SSPM: Security levels and management

Storage and software is online, but how do you secure your data when it's not local? Here you can read about the SSPM to help with security.

12-05-2023 - 6 minute read. Posted in: tips.

SSPM: Security levels and management

SaaS is a common feature that more and more companies are using. It is software that is offered online, so software and programs are not located locally, but remotely. Therefore, you must also have increased security, in addition to a thorough awareness training, as it can be easier to access external software located in the cloud. That's why we have SSPM.

An overview of SSPM

There are many technical terms in play when it comes to SSPM. SSPM stands for SaaS Security Posture Management and is equivalent to CSPM, which is a quality assurance of the security level in the cloud-based storage.

To get a better understanding of SSPM, you can advantageously break down the abbreviations to get an overview of what it entails.

SaaS, which is the first part of SSPM, is an abbreviation of Software as a Service, which is essentially a "subscription" solution for software. Each service provider holds the software itself, which companies as well as private individuals can "subscribe" to and have the software sent to them, so that they do not have to sit with hard disks with the software on them. So, SaaS is cloud-based.

The last three letters of SSPM, Security Posture Management, relate to quality assurance of the security level of a particular service - in this case SaaS.

SSPM offers tools and automated solutions for improved security in SaaS - and makes it more visible in the SaaS servers. This will increase focus on improved security on the internet and in the online servers many people use. SSPM will thus help to make it even easier and more secure to use SaaS.

Some of the things that SSPM covers include the following aspects of SaaS security:

  • Security controls: By creating end-to-end security controls, you can protect your organization from internal and external cyber-attacks.
  • Security management: By making various tools available to employees and the company, you can establish, update and optimize security policies that can be used in the fight against the cyber threat.
  • Detection and response: By detecting threats, mitigating incidents and recovering from cyber attacks, businesses can become stronger and learn from incidents.

What is an SSPM security level quality assurance?

SaaS security procedures and tools should help organizations secure company information and data. This also involves user security in "as a service" products that a company subscribes to.

SaaS often contains large amounts of data - not least sensitive personal data. And because SaaS allows many different users to access cloud storage and software, it poses a security risk to sensitive personal data.

While security departments as well as IT departments are familiar with various tools and procedures to protect IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service), there are slightly different approaches they need to take to SaaS security procedures.

Different SaaS programs have different purposes for individual companies and departments. In addition, several companies use many different SaaS programs, each with different security infrastructures - this makes quality assurance of the security level complex, as there are many systems that need to be in order for security to be top notch.

A quality assurance of the security level in SaaS is thus an in-depth review of the security measures in the systems. This is to ensure that there are no gaps in SaaS where hackers can penetrate the software and thus compromise the software.

Why focus on SSPM?

There are many enterprise systems that are being transferred to SaaS. It is easily accessible to everyone and because it is often in a web browser, it is easier to keep up to date.

SSPM can address the following issues in a company by constantly assessing security risks - it can manage the security of SaaS programs:

  • Complex configurations: In modern SaaS applications, there are hundreds of different configurations that handle sensitive activity. For example, file sharing via Google Workspace, accessing customer data in Salesforce or recording video meetings on Zoom. Relying on the default settings of the programs is not the safest option.
  • Many different programs: As mentioned, there are many different programs, and those programs often use individual configurations and ways in which each app works with, for example, file sharing. Therefore, IT departments need to have an understanding of how each program works and what they offer, as well as how the settings in specific programs can affect the level of security.
  • Multiple interfaces: The configurations are typically found in many layers of security settings. Security and IT departments must be familiar with the security features available in each program and also be able to find them easily and quickly in the program settings.
  • Checking configurations: An important part of enhanced security is reviewing and checking the security configurations. This should be done frequently, as security decreases the longer the time between security checks. This ensures that there are no misconfigurations in the systems.

SSPM works by having specified settings for each program. If you can restrict who can do what in the programs, you can have an overview of how employees are behaving in the programs - and if someone is trying to use functions they don't have access to.

SSPM can also identify specific security risks that could lead to data breaches or privacy violations.

Benefits of SSPM

Some of the key features and benefits that SSPM should support:

  • 24/7 monitoring: With constant monitoring, you can stay updated on security breaches as they happen.
  • Programs: SSPM ensures that you can easily and quickly implement enhanced security in different programs that the company uses. This can be meeting programs, HR and management programs, marketing platforms, messaging programs, etc.
  • Remediation: SSPM should help with remediation of programs and the security around these.
  • Built-in security points: By having different security points that need to be checked on a regular basis, you can create a routine around the security standards in a company.

In addition to using SSPM for the above, there are various best practices in the use of SSPM, which should optimize the use and security of the programs.

One of the most important things you can do to improve the quality of the security level is to encrypt the data the company processes. When the data is in the cloud, there is a risk that unauthorized persons can access it if they are skilled enough. Therefore, it is a good procedure to encrypt it so that only the right people can see and read the files.

Furthermore, you can introduce a security control that restricts access conditions - i.e. introduce access control. This can be done by, among other things, having identity and access management (IAM) - you must identify yourself when you log on, so that there is control over who logs on to the server.

Finally, it's useful to have control over which files are shared externally, i.e. outside of cloud drives and web applications. If you know who can access files and software externally, you can also narrow down the reasons for any data breaches.

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

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