What Is Data Security Posture Management (DSPM)?

Yang Liang - April 2, 2024

What Is<strong> Data Security Posture Management (DSPM)</strong>?
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What is DSPM (Data security posture management)?

In today’s digital world, where your systems, networks, and applications are all connected in the cloud, it is crucial to keep sensitive data safe. Data security posture management (DSPM) plays a key role in this challenge, acting as a watchdog over where your data lives, how it’s secured, and who accesses it. DSPM helps organizations manage their data across the cloud, monitor for risks, enforce security policies, and ensure regulatory compliance.

In this post, we’ll unpack DSPM, shedding light on why it’s essential in defending against cyber threats. We’ll explore how DSPM helps businesses identify their data assets, safeguard them from threats, and comply with privacy standards.

Understanding DSPM

Data is critical to modern applications, making it a prime target for malicious actors. Cyber threats — like phishing, ransomware, and wiper attacks — pose significant risks to sensitive information. These threats exploit vulnerabilities in an organization’s data security measures. They can lead to data breaches, financial loss, and a severely damaged business reputation.

A DSPM solution provides a systematic approach to identifying where sensitive data is stored, assessing its security, and protecting against unauthorized access. With modern threats constantly evolving, DSPM ensures that an organization’s data security keeps pace with changes in the threat environment and within the organization’s digital infrastructure.

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Core components of DSPM

DSPM consists of several key components that collectively enhance an organization’s ability to protect its data.

Data discovery and classification

A DSPM solution scans an organization’s digital environments to identify data no matter where it resides. Knowing where your data is and what type of data you have is the first step in securing your data.

After identifying all your organization’s data, DSPM solutions help you classify data based on its level of sensitivity. Common data classifications include:

  • Public: Information that can be freely disclosed to the public
  • Internal: Data that is not sensitive but is intended for internal use only
  • Confidential: Information that could harm individuals or your organization if disclosed
  • Highly confidential: Data that would cause severe damage if leaked; this data is often subject to strict regulatory control

Data classification makes it easier to prioritize your security efforts. It is essential for applying appropriate protection measures and complying with regulations.

Continuous risk assessment

It is crucial to understand the vulnerabilities and risks associated with your data. DSPM facilitates continuous monitoring of the data landscape, identifying risks, vulnerabilities, and misconfigurations that could lead to a data breach. This proactive protection leads to the early detection of vulnerabilities, enabling organizations to address those vulnerabilities before they’re exploited.

Policy management and enforcement

Ultimately, organizations need to establish comprehensive data protection policies. However, this is only possible when these organizations have a clear view of their data and the associated risks. DSPM solutions play a pivotal role in defining data protection policies and ensuring they are enforced across environments.

Compliance support and real-time alerts

Today’s emphasis on data privacy and protection makes compliance with data regulations an important concern for modern organizations. However, given the ever-changing regulatory landscape, staying compliant with these laws and regulations is a moving target. DSPM makes this effort manageable by providing tools to continuously monitor for compliance, triggering alerts when deviations are detected. This allows organizations to promptly address potential compliance issues, helping them avoid fines or legal repercussions.

Implementing DSPM in your organization

Enterprises increasingly rely on sophisticated, third-party DSPM solutions to protect their digital assets. Developed by leading cybersecurity firms, these tools are designed to provide a comprehensive shield against data breaches and compliance risks.

Though some DSPM solutions may be stand-alone — focusing solely on data security — others are integrated into broader cybersecurity platforms, offering a more holistic approach to organizational security. This versatility allows businesses to select a DSPM solution that best aligns with their specific needs and fits into their current tech stack.

When implementing DSPM in your organization, consider the following key practices:

  • Evaluate your current data security posture. Assess where your organization stands in terms of data security, identifying vulnerabilities and areas for improvement. This involves reviewing existing security measures, data handling practices, and compliance statuses.
  • Harmonize DSPM with your cybersecurity framework. Integrate DSPM tools into your broader security strategy to ensure a unified defense. This alignment helps cover all aspects of data security, from identification and classification to protection and compliance.
  • Customize DSPM to fit your organizational needs. Adapt the DSPM solution to meet the unique requirements of your business, considering factors like the types of data you handle, your industry’s regulatory landscape, and the specific security challenges you face.
  • Educate your team on DSPM practices. Foster a culture of security awareness within your organization by training employees on DSPM policies, the importance of data protection, and their individual role in maintaining data security.
  • Adapt to new threats and compliance requirements. Stay agile by regularly reviewing and updating your DSPM strategy to address emerging threats or evolving regulatory demands. This proactive approach ensures your data security posture remains robust and relevant at all times.

Strengthen your data security posture with Crowdstrike Falcon Data Protection

To summarize, DSPM tools safeguard your sensitive data by helping you:

  • Identify where your data resides
  • Classify your data so you can prioritize your security measures
  • Continuously monitor your data stores for vulnerabilities, risks, and compliance violations
  • Establish and enforce robust data protection policies
  • Ensure your data operations remain compliant with ever-changing laws and regulations

Organizations look to CrowdStrike Falcon® Cloud Security as the industry’s most complete cloud security platform, delivering visibility into critical cloud data flows for discovery of sensitive data, potential risk exposure, and enforcement of controls to strengthen security posture.

When you’re ready to harden your data security with the CrowdStrike Falcon® platform, sign up for a 15-day free trial or contact our team today.


Yang Liang is the Director of Product Marketing for Cloud Security at CrowdStrike. He brings 13+ years of experience across product marketing, consulting, and engineering. Yang was most recently a product marketing lead at Wiz. Prior to Wiz, he led the customer identity product marketing team at Okta. Yang also has PMM experience at Google Cloud and VMware in network security, AI/ML, and cloud operations. He is a former Deloitte consultant and Siemens industrial engineer. Yang received his BSc in Industrial Engineering from Penn State, and his MBA from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business.