Prisma Cloud Data Security Vs. Other CSPM Vendors

Mar 01, 2024
5 minutes
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Dig Data Security vs CSPM Vendors: 6 Key Differences

Closing the gap on cloud data security is a top priority for today’s enterprises. To answer this need, data security posture management (DSPM) has emerged as one of the most in-demand categories in cybersecurity. In addition to the startups operating in this space, several established CSPM vendors have rushed data discovery and classification features to market in 2023.

These solutions are better than nothing, but they’re unlikely to meet the full requirements of a data security team — which can result in an unacceptably high risk profile for sensitive data, which is often an organization’s most prized asset (and primary target for attacks).

Before deciding on a data security tool, ask yourself these six questions:

1. Who is it built for?

CSPM is built for DevSecOps. Prisma Cloud is built for data security and compliance teams. This manifests in product functionality, the language the product speaks, and the organization’s areas of expertise when it comes to threat modeling and ongoing support.

Why you should care:

Prisma Cloud surfaces the specific, context-enriched insights that data security teams need to prevent data leaks and compliance violations. Many CSPM platforms, on the other hand, send hundreds of alerts for resource misconfigurations. These could be of interest to DevOps and DevSecOps teams, but for data security, it’s notification noise that can obscure critical incidents.

2. What is the product built to solve?

CSPM starts with the vulnerability. Prisma Cloud’s DSPM starts with the data. CSPM tools monitor cloud infrastructure and resources, and only consider the data in that context. Prisma Cloud finds the sensitive data in any cloud asset and identifies risks that go beyond misconfigurations.

Why you should care:

  • Enterprise data is not yet-another cloud resource. It has unique access, storage, and movement patterns.
  • Prisma Cloud takes data context, lineage, and flow into account, and provides faster insight into incidents that pose a security or compliance risk — such as PII copied between production and development environments.

3. Do you need a feature or a platform?

Many CSPM tools treat data security as a feature. Prisma Cloud offers a complete platform.

Why you should care: Far too many CSPM tools are ‘close enough’ when it comes to data security. But close enough isn’t good enough for data-intensive organizations.

  • Common CSPM tools focus on risk patterns but lack important data context is key to understanding which risks to prioritize — e.g., there is a difference between employee and customer records.
  • Common CSPM tools offer only a few dozen classifiers out of the box, while Prisma Cloud offers >150.
  • Common CSPM tools are focused on publicly accessible data. Prisma Cloud covers data risk analysis, data flow monitoring, privacy and compliance, and data detection and response.

4. Where is your data stored?

Most CSPM tools cover public clouds while Prisma Cloud covers everywhere your data is stored — including CSPs, SaaS and DBaaS. While popular CSPM tools only cover cloud storage (S3, Blob, etc.), Prisma Cloud covers DBaaS, such as Snowflake, and SaaS applications like Office 365 and Salesforce.

Why you should care: Today’s enterprises store data in more than just buckets and hosted databases. Managed services are playing an increasing role in the modern data stack, and your security tooling should keep pace.

5. What’s an acceptable MTTD for data incidents?

Prisma Cloud is the only cloud security tool that provides cloud DLP capabilities including near real-time data detection and response. Prisma Cloud can detect an incident such as a mass download of a PII-containing database within minutes; other tools would rely on daily or hourly scans.

Why you should care: Every minute matters during an exfiltration event. Early detection helps remediate incidents earlier, limit their damage, and effectively investigate the vulnerabilities that cause them.

6. Will data leave your cloud account?

Some CSPM tools send data to the vendor’s cloud for scanning or classification purposes. Prisma Cloud operates entirely in your account. Prisma Cloud deploys its Orchestrator in your environment. Only metadata and alerts are sent to the Prisma Cloud SaaS portal.

Why you should care: Even if you trust your vendors completely, sensitive data leaving your environment is another security and compliance headache that you need to deal with.

And there’s so much more that Prisma Cloud can do…

  CSPM tools Prisma Cloud
Buyer Cloud infrastructure, CISO Data security, CISO
Coverage File storage in public clouds Public clouds (including database, storage, and analytics), DBaaS (Snowflake, Databricks), SaaS (Office 365, Salesforce)
Data classification Limited number of classifiers; no context into how the data was generated  150+ classifiers to contextualize all data + PDFs and images (via OCR)
Data flows Does not monitor sensitive data movement (such as customer data shared with a vendor) Understands data flows, alerts for compliance and security breaches
Shadow data discovery No ability to detect unmanaged shadow data such as database dumps, backups, and exports Discovers, classifies and identifies snapshots and backups in any cloud data store (including VMs)
Time to detect Identifies infrastructure vulnerabilities and periodically checks for sensitive data DDR that monitors all suspicious interactions with sensitive data in real time

Learn More

Still not sure if Prisma Cloud can help you? Get in touch for a free risk assessment to find out whether your data is secure and compliant, and learn how Prisma Cloud can help you prioritize and remediate your most important data risks.


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