key Takeaways

  • SSPM, short for “SaaS Security Posture Management,” is the continuous monitoring of cloud-based SaaS applications automatically.
  • SSPM involves visibility, policies, alerts, and remediation.
  • SSPM simplifies compliance management, prevents cloud misconfigurations, detects overly permissive settings, and more.