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DSPM (data security posture management) : What is it ? How does it work ? How can Trout Software help you with DSPM ?

Introduction :

In the modern business landscape, data plays a crucial role in determining value and informing decision-making. As companies adopt a diverse range of software and machines to meet their production and productivity needs, data is increasingly distributed across multiple systems, resulting in the emergence of multi cloud, hybrid IT architectures, and the rise of SaaS adoption.

However, this increased complexity and diversity also creates significant risks for organizations, including the multiplication of shadows IT and the potential for breaches that can result in data leaks.

What is DSPM ?

Gartner ’s DSPM definition describes a system which “provides visibility as to where sensitive data is, who has access to that data, how it has been used and what the security posture of the data store or application is”.

A DSPM system acts around four major pillars:

Know where your data is

To effectively protect your data, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of your data, where it is stored and how it moves across your infrastructure to safeguard sensitive information. Identifying unknown and hidden data in your systems is key to gaining a complete overview of your data inventory.

Using a Data Security and Privacy Management (DSPM) tool can assist you in scanning your IT systems and networks, detecting data in databases, file shares, cloud storage, and other locations.

Codify and monitor access control

Performing a comprehensive mapping of all data assets is a fundamental cybersecurity practice, and it is equally essential to map data access controls. Despite its apparent simplicity, the mapping process can be highly complex due to a company's diverse toolset, hierarchical structure, federated authentication...

In this regard, a DSPM solution coupled with a solid authentication and access control strategy can significantly strike the right balance between restricting data access and enabling the business needs. A properly implemented DSPM tool helps ensure that only designated personnel can access specific data, maintaining data confidentiality and integrity.

This cybersecurity measure ensures that the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data are maintained, thus mitigating the potential impact of security incidents on the organization's overall security posture.

Monitor access policies

Regularly monitoring and auditing access controls is crucial to ensuring effective detection and mitigation of potential security breaches. Automating data policy controls is essential for providing timely alerts to your team. Controls such as "a change in xyz role permissions" or "a role being used in an anomalous way" are extremely useful indicators that risky activity may be occurring.

To swiftly respond to detected threats, establish workflows to react to changes in access policies. Such measures can allow your organization to promptly respond to security incidents, minimizing their impact on your operations.

Assess and improve security posture

It is critical to recognize that data is continually evolving, and the goal of a best-in-class security team should be to enable the business. As such, it is imperative to conduct regular reviews and updates of your security posture to ensure that they remain current and effective. Drafting these audit processes should include elements such as frequency of audits, people involved in the audits, documentation of findings, audience to share the audit findings with.

How does DSPM work ?

DSPM definition

Data Security Posture Management, as the term implies, seeks to actively assist enterprises in developing and executing comprehensive strategies for reducing the risk of unauthorized data access and compromises. This involves continuously monitoring the security, usage, storage, sharing, and overall lifecycle of an organization's critical data assets across all systems and devices. By gaining visibility into how data is handled throughout the enterprise, Data Security Posture Management solutions help identify potential risks, ensure compliance with regulations, and enable proactive mitigation. Armed with this knowledge, organizations can make informed decisions about how best to safeguard their data, close security gaps, enforce data protection policies, and maintain good data governance practices overall.

DSPM tools

DSPM tools work by scanning your IT infrastructure to detect where sensitive data is stored and how it moves across systems. That process allows you to define your company processes around data access, before validating these processes via controls and audits over time. DPSM tools allow security teams to gain visibility into their data landscape, codify and enforce access control policies, monitor access activity, and regularly assess their overall security posture.

How Trout can help you with DSPM Security ?

Our goal at Trout Software is to allow security teams to access data across their infrastructure and automate controls, faster. Our solution - Security Hub - helps DSPM in a few ways:

Knowing what runs where

  • Start to scope data and its movement (we use Figma internally for this exercise, between the dev and security team)
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  • Connect datasources to Security Hub to explore what data we are talking about, and tag it using a traffic light protocol approach
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Control

  • Validate that the principle of least privilege is applied to each access policies (and flag the “expanding” roles and permissions). Manually looking at the policies, roles and what they map to is essential, and where Security Hub notebooks helps quickly get the data and filter for the relevant information.
  • Establish a benchmark of what is valid and automate controls. Security Hub scheduler allows you to automate your previous exploration and receive an alert if there is a departure from the norm.
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  • Once you receive an alert, quickly identifying the potential issue and passing the right context to other teams can be achieved through notebooks, and a nice balance of text and signals.
  • All these investigations should be centralized and indexed (the “value per bite” of these is higher than any signals or logs in a way). Security Hub nicely stores and indexes all detection responses so that your knowledge base gets better over time.

Technical innovation

In the field of DSPM, we think the following tech will have a profound impact:

  • On-demand normalization enables understanding data in real time and applying controls (e.g. “no external access to personally identifiable information”) or detection rules (e.g. “alert if more than 10 highly sensitive records are downloaded”) as needed.
  • Homomorphic encryption could significantly decrease the risk of data breaches and alleviate concerns about third-party access to confidential data.
  • Anomaly detection, scaling machine learning models looking at user behaviors and how the data is used will allow DSPM to bridge the gap between mapping access and detecting threats.

Conclusion

At Trout Software we strongly believe that a collaboration between dev, infra and security is a requirement to deploy a successful DSPM strategy, which strike the right balance between enabling and securing the business.

Looking to improve your Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) strategy? Check out our tool, Security Hub, and view our demo for more information on how it can benefit you.

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