CSPM vs CAASM: Beyond Traditional Cloud Security

Cloud Security Posture Management aka. CSPM market has been very busy with new tools and acquisitions over the years. Prominent security vendors like Palo Alto Networks invested billions of dollars and acquired many companies. According to research by MarketsandMarkets, just CSPM market is growing to become a 9billion$ business in the next five years. Based on what we have seen over the last ten years, increasing enterprise adoption in the cloud makes this a very reasonable target. We think the real question is, can the CSPM market cover modern stack enterprise expectations?

Is CSPM enough?

Solutions offered in the CSPM market strictly focus on catching misconfigurations that can cause security and compliance issues. Their approach has been answering a set of predefined questions. Manual creation of accounts and assets is rare in today's dynamic environments. Each user gets their accounts. Even small companies have a lot of moving parts on the cloud. Applications also get complex, and the checks can’t catch all the required threads in time. Daily inspections aren’t fast enough for critical vulnerabilities.

How does CAASM help?

Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management aka. CAASM is a new category defined by Gartner. Gartner says CAASM is an emerging technology that enables security teams to solve persistent asset visibility and vulnerability challenges.  The need was evident for a while, but Gartner put a name on it. At Resmo, we aim to revolutionize the cloud and modern stack tool asset observability and security offerings even beyond the cloud. We consider ourselves as one of the challengers in CAASM. 

But, how is CAASM different than CSPM? First, let’s make a definition.

CAASM tools use APIs to collect and see all assets in one place and give insights on security and compliance. Instead of focusing on just misconfiguration, this approach allows teams to set up custom controls (policies and alerts) and ask questions. Of course, not all vendors are flexible enough to match the user’s needs because collecting data in near real-time and getting the right insights requires solid engineering and hard work. Let’s dive a bit deeper and see five reasons companies should care about CAASM?

Complete visibility of all your assets to understand the entire attack surface

Companies are moving to the cloud rapidly and building their entire operations on Cloud providers and SaaS tools. Their modern includes multiple cloud providers and many many SaaS tools. Every user, every repository, every bucket, every resource/asset quickly accumulates technical depth and becomes a source of vulnerabilities. In these complex environments, static checks can’t catch all the required threads in time. Detecting misconfigurations is just a piece of the puzzle. If teams don’t have all parts, they can’t see the big picture. Eventually, leave key insights undiscovered.

Teams responsible for security have a hard time getting visibility into changes made in Cloud and SaaS tools across the company. CAASM tools consolidate assets created in different sources and sync them in one place using their APIs. This approach gives security teams complete visibility on their entire modern attack surface.

Query against consolidated assets and their changes

Getting everything in place is fantastic, but do you know what is better? Ability to query all these assets and their changes. 

Context is everything. Extracting insights and getting answers to your questions are only possible when both data and a powerful querying engine come together.

There are many security questions to ask, but historically tools only allowed certain types of data to be queried, in a limited way. CAASM aims to offer flexible, more powerful querying capabilities to enable users to extract the information they need.

Identify critical vulnerabilities and compliance issues

When the correct data and querying capabilities are in place, possibilities are limitless. But the problem is there are many questions to ask. It’s impossible to set up the right policies and alerts by yourself. Engineers spend a lot of time and effort setting up and maintaining them. That’s why CAASM solutions offer out-of-the-box security and compliance checks. Compliance is also a key concern, and asset data has a lot of critical information to automate compliance framework audits like SOC2.

Proactive security incident response

The problem with many Cloud security solutions is the timing of learning about a vulnerability. APIs allow CAASM tools to receive changes promptly. For example, Resmo integrates with APIs and gets updates at short intervals. When tools offer webhook integration, changes come in near-real-time, giving security teams the ability to take actions rapidly. This data often includes the actor, person, or automation, making the change, making the recovery process much more manageable. Proactive security incident response is only possible with near real-time and rich data.

CAASM will change Security and Compliance for the better

CAASM is what modern teams need for Cloud, and its surrounding ecosystem needs more importantly. It’s time to stop doing statics checks and understands the reason behind a change, and approach security and compliance proactively.