Netskope named a Leader in the 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge. Get the report

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The Need for SSPM in the Digital Transformation Journey

Aug 17 2021

During this past year, organizations have moved towards the adoption of SaaS (software-as-a-service) applications like Microsoft O365, Salesforce, and GitHub at a more rapid pace than originally planned to help accommodate and facilitate the many employees that became remote workers, needing access to cloud applications from anywhere.

A recent Netskope blog article included a discussion of the application transformation happening in organizations today, where applications are migrating from the data center to new SaaS replacement choices. Cloud app adoption increased 22% during the first six months of 2021, where the average company with 500–2,000 users now uses 805 distinct apps and cloud services.

While SaaS applications like Microsoft O365, GitHub, and Salesforce can bring benefits including lower cost, easier management and deployment to organizations and users alike, they also introduce risk to the organization’s overall security posture and challenges to security teams. 

Misconfigurations, including those of SaaS applications, continue to be one of the main reasons for attacks leading to compromised security and data breaches, accounting for approximately 52% of incidents where unintentional actions directly compromised a security attribute of an information asset. Security concerns around misconfiguration and compliance are valid, as cybercriminals have taken advantage of security misconfigurations and shortcomings in compliance. One recent well-known cyber attack, using the Solarwinds vulnerability, started with a SaaS misconfiguration. A single misconfiguration can expose an organization’s most sensitive and valuable data, leading to devastating financial and reputational consequences.

Today, we’re excited to announce Netskope SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM), a new service on the Netskope Security Cloud platform, to help organizations on their journey to SASE. Netskope SSPM improves the security posture and simplifies operations for cloud-first organizations by helping organizations avoid risky misconfigurations and configuration drift, simplify management and compliance, monitor users and administrator behavior, identify risky users and connected applications, and facilitate the remediation of risks. 

Here are some key reasons why security posture management is important for SaaS applications:

  1. Security and security posture is a shared responsibility. Even when using SaaS applications, the organization still has its share of responsibility in maintaining the security and security posture of the SaaS deployment.
  2. Visibility. With SaaS applications, the organization has less visibility than with applications deployed on-premises. Organizations need to gain back the visibility they lose when going to the cloud.
  3. Control. Posture management helps to enforce policy and prevent changes to configurations that might accidentally give too much access to sensitive data, helping to prevent possible data breaches.
  4. Compliance. Organizations are required to comply with more regulations than ever before, including CIS, PCI-DSS, NIST, HIPAA, and more. SSPM includes templates for the leading regulations, simplifying compliance.
  5. Risk Detection. With the increased threats and attacks on organizations and their use of SaaS applications, detecting risky deployments and settings should become mission-critical for any organization.
  6. Limited Budget or Expertise. With the smaller budgets and staff, organizations need help with maintaining their security stance. Security posture management provides that expertise and guidance to remediate problems in their SaaS deployments. 

An important part of the journey to SASE adoption is the ability to scale security and visibility for the volume and breadth of applications used by the typical organization. Our acquisition of Kloudless, a venture-backed company headquartered in Berkeley, California, brought exceptional domain expertise with SaaS apps and APIs to our team.  The acquisition supported SSPM development and enhancements and the team is now fully integrated into Netskope’s product management and engineering teams.  

Netskope already provides similar functionality for public cloud infrastructure with our Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) solution, offering security assessment and visibility for AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Netskope SSPM extends our cloud support for posture management to the commonly deployed SaaS applications used by organizations today.

While many security products, like the Netskope Security Cloud, provide threat protection, data protection, and control over cloud usage, the IT security team still has the challenge of retaining compliance and uniform policy enforcement for a healthy security posture in their SaaS application infrastructure. 

In addition to detecting misconfigurations and configuration drift, SSPM integrates seamlessly into the Netskope Cloud Security platform providing protection for data at rest, and visibility, compliance, and validation for settings and rules. For example, Netskope SSPM can detect security violations, ensure compliance with common standards including CIS, PCI-DSS, NIST, HIPAA, and more, and provide step-by-step instructions for guided remediation. Netskope SSPM includes support for Microsoft 365, Salesforce, and GitHub, and provides these key benefits:

  • Detect potentially risky settings, misconfiguration, configuration drift, and behavior by comparing against predefined best practice rules and industry standards like CIS, NIST, HIPAA, PCI, CSA, etc.
  • Write custom rules and define custom profiles to fit your organization’s specific needs.
  • Use Netskope SSPM for workflows and recommendations to guided remediation and resolve security risks.
  • Monitor settings across SaaS apps with unified visibility.
  • Prevent disruption to business workflow with API-enabled protection and continuous monitoring.

It’s time to take the next step and learn more about Netskope and SSPM. Contact us or request a demo today.

Join Netskope for “Unpacking updates to the Netskope SASE and Zero Trust Platform” on September 16, 2021, when you’ll learn where Netskope fits into the SASE architecture, an overview of the new and updated Netskope products, and how the benefits of these products mean better security, faster performance, and lower total cost of ownership.”

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Tim Chiu
Timothy Chiu is a Senior Director of Product Marketing at Netskope. Prior to joining Netskope, Tim ran marketing at the startup K2 Cyber Security. In past roles, Tim has also served as a product marketing executive for Symantec (through the acquisition of Blue Coat). At Symantec, Tim drove product launches, analyst relations, and product evangelism for Symantec’s web security products. Prior to joining Blue Coat, Tim drove product direction and sales engineering in his senior roles at a number of high technology companies including Bay Networks/SynOptics, Cirrus Logic, and Mirapoint.

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