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What Is SSPM? SaaS Security Posture Management

SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) Meaning

What is SSPM? Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) security posture management (SSPM) is a category of automated security tools for tracking security threats in SaaS applications. Misconfigurations, unused user accounts, excessive user rights, compliance hazards, and other cloud security problems are all detected by SSPM security.

In keeping with this SSPM meaning, a fully equipped SSPM system focuses on SaaS-based tools, such as ServiceNow or Office 365, making it easier for businesses to secure their cloud applications.

Why Do Enterprises Need SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM)?

One of the dangers of using SaaS applications does not typically stem from a security flaw in the software itself, but rather from improper software configuration. The majority of cloud applications provide options and best practices for protecting business-critical data. IT operations and security teams already have a lot on their plates, supporting a hybrid workforce and handling day-to-day challenges, so having to manually configure the necessary security settings on potentially hundreds of different SaaS services is an uphill battle for most businesses.

This is where SSPM comes in. Many businesses need solutions to carefully manage their cloud security and access controls. SSPM solutions execute routine and critical security configuration processes in an intelligent and efficient manner—using technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

How Does SSPM Work?

SSPM tools routinely evaluate SaaS applications in the following areas:

  1. User permission settings: SSPM examines what users are permitted to do inside the SaaS applications. Some SSPM solutions can also identify unused and inactive user accounts. Terminating user accounts aids in lowering the number of attack vectors.
  2. Compliance: SSPM pinpoints security threats that can cause a business to violate data security and privacy laws.
  3. Configuration: SSPM searches for security configuration mistakes that can expose data.

If SSPM finds risks in certain areas, it automatically warns security teams. Some SSPM solutions can automatically mitigate many of these dangers.

5 Key Features of SSPM

Here are five critical security features that power an SSPM solution:

  1. Non-stop monitoring: An SSPM solution constantly keeps an eye on SaaS applications and implements privacy and security rules.
  2. Remediation: SSPM solutions can significantly bolster your ability to react to security problems because they offer active remediation measures against threats. This way, your IT team does not have to manually deal with each issue.
  3. Support for different applications: SSPM systems are compatible with most applications, enabling easy integration with other SaaS tools your organization already uses, such as messaging platforms, workspaces, dashboards, video conferencing platforms, HR management systems, and customer support tools. SSPM solutions can identify potentially problematic roles and privileges or misconfigured settings in any of these applications.
  4. Ingrained security benchmarks: SSPM solutions can identify configurations that are either insecure or could present compliance issues—all according to standard industry benchmarks.
  5. Single-pane-of-glass visibility: An SSPM solution can display all relevant security risks for all of your applications on a single dashboard. This makes it easier to get all stakeholders on the same page.

SSPM vs CASB vs CSPM: Comparative Analysis

SSPM, cloud access security broker (CASB), and cloud security posture management (CSPM) are similar in that they all provide security for cloud applications. However, there are some differences that make each solution unique.


CASB protects sensitive data by consolidating multiple security policies to defend your data. A CASB might be hosted in the cloud, on-premises, or as software. It connects customers and cloud service providers through a secure interface and can identify problems in a variety of cloud settings, including platform-as-a-service (PaaS), SaaS, and infrastructure as-a-service (IaaS).

SSPM, on the other hand, focuses on cloud applications, not the entire cloud ecosystem like CASB does.


SSPM is similar to cloud security posture management (CSPM) in that both check cloud applications for configuration vulnerabilities. But CSPM is more focused on identifying specific loopholes that present risk to your network. For example, if a user has improper account permissions that enable them to access sensitive areas of a cloud application, CSPM can address that issue.

By identifying risks to your environment, CSPM safeguards your cloud processes. It incorporates automation to evaluate security flaws and offers solutions to fix them. CSPM enables a company to proactively evaluate risk, minimize misconfiguration, and identify strategies to ensure that your cloud ecosystem has the highest levels of security to protect sensitive business data.

So while SSPM is designed to identify and address issues within specific applications, CSPM addresses misconfigurations and vulnerabilities throughout your cloud environment.

Checklist for Selecting a SSPM Solution

Here are the most important things you should look for when choosing an SSPM solution:

Range of Integrations

The ability of an SSPM solution to integrate with all of your SaaS applications is paramount. Each SaaS application is set up differently. Any application, even those that are not essential to the operation of the business, can pose a risk.

In addition, it is important to keep in mind that some applications frequently act as entry points for attacks. Search for an SSPM system that can integrate with at least 25 applications, particularly with ones you currently use, is flexible, and can perform checks to guard against misconfigurations.

Comprehensive and In-depth Security Inspections

Security staff must keep an eye on several aspects of each domain, including access control, data leakage, virus protection, and even compliance regulations. This enables them to get ahead of threats early in their life cycle, preventing issues from getting out of control.

Remediation and Continuous Monitoring

Threats can be countered by constant monitoring and proactive remediation. In business settings, fixing misconfiguration problems is a difficult and delicate task. The SSPM solution should make it simple for you to monitor and create alerts. In this manner, vulnerabilities can be fixed before hackers can take advantage of them.

System Functionality

Your security team should be able to add and monitor new SaaS applications with ease using your SSPM solution. The best security solutions should be simple to integrate with your current infrastructure and applications. To build a comprehensive defense against cyber threats, your SSPM system should be non-intrusive, present very few false positives, include self-service wizards, and have reliable APIs.

Access, Discovery, and Control for Third-party Applications

An adequate SSPM solution offers visibility into the associated third-party applications and the access and permissions that have been granted to them. It also allows you to easily revoke access when it is no longer needed. Revoking access helps prevent hackers from using these applications to infect your network.

Device Posture Management

Device posture management involves the capacity to tie SaaS application users, their roles, and permissions to the compliance standards of corresponding devices. For example, if a device is not supposed to have access to a certain application, the SSPM solution should be able to prevent it from interacting with it.

How Fortinet Can Help

FortiGuard CASB service accomplishes what SSPM does for your cloud applications—while also protecting the rest of your cloud infrastructure. This subscription-based service provides visibility, data security, compliance, and threat protection for your cloud environment.


What is an SSPM?

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) security posture management (SSPM) is a category of automated security tools for tracking security threats in SaaS applications. Misconfigurations, unused user accounts, excessive user rights, compliance risks, and other cloud security problems are all detected by SSPM security.