Streamline Risk Management with Context-Based Risk Prioritization

Nov 09, 2023
8 minutes
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An organization's digital fortress is only as strong as its weakest link. With threat actors probing for opportunities, security teams need to stay ahead of the game — protecting their assets and anticipating the moves of unseen adversaries. In real-world scenarios, the deluge of security signals and telemetry buries most teams in data, leaving them unable to prioritize critical risks. Ninety percent of organizations, in fact, tell us they can’t detect, contain and resolve cyberthreats within an hour.1

Today’s risk prioritization tools tend to excel at a specific aspect of security but fail to provide that all-important, all-encompassing view of issues. They don't offer the 360-degree visibility needed to tackle the multifaceted challenges. What’s more, contemporary tools lack the comprehensive context needed for teams to understand which risks to address first. The tools might, for example, provide data about vulnerabilities, overly permissive credentials and intrusion attempts, but this information, presented as individual data points, has little value.

Cloud security teams require a solution capable of combing through these signals, correlating them with business-critical applications and data, and intelligently guiding remediation actions based on priority, context and relevance. Teams need the ability to assess potential threat pathways before threat actors can exploit them.

Smarter Cloud Security

The effectiveness of a cloud security solution lies in its visibility and in its ability to prioritize and remediate risks with context and relevance. Prisma Cloud's Darwin release introduces risk prioritization and remediation, a powerful solution designed to empower cloud security teams by providing comprehensive, contextualized and prioritized alerts.

Gathering security signals across various threat vectors, Prisma Cloud scrutinizes potential avenues an attacker might exploit to compromise applications or data residing in the public cloud. The platform’s distinct advantage stems from its ability to emphasize potential issues, while integrating runtime insights and incident information. In this, Prisma Cloud provides a rich security context that enables organizations to act swiftly and decisively. It ensures that the most critical issues rise to the forefront, demanding immediate attention and resolution.

Key Risk Prioritization Features


Visibility serves as the bedrock of Prisma Cloud’s approach, ensuring organizations have a clear and unobstructed view of their cloud environment. The platform goes beyond surface-level analysis, delving deep into the intricacies of the cloud, identifying issues and presenting critical risks with unparalleled clarity. This visibility actively guides organizations, helping them navigate the cloud’s complexities with confidence and precision.

Correlated and Prioritized Alerts

Prisma Cloud collects a range of security signals and stands out in its ability to sift through them, automatically sorting and prioritizing signals based on the contextual understanding of the user’s cloud environment.

Examples of security signals include vulnerabilities in cloud resources, public exposure of resources to the internet, overly permissive credentials and threat context, such as potentially malicious traffic or IP addresses. By intelligently analyzing and correlating these — along with considering the business context of an application or data at risk — Prisma Cloud guides security teams to address the most critical risks first.

The level of prioritization offered by the platform ensures that organizations can focus on securing their most valuable assets while minimizing the risk of data breaches or other threats.

When users log in to Prisma Cloud, they’re greeted with a prioritized list of issues, complete with all the necessary details to facilitate swift action. Streamlined risk mitigation is complemented by knowing your critical issues won’t get lost in the noise.

Prisma Cloud users are greeted with urgent issues to focus on, filtering out thousands of low-impact alerts.
Figure 1: Prisma Cloud users are greeted with urgent issues to focus on, filtering out thousands of low-impact alerts.

Comprehensive Context

Prisma Cloud transcends traditional risk prioritization models, offering a holistic context that integrates runtime insights and incident information. The 360-degree view of an organization's cloud environment enables security teams to analyze risks from multiple angles and gain deeper insights for more effective decision-making. Equipping organizations with the context and ability to address risks promptly transforms risk management from a reactive to a proactive process.

Get clarity on attack paths using contextual graphs.
Figure 2: Get clarity on attack paths using contextual graphs.

Code-to-Cloud Remediation

Identifying critical risks is just the beginning. Prisma Cloud assists with eliminating the root cause through its unique Code to Cloud™ remediation capability. This approach enables security teams to address the issue at its source.

With Code to Cloud remediation, you can fix an issue in the cloud or open a pull request to fix the issue in the code.
Figure 3: With Code to Cloud remediation, you can fix an issue in the cloud or open a pull request to fix the issue in the code.

Unmasking Critical Cloud Security Risks: Real-World Use Cases

Successfully navigating risk prioritization is a must. Prisma Cloud's latest release has transformed this landscape with its advanced capabilities. From public-facing assets with vulnerabilities to misconfigurations that bad actors could exploit, the platform has an abundance of use cases demonstrating its efficacy in risk prioritization and mitigation.

Safeguarding Public-Facing Assets

Numerous organizations operate with assets exposed to the internet. While this exposure is often a business necessity, it introduces an array of vulnerabilities and misconfigurations that, if unaddressed, could open doors to malicious actors. Prisma Cloud offers an intelligent solution that synthesizes various security signals to pinpoint critical risks. It goes beyond identification, providing actionable insights and remediation options to secure these public-facing assets.

Capital One Breach: A Lesson in Risk Prioritization

The Capital One breach of 2019 serves as a reminder of the complexities inherent in cloud security. A seemingly secure S3 bucket became the target, not through direct exposure but via a vulnerable virtual machine that acted as an unwitting gateway. Prisma Cloud’s risk prioritization shines in such scenarios, offering a granular view of the attack path, identifying vulnerabilities and providing context to understand the scope of the risk. Organizations resist the false sense of security, recognizing that the pathway to critical data is as important as the data.

Protecting Against Data Exfiltration

Protecting data from exfiltration is paramount. Prisma Cloud helps to safeguard sensitive information by identifying potential attack paths and providing the context to understand the risk. Whether it’s an S3 bucket exposed via a misconfigured virtual machine or sensitive data at risk due to a network vulnerability, Prisma Cloud ensures that organizations have the visibility and tools needed to prevent unauthorized access.

Ensuring Compliance and Governance

As organizations navigate the complexities of the cloud, maintaining compliance with industry standards and regulatory requirements becomes a top concern. Prisma Cloud offers a suite of capabilities to monitor the cloud environment, ensure that configurations align with best practices and address potential compliance issues proactively. By providing a full view of the organization’s security posture, highlighting areas of concern, Prisma Cloud makes compliance an integral part of your security strategy.

Eliminating Blind Spots in Cloud Security

The cloud’s fluidity, while a boon for agility and innovation, introduces potential blind spots in security. Prisma Cloud addresses this, offering unparalleled visibility from code to cloud. The platform ensures that organizations aren’t just reacting to threats, but proactively identifying and mitigating risks. By correlating security signals and providing a prioritized list of issues, Prisma Cloud transforms potential vulnerabilities into manageable, actionable insights. It empowers organizations to act swiftly, reducing their attack surface and fortifying their defenses against potential breaches.

Streamlining the Remediation Process

Organizations often struggle with timely remediation of security incidents, particularly when it comes to routing alerts to the right team members. It's not uncommon for a runtime alert to take excessive time — sometimes up to 50 hours — to reach the right person who needs only 5 minutes to resolve the issue. Prisma Cloud’s Fix in Code capability dramatically reduces this time-consuming process, fostering seamless collaboration between development and security teams.

In each of these scenarios, Prisma Cloud stands out as a comprehensive solution, addressing the nuances of cloud security and empowering organizations to navigate the complexities of the cloud with confidence. Through its innovative risk prioritization and contextualization capabilities, Prisma Cloud ensures that organizations remain agile, resilient and ready to face the challenges of the digital age.

Video: Learn how to uncover critical risks in under 2 minutes.

Why Choose Prisma Cloud

The importance of visibility, risk prioritization and quick remediation can’t be overstated. Prisma Cloud emerges as a comprehensive solution, providing enterprises with the tools they need to secure their cloud environment, prioritize risks intelligently and act swiftly to mitigate potential threats. With its unique capabilities and deep insights, Prisma Cloud ensures that you’re well equipped to face the challenges of the cloud — today and in the future.

Learn More

To learn about Prisma Cloud's latest innovations, tune in to our on-demand virtual event, CNAPP Supercharged: A Radically New Approach to Cloud Security. We’ll show you how to streamline app lifecycle protection, so be sure to watch.

And if you haven’t tried Prisma Cloud, we’d love for you to experience the advantage of best-in-class Code to Cloud security with a free 30-day Prisma Cloud trial.



  1. “2022 State of Cloud Native Security Report.” n.d. Palo Alto Networks.


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