CSPM vs SSPM: Understanding the differences

We compare CSPM and SSPM so you can get an overview of how they work and what to consider before and after implementing them.

08-06-2023 - 5 minute read. Posted in: tips.

CSPM vs SSPM: Understanding the differences

Cloud security has become a critical concern for organizations that have adopted cloud-based services. In response to this growing need, two new security management approaches have emerged: Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) and SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM). In this article, we’ll provide a comparison of the two security tools and discuss the tradeoffs involved in balancing different factors.

CSPM and SSPM in short

CSPM and SSPM are two cloud security management approaches that aim to ensure the security and compliance of cloud-based services.

CSPM is an abbreviation for Cloud Security Posture Management and is in short about quality assurance of your cloud storage - similar to your normal assessment of your security posture. When you assess your cybersecurity posture, you often check which possible entrances and vulnerabilities there might be for the hacker to exploit.

CSPM detects vulnerabilities in your cloud storage including localizing it in the infrastructure. So when an organization uses CSPM they minimize the risk of being a victim of cyberattacks. Some solutions work by manually checking vulnerabilities while CSPM uses machine learning. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but CSPM makes the job a lot easier for the IT department.

SSPM is an abbreviation of SaaS Security Posture Management and is, as CSPM, a security assessment of an online service - in this case, it is a security posture management of SaaS. SaaS is a ‘subscription’ service, where you purchase software from an external provider.

SSPM should increase focus on your cybersecurity when you’re online; it provides tools and automated solutions that enhance security controls, security management and helps you detect and respond to potential threats.

CSPM and SSPM compared

If we take a closer look at the two types of security posture management, there are several points to unfold:

  1. CSPM focuses on the monitoring and management of the cloud-based resources you use at work, whereas SSPM focuses on monitoring and managing the SaaS-based software you incorporate in your work.

  2. CSPM and SSPM rely on automated tools to scan and analyze cloud configurations. The level of automation impacts the speed and accuracy of the approach in identifying security and compliance issues.

  3. CSPM and SSPM can integrate with other cloud security and compliance tools. The level of integration impacts the ease of use and effectiveness of the approach in identifying and resolving security and compliance issues.

  4. CSPM and SSPM offer customization options that allow organizations to tailor the approach to their specific needs. Depending on which service your organization use, the level of customization varies. Many cloud-based services are fixed by the providers - if you use SaaS instead, you can enter into a conversation with the service provider and have a better chance at customization of your software.

Better together

When looking at the two security posture managements it can be a bit difficult to see the obvious elements that distinguish the two. CSPM focuses on cloud-based software and storage. SSPM has its base at the external service provider, who hosts the software to your organization.

Implementing CSPM and SSPM to your organization are essential to attain a stable and strong cybersecurity. When you use several SaaS, you put your company at risk by not using a SSPM - the same goes for the use of cloud storage and not using CSPM.

CSPM helps identifying an organization’s misconfigured networks as well as detecting data risks and managing the cloud environment. SSPM allows organizations to identify compromised networks as well as managing third party apps, users and complying with general security standards.

When implementing both security tools, your company is covered on all fronts: by securing your cloud drive and your SaaS-services, you make it a lot more difficult for hackers to compromise your data and data security.

Facing the challenges

There are various challenges associated with CSPM and SSPM. For example, both approaches require significant expertise and resources to implement and maintain effectively. Additionally, both security tools may produce a large number of false positives, implying that your organization needs to prioritize resources to ensure that CSPM and SSPM are doing their job. Therefore, it's crucial to consider the challenges associated with different approaches when making decisions about CSPM and SSPM.

When deciding how to implement CSPM and SSPM, it's essential to consider the potential impact on the organization. CSPM and SSPM can provide significant benefits, including improved security and compliance posture, but they also require significant time and resources to implement and maintain effectively. Therefore, it's a good idea to take appropriate measures to ensure that when you implement CSPM and SSPM it has a positive impact on the organization.

CSPM and SSPM are two cloud security management approaches that can help organizations ensure the security of cloud-based services. The key factors impacting CSPM and SSPM include the scope of coverage, automation, integration, and customization. Balancing these factors can be challenging, and it's crucial to consider the impact when making decisions about these approaches. Implementing CSPM and SSPM requires significant attention and resources, but they can provide significant benefits to organizations that adopt them.

Author Caroline Preisler

Caroline Preisler

Caroline is a copywriter here at Moxso beside her education. She is doing her Master's in English and specializes in translation and the psychology of language. Both fields deal with communication between people and how to create a common understanding - these elements are incorporated into the copywriting work she does here at Moxso.

View all posts by Caroline Preisler

Similar posts