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Data Protection vs. CSPM: Which Takes Priority?

December 20, 2023 No Comments

by Uzair Nazeer

In the face of escalating cloud security threats and the potential risks associated with improperly configured public cloud services, organizations are increasingly seeking effective solutions to safeguard their data and cloud environments. Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) emerges as a critical tool in this endeavor, providing comprehensive risk assessment, visualization, and incident response capabilities.

On the other hand, data protection focuses on preserving the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive information, an essential aspect of enterprise security. It encompasses a range of measures, including strict access controls and robust encryption techniques, to mitigate the ever-present threats of data manipulation, unauthorized disclosure, and illegal access.

While both data protection and CSPM play crucial roles in a holistic cybersecurity strategy, they address distinct aspects of security, each contributing to a comprehensive defense posture. In this article, we will explore what CSPM and data protection are and which one should be used and prioritized.

What is Cloud Security Posture Management?

CSPM is a market category for IT security products that identify cloud misconfiguration issues and compliance threats. With the help of CSPM, cloud infrastructure is continually checked for weaknesses in the application of security policies.

With CSPM tools, you can see the cloud infrastructure layer by extracting metadata through the cloud provider’s API. CSPM controls usually deal with infrastructure-related operational tasks, including ensuring that multi-factor authentication (MFA) has been implemented on a vital system or that the encryption keys are cycled correctly and on a regular basis. Additionally, CSPM systems report and recommend against using account settings for IDs, etc., that are too liberal. 

How Does CSPM Compare to DSPM?

Understanding the nuances of DSPM vs. CSPM is crucial for organizations aiming to fortify their data security and cloud infrastructure. Data security posture management, or DSPM, refers to a collection of processes and technologies that are used to analyze, monitor, and decrease the risk associated with data stored in cloud data storage, with an emphasis on multi-cloud systems.

On the other hand, the focus of CSPM is cloud infrastructure and service security. While CSPM focuses on protecting the cloud environment, DSPM protects data wherever it is located.

What is Data Protection?

The process of protecting sensitive data against loss, alteration, or corruption is known as data protection. Since data is being produced and stored at previously unheard-of speeds, data protection is becoming more and more important.

Today, data is used freely by developers on the cloud. Although this is a boon for most organizations, it leaves a security hole because as data grows, security is typically not given the attention it deserves. Security teams must ensure that controls are stringent in this new world of cloud operations without obstructing developers and data scientists from data access, which is essential for business innovation.

Implementing CSPM

The CSPM deployment strategy used by your organization will be distinct due to a variety of factors, including your size, industry, cloud footprint, and more. However, this is how a typical installation process might go, with an efficient CSPM system assisting you:

Establishing Policies: Creating and executing security rules that are in line with your organization’s standards and compliance requirements, as well as your cloud services, roles, and responsibilities.

Scanning Automatically: By constantly checking your environment for errors, flaws, and policy violations in real time, you can take proactive steps to reduce risk.

CSPM Integration with DevOps Workflows: To ensure that CSPM is more than simply an unwanted bottleneck, include it in change management and other stages of the development life cycle.

Implementing Data Protection

Implementing a strong data security scheme reduces the amount of sensitive information you leave behind and aids in keeping regulated and mission-critical data safe from hackers. In the event of a breach, a data protection program can assist in lessening its effects by safely recovering the compromised data. These steps will help you create an effective data protection program:

Decide Who Has Access to Information

Employees who require access to sensitive data in order to fulfill their duties should be the only ones granted access. Put requirements in place for authorization and authentication before granting access to certain data in order to guarantee this.

Automate the Process

It’s true that doing all of this manually would be challenging. Human error is unavoidable and can result in a mistake that exposes data. Therefore, it is important and beneficial to automate the process.

Data Protection vs. CSPM: Which One to Prioritize?

Despite their differences, data protection and CSPM also complement each other and shouldn’t be given preference over one another. Here are some key reasons for that:

The Importance of Data Protection

This constitutes guarding against data loss, corruption, and illegal access. Safeguarding data confidentiality, availability, and integrity are the primary objectives of having data protection in place. It covers tasks like backups, disaster recovery planning, data encryption, access restrictions, and compliance with data protection laws (such as GDPR or HIPAA).

In fact, one major aspect of a robust Cloud Security Posture Management is data protection. Data protection procedures are an essential component of any strong CSPM’s security plan. A strong Cloud Security Posture Management system includes encrypting data while it’s in transit and at rest, putting access restrictions in place, and regularly backing up your data.

The Importance of Cloud Security Posture Management

This is the general security and compliance stance of your cloud computing environment. It entails making certain that your cloud infrastructure is set up securely to mitigate vulnerabilities and reduce the possibility of data breaches. It entails setting up access controls and rules appropriately, monitoring for security risks, and configuring cloud services in accordance with the best practices.

Safe Cloud Security Posture Management is necessary for data protection. Your attempts to protect your data might be jeopardized if your cloud infrastructure is not secure. To safeguard your data, your cloud environment must be configured correctly. For example, sensitive data may be exposed if your cloud storage is not set up properly.


Data protection and CSPM should ultimately be prioritized based on a thorough risk assessment and an awareness of the particular conditions that apply to your organization. The two are frequently linked, and improved data protection is facilitated by robust Cloud Security Posture Management. Finding a middle ground between the two is frequently the best course of action, guaranteeing that data in the cloud environment is handled and stored safely in addition to being safeguarded.

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