Best CSPM Tools

As businesses increase their use of cloud-based services, they need to improve their understanding of security issues that can weaken those cloud systems

You might have heard of vulnerability managers, which look for security loopholes in your on-site systems. Cloud Security Posture Management is the equivalent of that security service for cloud resources.

CSPM tools focus on the settings of your cloud-based systems. The way you configure your cloud accounts can create opportunities for hackers. Sometimes, a security weakness is only present between services, for example in the ways they exchange data. With a CSPM tool, you can close off the vulnerabilities for each cloud service or group of cloud services.

Here is our list of the eight best CSPM tools:

  1. CrowdStrike Falcon Horizon CSPM (FREE TRIAL) This service is good for use to secure operational cloud systems and also produces controls to prevent developers from creating cloud security weaknesses. Register for the free trial.
  2. Datadog Cloud Security Posture Management This CSPM performs continuous scans of enrolled cloud assets, looking for configuration weaknesses and any settings changes that could indicate intruder activity. The service documents each scan and benchmarks results for compliance reporting.
  3. Palo Alto Prisma Cloud This service focuses on storage account settings and user access permissions, providing compliance reporting that is great for standards auditing.
  4. Check Point CloudGuard This platform combines workload protection and CSPM for both operations and development and can secure accounts across cloud platforms.
  5. BMC Helix Cloud Security This package includes automated remediation for the cloud configuration weaknesses that it discovers and also provides extensive documentation for compliance auditing.
  6. Zscaler Workload Posture This service includes an access rights management system as well as a CSPM service.
  7. Rapid7 InsightCloudSec This package includes CSPM with cloud workload protection and identity and access management plus thorough logging for compliance reporting.
  8. Sophos Cloud Optix This CSPM solution offers remediation guides for discovered configuration errors and documentation for compliance auditing.

As CSPM tools deal with cloud resources, you can expect that all of the systems that we discovered are cloud-based themselves. These security systems need to be able to cross platforms and examine multiple resources and how they operate. You need your CSPM tool to leave your cloud services in an operational state. They can be set to produce recommendations on settings rather than automatically making those changes.

CSPM tools don’t run rampant across your cloud systems. They thoroughly document all of their actions and movements. That documentation is important if you need to show standards compliance. One of the requirements of data protection standards, such as HIPAA and PCI DSS is to show that you have taken every reasonable step to protect data.

CSPM logs need to be stored because as well as proving compliance, they can be good sources of information on your total system and how different modules interact. Feeding that data through to your SIEM system can provide context to activities.

The Best CSPM tools

CSPM is a relatively new field in system security, so when looking for reliable systems, there isn’t much of a service history available for any of the available systems. So, looking for a provider with a good reputation becomes an important task.

What should you look for in a CSPM tool for your business?  

We reviewed the market for cloud security posture management systems and analyzed the tools based on the following criteria:

  • The ability to identify underlying services
  • Options for automated remediation
  • CSPM activity logging
  • Alerts on issue discovery
  • Alert trigger tuning
  • A free trial or a demo service for a no-cost assessment opportunity
  • Value for money that derives from a comprehensive tool that is delivered by a reputable security software provider

With these selection criteria in mind, we looked for strong CSPM tools that come from prestigious and respected suppliers.

The best CSPM Tools

You can read more about each of these options in the following sections.

1. CrowdStrike Falcon Horizon CSPM (FREE TRIAL)

CrowdStrike Falcon Horizon CSPM

CrowdStrike Falcon Horizon CSPM doesn’t just look for configuration weaknesses in cloud assets but searches for known targets of different hacker groups. This threat intelligence speeds up the detection of security loopholes.

Hackers like to reuse an attack strategy once they discover a weakness. They realize that they only have a narrow window of time before that weakness gets spotted and closed. They are right because CrowdStrike Horizon is onto them. As soon as an exploit is used on a resource run by one of their clients, all of their clients are hardened against it.

Key Features:

  • Operates continuously
  • Informed by threat intelligence
  • Easy to implement
  • Fast detection

The CrowdStrike system can perform an autodiscovery service once you register a could asset in the monitoring system. This will identify all of the supporting structures and check through the configurations of those systems as well as your primary assets.

The Horizon service will group the monitoring of assets on different cloud platforms into one dashboard. This is particularly useful if you use different services from different platforms in concert. The service can watch over virtual networks and containers as well as services on virtual servers.

Pros:

  • Unifies the monitoring of cloud assets across platforms
  • Includes the examination of virtual networks and containers
  • Implements compliance reporting
  • Provides remediation guides

Cons:

  • Doesn’t fix problems automatically

On the discovery of a security weakness, the CrowdStrike system will raise an alert. The tool also examines access rights and can assess your account structure in Azure AD. The system won’t fix a problem but will give you information on what needs to be done. Security experts in the CrowdStrike support team are also on and to give you advice on the tasks that need to be performed. You can register for a free trial of CrowdStrike Horizon CSPM.

CrowdStrike Horizon CSPM Access FREE Trial

2. Datadog Cloud Security Posture Management

Datadog Cloud Security Posture Management

Datadog Cloud Security Posture Management can be tailored to report for compliance to CIS, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR. This tool runs continuously and it can identify changes in the settings of cloud services, which could include changes made by the provider.

Key Features:

  • Easy to use
  • Pre-configured rules
  • Covers cloud platforms and containers
  • Alerts
  • Guided resolution

The Datadog CSPM tool can be used by security specialists who don’t have technical knowledge of managing computer systems because the interface offers visual methods to tailor the system that don’t require any programming skills to operate.

The package includes pre-written libraries of detection rules with options for tailoring for specific data protection standards. When a misconfiguration is discovered, the Datadog system generates an alert. This notification details the specific asset configuration that needs attention and how it should be changed to tighten security.

The findings of the CSPM tool are automatically logged and corrections are also recorded. This documentation is stored and kept available for compliance reporting.

Pros:

  • Designed for use by security specialists, not IT technicians
  • Screens that list checks on each asset
  • Cross-platform cloud management
  • Priced per host
  • Can be integrated with other Datadog security systems

Cons:

  • Doesn’t provide automated remediation

Datadog Cloud Security Posture Management is a subscription service and it can be combined with other Datadog security systems, such as its SIEM or its Cloud Workload Security package. You can get a 14-day free trial of this and any other Datadog module.

3. Palo Alto Prisma Cloud

Palo Alto Prisma Cloud

Palo Alto Prisma Cloud is a platform of security services for cloud assets and it includes a CSPM tool. Other modules available from the platform include Cloud Workload Protection for processes running on virtual servers, Cloud Network Security, Cloud Identity Security, and Cloud Code Security. Thus, by deploying the full combination of Prisma Cloud services, you can protect all of your cloud assets.

Key Features:

  • Unified security for multiple platforms
  • Tailored to compliance requirements
  • Easy to use

After enrolling all of your cloud assets in the monitoring service, you get continuous checks performed on their configurations. This extends to a drill down through to supporting cloud infrastructure. The Prisma Cloud service will also check through your access rights and permissions and produce recommendations for security tightening.

Pros:

  • Identifies out-of-bound risks
  • Provides solution recommendations
  • Documents findings and remediation

Cons:

  • No on-premises version

The Prisma Cloud system will raise an alert if it discovers a security weakness. However, it can also be set to automate certain tasks, which amount to a holding operation to close down exploits until you have the chance to get to the dashboard and make a decision about a permanent change. You can get a 15-day free trial of Prisma Cloud.

4. Check Point CloudGuard

Check Point CloudGuard

Check Point CloudGuard is an impressive cloud security system from one of the world’s leading cybersecurity providers. The CloudGuard platform includes a menu of cloud security services that includes a Cloud Security Posture Management module. The other units in the platform are Cloud Application Security, Cloud Workload Protection, Cloud Intelligence, and Threat Hunting, and Cloud Network Security and Threat Prevention.

The CSPM tool in the plan includes a continuous threat protection service that examines account takeover attempts and behavior anomalies. So, this is a combined service that provides threat detection as well as cloud security posture management.

Key Features:

  • Standards compliance
  • Access rights auditing
  • Permisisons management

The Check Point system is heavily geared toward compliance enforcement and it can be tailored to specific standards. The CloudGuard system will operate across platforms, identifying configuration management issues and raising alerts to draw your attention to those weaknesses.

Pros:

  • Coss-platform scanning
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Alerts for discovered weaknesses

Cons:

  • Doesn’t cover on-premises systems

The CloudGuard service can integrate into the major cloud platforms, such as AWS, GCP, and Azure, which enables it to automatically adjust settings and clean out abandoned accounts to keep your cloud assets shipshape. You can get a demo of the CloudGuard system.

5. BMC Helix Cloud Security

BMC Helix Cloud Security

BMC Helix Cloud Security is a comprehensive configuration scanner for AWS, GCP, and Azure services. The package includes automated remediation actions and it is easy to set up without the administrator needing any programming of operating system command-line utility knowledge.

This system can cover multiple accounts on different platforms in one security management service account. The system is also able to examine the settings and operations of containers.

Key Features:

  • Cross-platform supervision
  • Automated remediation
  • Cloud server security

As well as managing the settings of cloud resources, this system can observe the operations of computing accounts, such as AWS EC2, and Azure VMs. this makes the service a cloud workload protection system as well as a cloud security posture management tool.

The CSPM tool can be tuned to enforce specific data protection standards through the application of out-of-the-box templates for PCI DSS, CIS, and GDPR. On discovering a system configuration weakness, the tool will raise an alert, which can be channeled through ITSM systems as a ticket, or trigger a remediation playbook.

Pros:

  • Options over responses
  • Integrates with ITSM ticketing systems
  • Assess change impact

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include development testing

The BMC system is a reliable service from a strong, well-supported brand. You can get a 14-day free trial of BMC Helix Cloud Security.

6. Zscaler Workload Posture

Zscaler Workload Posture

Zscaler Workload Posture is provided by a major player in the SASE field so this tool can be combined with a virtualized network or secure application access controls to create a very secure combination of cloud assets that work seamlessly into your corporate infrastructure.

As a standalone module, the Workload Posture service offers access controls as well as CSPM services. Both strands of this module operate continuously, so the package doesn’t just verify the security of your cloud assets, it also ensures tight security on an ongoing basis.

Key Features:

  • Combined CSMP and access controls
  • Integrates virtual assets
  • Cross-platform supervision

The Zscaler system operates as an API that you add to the settings of your cloud accounts. This sets the service running in the background for those assets. The tool will crawl each registered asset and discover related cloud systems, checking through the configuration of those hidden supporting systems as well as the cloud assets that you know about.

The package also performs risk assessment for sensitive data stores and it can be tailored to specific data protection standards.

Pros:

  • Sensitive data protection
  • Standards compliance
  • Asset discovery

Cons:

  • The background nature of the system might make you wonder whether it is running

Zscaler is an easy-to-use and unobtrusive service that provides a dashboard to display all discovered issues. The service also provides remediation workflows that you choose to implement or can decide to bypass. You can request a demo of Zscaler Workload Posture.

7. Rapid7 InsightCloudSec

Rapid7 InsightCloudSec

Rapid7 InsightCloudSec is a CSPM tool that forms part of a wider platform of system security modules. Rapid7 puts all of its stable cybersecurity systems on its cloud-based Insight platform.

The InsightCloudSec unit itself contains three modules: Cloud Security Posture Management, Cloud Workload Protection, and Cloud Identity and Access Management. These three tools together provide security checks and ongoing monitoring for both static and dynamic assets, covering both processors and storage space.

Key Features:

  • Ongoing CSPM
  • Cloud access controls
  • Workload protection

The InsightCloudSec service can also be integrated with other Insight products, which include InsightIDR, an XDR, and SIEM package. The InsightCloudSec service can be applied to development environments as well as to operations. This security system will operate across platforms and will supervise the security and operations of containers as well.

Pros:

  • Suitable for DevOps protection
  • Covers container security
  • Integrates with other Rapid7 tools

Cons:

  • Not strong on compliance reporting

The InsightCloudSec system offers options over the automation of remediation both for CSPM issues and for workload protection tasks. Request a demo to see how the InsightCloudSec system works.

8. Sophos Cloud Optix

Sophos Cloud Optix

Sophos Cloud Optix is a new product from a leading cybersecurity systems provider. The Cloud Optix package is a CSPM tool that provides system hardening and compliance reporting. This service will unify the security monitoring of assets on many platforms – including containers. It is suitable for both development environments and operations usage.

Key Features:

  • Cross-platform monitoring
  • Compliance reporting
  • Cloud configuration management

The Cloud Optix service operates continuously and offers live risk assessment in its dashboard. It works through access rights issues and will spot combined anomalies across assets.

Pros:

  • Continuous risk assessment
  • Thorough issue documentation
  • Guided remediation

Cons:

  • Doesn’t automate remediation

The Cloud Optix system will alert you if it spots a security issue. This leaves the responsibility for fixing problems in your court. You can get a 30-day free trial of Sophos Cloud Optix.