What is Cloud Security?
Cloud computing is a hosted service offered as software, hardware, or even storage over the web, often as a vital part of multi or hybrid cloud infrastructure. It provides excellent benefits such as faster deployments, scalability, agility, flexibility, and reduced up-front costs, regardless of the business size.
By the same token, Cloud Security is nothing but leveraging policies, technologies, processes, and controls to protect cloud applications, data, and entire cloud architecture from potential online threats.
Cloud security is a shared responsibility of a client business as well as the CSP (cloud service provider). It helps with regulatory compliance and safeguarding your customers’ privacy. Ultimately, cloud security also protects businesses from legal, financial, and reputational losses caused due to cyber-attacks or data breaches/theft.
In this article, we have delineated a comprehensive guide to cloud security, why it is required, and what are the Top 21 Best Cloud Security Tools in 2023.
Why Do You Require Cloud Security?
According to expert insights, nearly 72% of organizations are shifting to cloud-based services such as PaaS, SaaS, IaaS, etc. when it comes to upgrading or adopting new technologies. Nearly 80% of companies have faced at least one cloud security incident in the last year, and 45% of security breaches are cloud-based.
These stats signify that the majority of organizations today are experiencing security breaches. As confidential data makes its way into the cloud, it is crucial to employ privacy standards such as GDPR, CCPA, etc. to keep cyber-attacks at bay. Adding to this, it is equally important to leverage cloud security tools to retain your cloud-based IT integrity and security.
Here are some of the top benefits of cloud security:
- Centralizes security, control, and visibility
- Helps avoid compliance violations
- Prevents cyber-attacks, data breaches, and data theft
- Upkeeps business continuity
- Protects from DDoS attacks
What are Cloud Security Tools?
Cloud Security Tools offer robust cloud security depending upon the issues experienced by customers as well as cloud service providers. These tools are intuitive, easy to set up and offer exceptional cloud security benefits to your SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and other public cloud environments.
Cloud security tools can be offered as software or hardware solutions that connect the cloud providers and the customers. These tools leverage cutting-edge technologies such as ML and AI to provide robust data protection and threat protection capabilities.
When Should You Use Cloud Security Tools?
Any organization looking to shift its data infrastructure to the cloud must leverage cloud security. That’s because, as sensitive IT data and assets are making their way into the cloud, it has become one of the breeding grounds for cyber-attacks.
Types of Cloud Security Tools:
Cloud security tools can be divided into 7 types of categories:
CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) Tools:
A CASB is a cloud-based or on-premise security policy enforcement tool that acts as a gateway between you (cloud service user) and your CSP (cloud service provider). As cloud-based resources are assessed, these tools work by unifying and injecting organizational security policies and securing the data that transmits between your on-premise and cloud environment.
Further, CASB tools protect against high-risk security threats and aid in ongoing risk mitigation and monitoring practices as well.
CASB tools have four core objectives:
- Threat protection
- Data Protection
- In-depth visibility into cloud environments
Top 3 Best CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) Tools in 2023:
Netskope is an industry-leading platform offering CASB solutions as a crucial part of their Intelligent SSE (Security Service Edge). This tool provides in-depth visibility along with data and threat protection for your managed and unmanaged cloud applications, services, etc., on any device and from anywhere.
The SSE takes a data-centric approach to close all the blind spots and secure enterprise data wherever it traverses.
Key Features of Netskope CASB:
- Cloud Confidence Index (CCI) automatically audits your traffic to identify the overall risk profile in a holistic way for all apps across your environment. Each application is allotted a risk score to help you understand its general risk level.
- Advanced DLP (Data Loss Protection) restricts unauthorized activities and monitors the moving of sensitive data in real-time using ML-based anomaly detection to prevent data leakage via chats, web forums, emails, file sharing, etc.
- CASB API secures data at rest by scanning IaaS and SaaS data repositories.
- ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) runs a deep static and dynamic analysis of files to prevent cloud-based malware or threats.
2. Bitglass: Total Cloud Security
Bitglass is again a prominent, Next-Gen CASB solution that secures data across cloud applications and protects access to it, from managed as well as unmanaged devices. It protects all data that transit in or out of the cloud, whether at rest or moving. It is able to block in-transit data via agentless DLP, and also encrypt, watermark, or redact it for easy tracking.
Unlike traditional CASBs, this solution automatically scales up or down as per the workload requirement.
Key Features of Bitglass CASB:
- The cutting-edge reverse proxy delivers superior performance
- Integrates with IdPs like Okta, Ping, etc.
- Implements Zero Trust Policies
- Real-time app management and threat protection
- Advanced DLP abilities
Proofpoint CASB is a cutting-edge solution powered by AI, real-time analytics, and Machine Learning to secure cloud apps, users, and data from compliance violations, data loss, and threats. It provides instant context to help you protect your confidential enterprise data and respond to cloud security events faster.
Proofpoint seamlessly integrates cloud-based threat intelligence and user visibility into your web, email, or endpoint.
Key features of Proofpoint CASB:
- Proofpoint CASB integrates into Proofpoint Enterprise DLP for easy policy management
- Uses SAML authentication to remediate suspicious logins across cloud apps
- An intuitive, timeline-based dashboard gives deeper insights and helps with investigations
- Features user behavior analysis and threat intelligence
- Integrates with Proofpoint TAP (Targeted Attack Protection) to configure intelligent security policies for your enterprise
- Automate remediation of abused/malicious OAuth apps
CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management) Tools:
CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management) Tools are ideal for PaaS and IaaS-oriented enterprises wanting to automate security management and have correct configurations. These tools provide robust features to control access to cloud infrastructure tools across your environments.
CSPM tools consistently look out for misconfigurations and automatically make required changes. Further, CSPM tools are also used for DevOps integration, compliance monitoring, risk assessment, incident response, and risk visualization.
Top 3 Best CSPM Tools:
Fugue is a cloud-based, enterprise-grade CSPM solution that provides complete visibility into your cloud security posture and ensures continuous compliance. It builds an entire model of your public cloud infrastructure as a baseline, constantly looks out for any drifts, and imposes the baseline for critical resources.
Key Features of Fugue CSPM solution:
- Uses API to integrate compliance and cloud security into CI/CD pipelines to aid compliance validation
- Available for Azure, Google Cloud, and AWS.
- Supports frameworks and policies for HIPAA, PCI, SOC 2, ISO 27001, GDPR, CSA CCM, etc.
- Continuous reporting and one-click maps
- One policy engine for IaC (Infrastructure as Code) and runtime
- Cloud IoCs (Indicators of Compromise) tracking
- Automated remediation of misconfigurations
Prisma Cloud is a unique CSPM solution designed to simplify compliance and secure multi-cloud environments with lesser complexities. It helps organizations achieve compliance, remove blind spots in the cloud and proactively respond to issues and risks.
Prisma cloud is based upon 3 crucial pillars viz. 1. Visibility, Compliance, and Governance; 2. Threat Intelligence and 3. Data Security.
Key Features of Prisma Cloud by Palo Alto Networks:
- Continuous visibility across all deployed assets via a single console
- Enforces configuration guardrails with built-in 700+ policies across 120+ cloud services
- Automatically fixes misconfigurations
- Continuous compliance posture monitoring with one-click reporting
- Leverages intel on 500+ billion flow logs that are ingested weekly to detect suspicious network activities
- Features UEBA (User Entity Behavior Analytics) with ML abilities and over 500+ billion audit logs ingested weekly
- Intuitive threat detection dashboards
Checkpoint CloudGuard CSPM solution is a critical part of their CloudGuard Cloud Native Security platform. The solution automates governance and compliance posture management across multiple cloud services and assets.
The main use cases for this CSPM solution are misconfiguration detection, security posture visualization/assessment, enforcing compliance frameworks, and executing best security practices.
Key features of Checkpoint CloudGuard CSPM:
- In-depth visibility into all cloud networks, assets, and security groups
- Deliver Zero Trust
- Executes best security practices automatically and helps with regulatory compliance
- Custom policies and rulesets
- Built-in intuitive dashboards
- Automated CIEM removes complexities in remediating misconfigured identities and entitlements
- Agentless deployment option for workload posture
- HFPM (High Fidelity Posture Management) helps comply with regulatory standards like HIPAA, PCI-DSS, CIS BENCHMARKS, etc. across 300+ cloud services.
SSPM (SaaS Security Posture Management) Tools:
SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) Tools offer a unique platform to considerably reduce unauthorized access to SaaS enterprise applications and chances of data leakage.
SSPM Tools leverage automation and security functions for security posture management and deeper visibility into SaaS environments. It continuously monitors SaaS apps to look for misconfigurations and compliance violations.
Top 3 Best SSPM Tools:
Obsidian Security offers a power-packed SSPM solution for Posture Management and Threat Detection across your SaaS environments. It reinforces your SaaS security posture with powerful automated capabilities to address sensitive data exposure, misconfigurations, privilege sprawl, and other such vulnerabilities.
It monitors your SaaS applications to proactively detect risks and automatically remediate them to ensure security compliance.
Key Features of Obsidian Security SSPM solution:
- Single interface to optimize misconfigurations across SaaS applications
- Flag unused permissions from a peer group to reduce over-privilege
- Notifications when a user disables MFA
- Keep track of third-party apps with read-write access to core systems
- Assess users with the ability to change/modify all data and reconfigure access control if needed
When it comes to delivering Zero Trust, Zscaler is an industry leader. Posture Control by Zscaler is an agentless solution that correlates across multiple security engines to identify risks formed due to threats, vulnerabilities, and misconfigurations across cloud infrastructure. It helps you create a secure and agile cloud stack with lesser complexity, overheads, and friction.
Key features of Zscaler Posture Control:
- API-based, agentless multi-cloud security for data and workloads
- 360-degree visibility into your entire multi-cloud infrastructure
- Integrates with popular SecOps ecosystems and DevOps tools like Splunk, JIRA, ServiceNow, GitHub, GitLab, Jenkins, etc.
- Automatically maps cloud app security posture to renowned frameworks viz. PCI DSS, HIPAA, etc. to ensure cloud compliance with automated reporting.
Adaptive Shield is an SSPM-oriented platform that features deep, continuous, proactive, and automated security management and monitoring capabilities. No matter the size of your increasing SaaS app stack, the solution will stay ahead of thousands of configurations. It seamlessly integrates with all SaaS apps to continuously manage and monitor security misconfigurations by conducting deep security checks and automated remediation.
Adaptive Shield’s SSPM also features SaaS to SaaS monitoring wherein it will identify and control all SaaS applications linked to your core SaaS stack. With Device-to-SaaS management, it monitors all users and their devices and assigns a hygiene score to each of them to determine risk level.
Key Features of Adaptive Shield SSPM:
- Detailed alerts when it detects glitches
- Powerful query engine that analyzes every single user across SaaS platforms
- Via a single console, you can manage SaaS security controls like baselines, audits, password management, privacy controls, etc.
- Continuous SaaS monitoring to ensure security at all times
CWPP (Cloud Workload Protection Platforms) Tools:
CWPP Security Tools are cloud platforms focused on the security of enterprise workloads. These tools protect digital and physical assets such as serverless workloads, VMS, containers, etc. from threats.
CWPP solutions are designed to bridge the security gap between legacy systems and cloud systems by offering excellent discovery and management capabilities.
These solutions are ideal for any organization looking to maintain universal security standards and have multiple assets spread across different geolocations or digital locations. Instead of APIs, these tools rely upon operating systems.
Top 3 Best CWPP Tools:
10. Illumio Core
Illumio Core segments on-premises and cloud data center workloads to Zero Trust. Through a single console, you get in-depth visibility into traffic across all agentless and agent workloads such as IoT and virtual machines, containers, etc. Regardless of the size or complexity of the stack, Illumio Core prevents lateral movement to stop breaches.
Additionally, it blocks unnecessary connections without meddling with the network or writing hefty firewall rules.
Key Features of Illumio Core:
- Traffic visibility with traffic flow telemetry, application dependency map, and historical records
- Enforce policies in minutes to rapidly respond to breaches and prevent their spread
- Zero Trust Segmentation policy creation to protect key services
- Identify vulnerable services through Illumio dependency map by overlaying data from vulnerability scanning tools
- Scalable segmentation from hundreds to thousands of workloads
- Easy allow-list design without any lengthy firewall rule
Workload Security (previously known as Deep Security) is a crucial part of Trend Micro Cloud One- a powerful cloud security platform with exceptional CNAPP capabilities. It offers complete Endpoint Security and Workload Security to secure your diverse cloud workloads, servers, and endpoints, through visibility, management, and RBAC via a single console.
Key Features of Trend Micro Workload Security:
- AWS CloudFormation templates, extensive APIs, and quick starts for well-integrated security and automated policy management and health checks
- APIs to integrate with SIEM platforms and SOAR tools
- Leverages Trend Micro Vision One for advanced, correlated detection, analysis, and response across multiple security layers
- Automated or custom intelligence sweeping for continuous search and investigation of root cause
- Single-agent protects your cloud workloads, servers, and applications
- Easy procurements via Azure and AWS marketplaces
- SaaS solution is PCI, SOC 2, GDPR, ISO27001/ISO27014/ISO27017-ready
- Global threat intelligence with continuous monitoring of 45+ billion files, URLs, and emails
Lacework CWPP solution leverages a patented anomaly-based approach and autonomous Machine Learning to provide detailed context and visibility into your cloud environments. It reduces noise and helps you respond faster to threats with anomaly-based detection, ML, and behavioral analysis.
Lacework CWPP solution keeps track of the escalation of privileges, abnormal logins, and threats based on reputation scores for your DNS, files, etc.
Key Features of Lacework:
- Signature- to anomaly-based detection uncovers known and unknown threats
- ML and automation reduce time spent on writing rules
- Detects anomalies that signify malicious activities in cloud workloads across Google Cloud, AWS, and Azure.
- The agentless approach gathers complete cloud account asset inventory
- Supports Azure, AWS, Kubernetes, Google Cloud, and other hybrid environments
- Context-rich alerts for faster response
- Integrates with messaging, SIEM, ticketing, and workflow apps
CIEM (Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management) Tools:
CIEM (Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management) is a cloud security solution that manages complex security events caused due to IAM (Identity and Access Management).
CIEM tools target cloud permissions, access governance controls, and identity lifecycle to employ least-privilege access and remove unnecessary entitlements given to users across the cloud stack.
POLP (Principle of Least Privilege) ensures there is no over-privileged user access, and also saves time and effort required to detect the same. It leverages analytics and machine learning to detect anomalies in account permissions across multi-cloud environments.
Such deeper visibility helps organizations employ consistent IAM across cloud stack to mitigate data exfiltration and breaches.
CIEM tools are recommended for organizations struggling with data access control complexities and seeking complete control and management over multiple policies.
Top 3 Best CIEM Tools:
13. C3m – Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM)
C3M is acquired by CyberArk. CyberArk offers a robust, feature-packed Cloud Privilege Security solution to monitor, analyze and secure risky access across GCP, Azure, and AWS.
It discovers identity-centric compliance and cloud security risks and employs just-in-time access policies and the least privilege principle to mitigate them.
With right-size IAM permissions, you only provide access to what the users need. It enhances the hygiene of Identity Security by continuously monitoring and scanning cloud environments.
Key features of CyberArk Cloud Privilege Security:
- Just-in-Time Access prevents credential theft with dynamic elevation to cloud resources, consoles, and CLIs
- Just-Enough-Access allots right-size IAM permissions to employ the least privilege to all identities
- Secures identities throughout the lifecycle of resource access across SaaS, multi-cloud and hybrid environments.
- Cloud Entitlements Manager visualizes access for machine and human identities and assigns the least privilege to reduce risks
- Implements Zero Trust with intelligent privilege controls
- Combines MFA, secure SSO, user behavior analytics, and lifecycle management to secure access to resources- using any device, from any location.
14. CloudKnox: Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management CIEM
Microsoft has acquired CloudKnox Security and now is known as Microsoft Entra Permissions Management- a powerful CIEM tool. It is a unified solution that provides deep visibility and control over the permissions of all identities and resources across your multi-cloud stack.
With an integrated CIEM solution, Entra Permissions Management solution enhances your cloud security posture by implementing POLP (principle of least privilege) across resources and identities in your IaaS infrastructure.
Key Features of Microsoft Entra Permissions Management:
- Provides a multi-dimensional view into risks due to permissions, resources, and access identities.
- Continuously automates least privilege policy enforcement across the multi-cloud stack
- Anomaly and outlier detection prevents data breaches
- Supports container clusters, compute resources, serverless functions, and DBs across GCP, Azure, and AWS.
- Grant right-size permissions, automate just-in-time access, and grant permissions on demand.
- ML-powered alerts help detect anomalous activities and create detailed reports
Authomize is a powerful ITDR (Identity Threat Detection and Response) platform that works to discover and eliminate identity-based risks across IAM and the cloud. It helps with incident correlation, investigation, and prioritization with deeper visibility into access privileges, assets, identities, and activities- all via a single console.
Key Features of Authomize:
- Unified, detailed visibility into IAM, IaaS, and SaaS environments
- Granular visibility into the code repository, files, and VMs
- ML-based and proprietary rich contextual insights
- Employs Least Privilege and secures identity lifecycle by continuously monitoring usage changes and access privileges across the entire cloud stack
- Identifies misconfigurations of IAM solutions like SSO, PAM, IdP, etc.
- Automate and streamline UAR (User Access Reviews) across the cloud stack to prepare for audits
- ML-generated recommendations for better security
- Compatible with major CSPs like AWS, Azure, and GCP.
Cloud-Native SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) Tools:
SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) tools conduct real-time analysis of security alerts by network hardware and applications. It comprises systems such as Security Event Correlation, Security Information Management, Security Log Management, etc.
SIEM combines SEM (Security Event Management) and SIM (Security Information Management). The tool gathers security log data created by diverse sources such as firewalls, antivirus, host systems, etc. Further, it processes this log and converts it into a structured format for analysis. As it identifies and categorizes events and incidents, it generates alerts whenever a security issue arises. It also helps you create reports on security events and incidents.
Top 3 Best SIEM Tools:
Panther is a popular SIEM tool that detects suspicious activities in real-time and converts raw logs into an insightful security data lake. This approach helps organizations build a robust security program.
Panther’s SIEM solution leverages detection-as-code, high scalability with zero-ops, and a powerful security data lake. It unifies all security logs using native integrations with popular on-prem and SaaS applications.
DaC (Detection-as-Code) executes hundreds of OOTB detections with No Code-based Rule filters and Python. Further, it also searches IOCs or conducts detailed investigations over historical data retained for 1+ year.
Key Features of Panther:
- Modern SIEM converts large terabytes of raw logs generated every day into a streamlined security data lake
- Real-time detection, deep investigations, and seamless incident response
- Integrates with MongoDB Atlas, Microsoft Graph, JAMF Pro, Dropbox, GreyNoise Intelligence, Synk, etc. to analyze data, remediate incidents and send alerts.
Sumologic’s Cloud SIEM automatically triages alerts and correlates threats across your multi-cloud, on-premises, and hybrid cloud environments to speed up incident investigations. It closes blind spots with deeper visibility into your enterprise stack and provides the context for attacks.
It comes with built-in event management for better collaboration and also creates, maps, and parses systematic ‘Records’ after ingesting from your unstructured and structured data.
It generates Signals (alerts) based on anomaly detection, pattern and threat intelligence matching, statistical evaluation, and correlation logic of your log data.
The Insight engine automatically groups related Signals to speed up alert triage. The SIEM tool has an extensive library of cloud APIs to pull security telemetry directly from Okta, Office 365, AWS GuardDuty, VMware Carbon Black, etc.
Key Features of Sumologic Cloud SIEM:
- Automated Insights with detailed network and user context
- Multi-tenant elasticity and scale for all users, at any time
- Unified security log management for all DevOps, ITOps, and SecOps users
- Multi-cloud protection
- Out-of-the-box content rules and integrations for quick deployments
Datadog Cloud SIEM offers real-time threat detection across security and operational logs for your dynamic, cloud environments. Regardless of their volume, Cloud SIEM will analyze log in real-time with the help of out-of-the-box rules and integrations to detect and investigate threats.
Key Features of Datadog Cloud SIEM:
- Intuitive log visualizations and detailed security insights across the cloud stack
- Root cause analysis and actionable security context of users and resources
- Datadog offers 600+ integrations out of the box for full visibility into your SaaS apps, IdPs, endpoints, and network
- Out-of-the-box threshold and anomaly detection rules for faster response
- Leverage MITRA ATT&CK framework to detect common threats
- Real-time, round-the-clock threat detection
CNAPP (Cloud Native Application Protection Platform) is designed to secure cloud applications throughout their CI/CD lifecycle, right from the development to the production stage. CNAPP tools leverage the principles of DevSecOps to secure, streamline and control the process of application development.
CNAPP combines multiple tools such as CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management), CWPP (Cloud Workload Protection Platform), and CSNS (Cloud Service Network Security) into a single robust platform to facilitate DevSecOps and reduce complexities of application security.
Top 3 Best CNAPP Tools:
19. Prisma Cloud by Palo Alto Networks
Prisma Cloud by Palo Alto Networks is a complete CNAPP platform that secures applications right from its code to the cloud. It helps DevOps collaborate effectively and securely to speed up the application development processes.
Since it is a unified platform, it considerably cuts down costs related to using, staffing, and training for numerous security tools. The CNAPP prevents zero-day vulnerabilities by taking visibility and alert prioritization to a whole new level.
Key Features of Prisma Cloud CNAPP by Palo Alto Networks:
- Secures code for apps, infrastructure, and software supply chain pipelines
- CSPM tool monitors security posture, identifies and responds to threats, and maintains compliance across public clouds
- CWP (Cloud Workload Protection) tool secures serverless functions, containers, and hosts across the application lifecycle
- WAAS (Web Application & API Security) protects APIs and web apps across cloud-native stacks.
- CIEM tool manages permissions across multi-cloud environments.
20. Microsoft Defender for Cloud
Microsoft Defender for Cloud is a CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management) and CWP (Cloud Workload Protection) solution that detects weak spots within your cloud configuration, reinforces your security posture and secures workloads across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
Key features of Microsoft Defender for Cloud:
- Unified visibility and continuous assessment of the security posture of your Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, and hybrid clouds
- Context-aware cloud security for real-time security access and prioritization of risks
- Integrated XDR (Extended Detection and Response) solution across the multi-cloud environments to identify, prevent and respond to attacks
- Enhance application development security by centralized insights across multi-cloud and multi-pipeline DevOps
- Customizable graph-based attack path queries
- Built-in policies and prioritized recommendations
21. Orca Security
Orca Security is a prominent Cloud Security Platform that detects, prioritizes, and remediates compliance issues and security risks across Azure, AWS, Alibaba Cloud, Google Cloud, and Kubernetes cloud estates.
Connect your cloud environment to Orca within minutes to get visibility into all cloud risks such as API exposure, vulnerabilities, identity risks, misconfigurations, data security, and advanced threats. Attack path analysis reduces unnecessary alerts and prioritizes top risks. It also automatically identifies PII and crown jewel assets to prevent threats.
Key Features of Orca Security Platform:
- A single solution combines posture management, vulnerability management, multi-cloud compliance, container security, cloud workload protection, etc.
- Advanced capabilities such as Shift Left Security, API Security, and Cloud Detection and Response
- CSPM tool monitors, detects, and remediates misconfigurations across cloud stacks
- CWPP tool protects cloud containers, VMs, Kubernetes apps, and serverless functions across cloud estates.
- CIEM tool ensures least-privilege compliance, identifies misconfigurations and monitors identity hygiene scores.
As businesses increase to rely on public cloud services such as PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS, it is getting crucial to monitor, manage and protect cloud network usage. Cloud Security Tools are diverse in nature and have a core objective of protecting the cloud activities of enterprises- regardless of the cloud stack size and complexity.
It is extremely important for businesses to invest in cloud security tools to prevent misconfigurations, secure their cloud assets/resources, and ward off data leakages- both virtual as well as on-premises.