Redefining Cybersecurity: The Security Posture Management Framework

Redefining Cybersecurity: The Security Posture Management Framework

Taylor Grenawalt

Director,  Research & Insights

April 18, 2024

10 min

The cybersecurity landscape is undergoing a dramatic transformation, propelled by the rapid expansion of the digital risk surface and the escalating frequency and sophistication of cyber threats. This paradigm shift challenges the efficacy of traditional cybersecurity frameworks, often rigid and reactive rather than dynamic and proactive. Traditional approaches, focused primarily on perimeter defense and threat mitigation after the fact, are proving inadequate in the face of novel attack vectors, advanced persistent threats, and the complex interconnections of modern digital ecosystems. As organizations increasingly rely on digital technologies for critical operations, the limitations of these frameworks become glaringly apparent, underscoring the need for a strategic overhaul.

To effectively navigate the quickly evolving cybersecurity environment amidst accelerating technological evolution and heightened competitive pressures, enterprises must overhaul their traditional security systems and measures and adopt a forward-looking and more effective framework: Security Posture Management (SPM). SPM offers a blueprint for enterprises to fortify their defenses not just against the threats of today but those looming on the horizon. Doing so lays the foundation for a more secure and resilient digital future, where organizations can confidently operate in the face of an ever-evolving threat landscape.

The Emergence & Development of the SPM Framework  

SPM embodies a cybersecurity framework emphasizing streamlined, automated, and comprehensive monitoring, remediation, and safeguarding of an organization’s technology ecosystem. By leveraging data intelligence and systematic visibility, SPM provides an efficient means to preemptively address threats, vulnerabilities, and risks across a digital, complex, and interconnected technology landscape. This approach mitigates risks and aligns security strategies with the organization’s evolving needs, ensuring a resilient defense mechanism against the spectrum of cyber threats.

At the heart of the SPM framework lies a suite of critical features and technological functionalities designed to bolster an organization’s cybersecurity framework. Central to these features is the ability to continuously monitor, evaluate, and remediate the security landscape, ensuring potential threats and vulnerabilities are identified and addressed promptly. Automation plays a critical role in SPM, streamlining the processes of threat detection, data processing, system management, vulnerability assessment, and remediation to minimize human error and response times. Additionally, SPM offers deep insights and analytics, allowing for informed decision-making and strategic planning based on comprehensive data analysis collected from across the ecosystem. Furthermore, SPM identity and user management provide a comprehensive view of user behaviors and access patterns, enhancing the detection of anomalies that could signal a security threat. Integrating this identity-focused layer within SPM underscores a comprehensive approach, blending threat intelligence and risk management with safeguarding access to resources.

Key SPM Features & Functions

key features and functions of security posture management

  • Continuous Monitoring & Threat Detection: SPM technologies ensure real-time surveillance of the digital ecosystem, identifying vulnerabilities and potential threats as they emerge. This continuous oversight is essential for maintaining an up-to-date understanding of an organization’s security posture, allowing for swift identification and response to anomalies. By integrating advanced analytics and machine learning, SPM solutions can predict potential breaches and automatically initiate protective measures.
  • Automated Vulnerability Management: Automation is a cornerstone of the SPM framework, streamlining the identification, prioritization, and remediation of vulnerabilities. This feature significantly reduces the window of opportunity for attackers by ensuring that vulnerabilities are addressed promptly and efficiently. Automated workflows facilitate various important functions, including seamlessly patching software, adjusting misconfiguration adjustments, and enforcing security policies, minimizing human error and operational downtime.
  • Customizable Security Policies & Controls: The ability to define and enforce custom security policies and controls allows organizations to tailor their security measures to specific needs and risk profiles. SPM technologies provide the flexibility to develop bespoke policies that address unique organizational challenges and objectives. This customization extends from setting specific access controls and data handling practices to defining response protocols for identified threats, ensuring a security stance that is both robust and adaptable.
  • Streamlined Data & Threat Intelligence: SPM technologies aggregate and analyze data from various sources to provide actionable intelligence on potential threats and vulnerabilities. This streamlining of data and threat intelligence equips security teams with the insights to make informed decisions, enabling a proactive security posture that anticipates rather than reacts to threats. It ensures that organizations are always a step ahead, leveraging the latest intelligence to bolster their defenses.
  • Systematic Observability & Visibility: Achieving comprehensive observability and visibility across the entire IT ecosystem is a cornerstone of SPM. This functionality illuminates blind spots within networks, applications, and systems, providing a detailed and holistic view of the operational and security posture. Such visibility is paramount for detecting subtle anomalies that could indicate sophisticated cyber threats, ensuring that no aspect of the digital environment is left unmonitored.

This technological ecosystem and framework facilitate a holistic approach to cybersecurity, encompassing threat intelligence, asset and user management, and risk and vulnerability remediation, providing a robust, adaptable, and forward-thinking security posture that can withstand the challenges of a rapidly evolving digital world.

SPM Trend Drivers

The cybersecurity landscape is rapidly evolving, driven by a confluence of factors and dynamics that highlight the critical need and enterprise imperative for SPM technologies. The following represent the notable trend drivers that underscore the importance of SPM as an adaptive, proactive, and holistic framework enabling organizations to navigate the intricacies of the evolving technological landscape and risk landscape.

Rising Risk & Tooling of AI/ML Technologies:

rising risk and tooling of AI/ML technologies

The rapid acceleration, advancement, and proliferation of AI/ML technologies presents cybersecurity professionals and enterprises with a double-edged sword. While AI/ML enables attackers to conduct highly sophisticated and efficient social engineering attacks, it also empowers defense mechanisms through enhanced behavior analytics and anomaly detection. This dual-edge scenario is pivotal in the context of the SPM framework, where the ability to rapidly process and analyze vast volumes of data becomes critical in identifying and mitigating potential threats amidst a sea of informational noise. As AI/ML technologies evolve, so too do the attack methodologies that exploit them, driving the rise of the SPM framework, given its dynamic approach to cybersecurity that continuously adapts to the nuanced risks introduced by these advanced technologies.

top concerns with adopting generative AI

Resource & Talent Constraints:

resource and talent constraints

The cybersecurity domain is currently grappling with significant skill gaps, resource limitations, and challenging talent dynamics, exacerbating the challenges posed by an increasingly hostile cyber threat landscape. In the 2024 Vation Ventures Technology Executive Outlook Report, 25% of tech executives cite cybersecurity and risk management as a critical skill gap, and 42% highlight talent constraints as a significant barrier to adopting emerging technologies, highlighting the mounting cybersecurity pressures enterprises face. These constraints are particularly acute for SMEs, which are more vulnerable to cyber threats due to limited cybersecurity resources and expertise. With resource and talent constraints also reinforcing the move toward SaaS-based stack-building strategies, the SPM framework offers organizations a cost-efficient and comprehensive solution by streamlining the management of security tools, monitoring, and response, offsetting talent and resource gaps.

Expanding Ecosystem Connectivity:

Growing technological connectivity and digitalization, expanding ecosystems, and the rise of new sophisticated systems are drastically broadening the attack surface and complicating its secure and efficient management. This multi-pronged expansion is not just about quantity but also the complexity of interconnected systems ranging from legacy hardware to modern edge- and IoT-driven technologies. Recent cybersecurity incidents, such as the widespread TheMoon botnet-driven compromise of Asus routers, highlight the vulnerabilities inherent in outdated equipment and underscore the challenge of configuring and balancing the security of legacy systems with the integration of new technologies. SPM technology addresses this challenge by providing a way to holistically oversee and secure this heterogeneous mix of digital and physical assets. By adopting SPM, organizations can monitor and protect their expanding digital footprints and ensure that the integration of new technologies does not come at the expense of exposing old vulnerabilities.

SaaS-Based Stack Building:

global as-a-service market segments

Enterprises are increasingly adopting SaaS-based technology and infrastructure stack-building strategies to leverage cloud-based services to address various shifting competitive, technological, and operational dynamics. By transitioning to SaaS, companies aim to simplify the complexities associated with technology and infrastructure management, operation, and maintenance, mitigating operational and resource pressures. The adoption of SaaS-based stacks underscores a fundamental transformation in the IT domain, emphasizing the importance of flexibility, efficiency, and scalability to adeptly meet the demands of contemporary digital infrastructure management. As organizations embrace cloud-based services to navigate the complexities of modern IT management and enhance operational efficiency, SPM has become essential in safeguarding these digital environments. It facilitates a comprehensive approach to identify, assess, and mitigate the vulnerabilities and security challenges inherent in SaaS ecosystems, ensuring that the transition to cloud services optimizes business operations and fortifies the organization’s cybersecurity framework.

SPM Investment Activity Indicators

The following represent some of the notable recent investment activity and M&A events that highlight the growing momentum, traction, and importance of the SPM framework. The recent strategic moves of Axonius, Vicarius, Claroty, SentinelOne, and Cycode signify a decisive shift towards enhancing and expanding SPM capabilities. Bolstered by significant funding rounds and acquisitions, these companies are pioneering the integration of advanced technologies to fortify digital and physical assets against evolving cyber threats, showcasing the cybersecurity industry’s growing focus on developing comprehensive, AI-powered SPM solutions.

Axonius Raises $200m Series E Extension (Mar-24)

Company Overview: Axonius offers a multifaceted and comprehensive platform consolidating asset management and cybersecurity measures. Their system integrates and simplifies the intricate web of digital infrastructure, allowing for meticulous tracking and management of devices, users, software, SaaS applications, and cloud services. By enabling organizations to seamlessly aggregate and analyze critical data points, identify vulnerabilities, and automate remediation, Axonius enhances the operational efficiency of IT and security teams and strengthens the entire security posture of enterprises striving for digital resilience.
Investment Event Overview: Axonius has raised an additional $200 million in an extension of its $200 million Series E round, co-led by Accel and Lightspeed, maintaining a valuation of $2.6 billion and bringing its total amount raised to $865 million. This financial milestone was achieved while the company has shown rapid growth, evidenced by its achievement of over $100 million in annual recurring revenue within five years of operation.
SPM Perspective: The investment in Axonius is a strong indication of the growing importance of SPM technologies in the cybersecurity industry. The company’s capability to offer a unified solution for comprehensive asset management exemplifies the expanding demand for SPM solutions. The fresh injection of capital comes as the company makes several key announcements underscoring its leadership in the SPM space, including progression through the rigorous FedRAMP authorization journey, a strategic partnership with physical cybersecurity provider Claroty, and a platform update designed to make identifying, tracking, and remediating asset-related issues easier and more actionable with visibility across the entire IT ecosystem.

Vicarius Raises $30m Series B (Jan-24)

Company Overview: Vicarius develops a platform that facilitates autonomous end-to-end vulnerability management across an enterprise’s technology ecosystem. The platform seamlessly integrates within the SPM framework, providing organizations with a robust toolset for vulnerability discovery, prioritization, and remediation coupled with powerful automation capabilities. With its comprehensive approach, Vicarius ensures that security risks are proactively managed across the entire digital infrastructure, thereby fortifying the cybersecurity defenses of its clients.
Investment Event Overview: Vicarius has recently completed a notable financial milestone, securing a $30 million Series B funding round led by Bright Pixel Capital. The infusion of capital brings the company’s total funding amount to $56.7 million and doubles the company’s prior valuation. On the heels of explosive growth, supported by a 500% revenue increase last year, the funding comes as the company unveils vuln_GPT, an AI-driven tool for writing breach detection and remediation scripts. The new capital will accelerate Vicarius’s global expansion and team growth and further advance its AI-driven product development, positioning the company favorably within the burgeoning SPM ecosystem.
SPM Perspective: The Series B funding round that Vicarius has secured fuels the company’s innovative stride within the cybersecurity landscape and casts a spotlight on the pivotal role of SPM technologies in today’s digital ecosystem. Embodying the essence of SPM, Vicarius provides an autonomous end-to-end platform that encapsulates vulnerability discovery to remediation, a critical capability in the SPM market. The investment underscores Vicarius’s growing influence in the SPM arena, bolstered by the launch of vuln_GPT, which showcases their commitment to advancing AI-driven security measures. Such technological milestones from Vicarius mark a significant trend in the SPM domain, reinforcing the necessity for integrated, intelligent security management systems that can adapt to and mitigate the complex risks facing modern digital infrastructures.

Claroty Raises $100m Venture Funding (Mar-24)

Company Overview: Claroty specializes in cyber-physical systems (CPS) cybersecurity, offering comprehensive protection in operating environments. Their unified platform provides extensive visibility, risk and vulnerability management, threat detection, and secure remote access, making it a vital component in the SPM framework. With its comprehensive approach, Claroty ensures the security of the Extended Internet of Things (XIoT), aligning with SPM’s goal to manage and secure critical infrastructure against evolving cyber threats effectively.
Investment Event Overview: Claroty has secured $100 million in strategic growth financing, with contributions from a diverse group of investors led by Delta-v Capital. This funding will enable Claroty to enhance its cyber-physical systems protection platform, expand its reach across key verticals and regions, and accelerate research and development efforts. This latest round of financing, adding to the company’s prior $635 million, solidifies Claroty’s leadership in the critical infrastructure cybersecurity market, supporting its mission to safeguard the interconnected digital and physical realms.
SPM Perspective: The significant investment in Claroty underscores the growing emphasis on Security Posture Management within the cybersecurity industry, particularly in protecting cyber-physical systems. By expanding its platform and capabilities, Claroty is set to advance the adoption of the SPM framework across various industries, further integrating CPS security into the broader security strategy. This move signals a broader industry trend towards comprehensive, platform-based solutions that provide end-to-end security coverage, reinforcing the importance of SPM in ensuring the resilience of critical infrastructure in an increasingly interconnected world.

SentinelOne Acquires PingSafe (Jan-24)

Company Overview: SentinelOne is a key player in cybersecurity and SPM, delivering extensive security coverage and tooling across enterprises. Focusing on providing comprehensive coverage across endpoints, identities, and clouds, SentinelOne’s approach to SPM ensures robust protection for enterprises’ dynamic digital environments. Their integrated platform is designed to automate and streamline the detection and neutralization of cyber threats, making SentinelOne a significant force in advancing the SPM framework.
Investment Event Overview: SentinelOne has announced its strategic acquisition of PingSafe, aiming to amplify its cloud security offerings with PingSafe’s cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP). This acquisition is set to create a seamlessly integrated platform that enhances cloud workload security and data security, delivering a more unified security management experience. With the integration of advanced AI and analytics capabilities, SentinelOne is further solidifying its position as a key leader within the SPM framework and ecosystem.  
SPM Perspective: By incorporating PingSafe’s CNAPP into SentinelOne’s Singularity Platform, SentinelOne is set to deliver a unified and holistic SPM solution that promises enhanced cloud security through advanced AI analytics and real-time operations. This move indicates a strategic expansion within the SPM market, showcasing the trend toward integrating various security dimensions and AI functionalities into a single, more effective management system that caters to the complex needs of modern enterprises.

Cycode Acquires Bearer for $10m (Mar-24)

Company Overview: Cycode is the developer of a robust Application Security Posture Management (ASPM) platform. Their suite, including advanced SAST, API discovery, and data leak protection, provides organizations with a comprehensive approach to safeguarding their software development lifecycle. Within the SPM framework, Cycode’s solutions offer critical visibility, prioritization, and remediation of application vulnerabilities at scale, promoting a secure code development process that does not compromise speed or efficiency.
Investment Event Overview: Cycode has announced a pivotal acquisition of Bearer, further strengthening its ASPM capabilities with Bearer’s modern AI-powered SAST and data leak protection. This strategic enhancement accelerates Cycode’s mission to provide developers with fast, precise, and actionable security insights, enhancing its positioning within the application segment of the SPM framework. The integration of Bearer into Cycode’s platform promises to deliver unrivaled scanning speed and accuracy, enhancing the overall security posture and developer experience.
SPM Perspective: The acquisition of Bearer by Cycode is a significant stride forward in the maturation of ASPM within the broader SPM framework. This integration promises to elevate ASPM capabilities by offering developers and security teams an AI-powered toolkit for navigating and mitigating security vulnerabilities more efficiently. As enterprises increasingly rely on custom application development to harness tailored AI value, the need for an advanced ASPM solution to swiftly identify, analyze, and rectify security threats in the software development lifecycle becomes paramount. Cycode’s strategic move to incorporate Bearer’s cutting-edge technologies underscores the industry’s progression towards embracing comprehensive, intelligent security management systems that align with the dynamic needs of modern software development and security practices.

Notable SPM Technological Segments & Components

Vation Ventures market map of security posture management framework solutions
Each of the featured Market Map previews were created with the Market Map Builder feature on the Platform. The Platform provides a comprehensive research tool to keep you up-to-date on emerging technologies. Request a demo to learn more about Security Posture Management and more innovative solutions that are changing the technology landscape.

The landscape of Security Posture Management (SPM) is defined by a spectrum of technological segments, each addressing unique facets of cybersecurity to fortify the digital infrastructure and data assets of organizations. Together, the following segments provide an initial comprehensive SPM framework to safeguard against existing and emerging cybersecurity threats, risks, and vulnerabilities, ensuring a robust, integrated approach to maintaining an organization’s security posture.

Data Security Posture Management (DSPM)

data security posture management market map

Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) represents the technologies that safeguard organizations’ data across various environments, including cloud and on-premises storage. By enabling the identification, assessment, and mitigation of risks associated with data storage, processing, and transmission, DSPM ensures compliance with global data protection regulations. It addresses the challenge of protecting the increasing volume and complexity of data against sophisticated cybersecurity threats, thereby maintaining the integrity and security of valuable data assets.

Within the Security Posture Management (SPM) framework, DSPM plays a crucial role by offering a proactive, comprehensive approach to data security. It enhances an organization’s ability to safeguard critical data amidst the challenges posed by digital transformation and the expanding risk surface. DSPM’s integration into SPM underscores the necessity of data-centric security strategies in today’s digital landscape, where data drives business growth and represents a significant target for cyber threats.

Application Security Posture Management (ASPM)

application security posture management market map

Application Security Posture Management (ASPM) is a strategic approach aimed at bolstering the security of applications across the development lifecycle. It combines continuous monitoring and assessment to pinpoint vulnerabilities and suggest remediation tactics, thus allowing for proactive risk management. By integrating with various tools and platforms, ASPM enables seamless enforcement of security policies and a comprehensive risk assessment across applications, facilitating a thorough understanding and swift response to potential security threats.

Within the SPM framework, ASPM plays a crucial role by extending the focus of security efforts directly to the application layer, which is often the frontline in the battle against cyber threats. It ensures that applications deployed in the cloud or on-premises are constantly evaluated for vulnerabilities, thus minimizing the attack surface and enhancing the overall security posture. ASPM’s capability to provide a unified view of application risks and streamline remediation processes complements the broader objectives of SPM by addressing the complex security needs of modern software development environments.

SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM)

SaaS security posture management market map

SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) is a comprehensive cloud-based solution designed to bolster the security of SaaS applications by providing deep visibility into security configurations, user privileges, and integrations. It identifies and remediates misconfigurations, excessive permissions, and compliance risks, ensuring that SaaS platforms operate within an organization’s security policies. Through continuous monitoring and automated policy enforcement, SSPM plays a pivotal role in safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining regulatory compliance across the diverse SaaS landscape.

Within the Security Posture Management (SPM) framework, SSPM serves a critical function by extending security measures specifically to SaaS environments, which are increasingly vital to business operations yet present unique vulnerabilities due to their remote hosting and broad access points. SSPM’s focus on SaaS applications complements the broader goals of SPM by ensuring that these essential services do not become the weak link in an organization’s security posture. By automating detection and remediation processes, SSPM enhances an organization’s ability to proactively manage SaaS-related risks, contributing to a more robust and resilient overall security strategy.

Identity Security Posture Management (ISPM)

Identity security posture management market map

Identity Security Posture Management (ISPM) is a cybersecurity approach focused on securing and managing digital identities across an organization’s IT systems and applications. It integrates various identity-based verification and management technologies to understand, monitor, and improve the security posture related to user identities and access privileges. ISPM ensures robust protection against unauthorized access and potential cyber threats by leveraging identity analytics and risk intelligence to proactively manage identity-related risks.

Within the SPM framework, ISPM plays a crucial role by providing the foundational layer of security based on digital identities, which is crucial in mitigating risks associated with access to critical systems and data. By proactively managing and securing user identities and access rights, ISPM helps organizations reduce the risk of data breaches and mitigate unauthorized internal and external access to assets. It complements other segments of the SPM framework by focusing on the human aspect of cybersecurity, thereby enhancing the overall effectiveness and resilience of an organization’s security strategy.

Cloud & Network Security Posture Management (CNSPM)

Cloud and network security posture management market map

Cloud & Network Security Posture Management (CNSPM) encompasses technologies and practices aimed at identifying misconfigurations, compliance and vulnerability risks, and security threats within cloud and network environments. This comprehensive approach integrates Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) with network security measures to continuously monitor and enforce security policies, ensuring the integrity of cloud infrastructures, services, and data. CNSPM solutions offer capabilities such as real-time threat detection, automated remediation, and compliance assurance across hybrid, multi-cloud, and network ecosystems, enhancing visibility and control over the security posture of an organization’s digital assets.

Within the SPM framework, CNSPM is critical for ensuring safe and secure connectivity across cloud and network infrastructures. It enables organizations to maintain a robust security posture by offering a unified solution that monitors and manages security risks in cloud environments and network architectures. CNSPM’s integration into the SPM framework helps organizations navigate the complexities of securing dispersed digital assets, facilitating a secure, compliant, and resilient operational landscape. Through continuous monitoring and adaptive security measures, CNSPM supports the core objective of SPM to protect against evolving threats while ensuring seamless and secure access to cloud and network resources.

3rd Party Security Posture Management (3PSPM)

3rd party security posture management market map

3rd Party Security Posture Management (3PSPM) is a comprehensive approach to assessing, monitoring, and mitigating risks associated with external vendors, suppliers, and service providers. It encompasses various strategies and tools to ensure third-party engagements do not compromise the organization’s security posture. By systematically evaluating third-party risks, from cybersecurity threats to compliance challenges, 3PSPM enables organizations to maintain oversight over the security practices of their external partners, ensuring that they adhere to established security standards and regulations.

3PSPM plays an important role within the SPM framework, extending an organization’s security perimeter beyond its immediate environment to include its network of third-party relationships. This inclusion is vital as vulnerabilities in a vendor’s system can directly impact the security and compliance posture of the hiring organization. 3PSPM ensures that third-party risks are identified, assessed, and mitigated in alignment with the organization’s overall security strategy, thus safeguarding against indirect exposure to threats and enhancing the overall resilience of the SPM ecosystem.

Endpoint Security Posture Management (ESPM)

Endpoint security posture management

Endpoint Security Posture Management (ESPM) is a holistic strategy designed to secure and manage the wide array of devices connecting to an organization’s network. ESPM incorporates continuous asset discovery, visibility, and mapping alongside comprehensive device diagnostics, automated configuration correction, and vulnerability and patch management to cover a spectrum from conventional computing devices to the expansive realms of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Operational Technology (OT) systems. By leveraging ESPM technologies, enterprises can ensure that all endpoints are continuously monitored and protected, thus maintaining the integrity and security of device configurations and operations across the network.

ESPM technologies play an important role within SPM by extending the security perimeter to the individual device level—whether they are laptops, desktops, mobile devices, IoT, or OT systems. ESPM’s capabilities in asset discovery, visibility, and effective vulnerability management are integral to identifying and mitigating risks before they can be exploited, ensuring a robust defense mechanism against emerging threats. By seamlessly integrating with broader SPM strategies, ESPM enhances an organization’s overall security posture through comprehensive endpoint protection, contributing to a secure, compliant, and resilient digital environment.


The SPM framework represents a pivotal advancement in cybersecurity, addressing the critical need for a more dynamic, proactive, and integrated approach to safeguarding digital assets and infrastructures. As technological ecosystems evolve and the complexity of cyber threats increases, SPM stands at the forefront of innovation, offering a comprehensive solution that spans data protection and application security to cloud, network, and endpoint defenses. This holistic framework, which continues to undergo advancement, development, and expansion beyond the segments mentioned, enhances an organization’s ability to respond to immediate threats and prepares it to anticipate and neutralize future challenges. By continuously advancing and adapting to the rapidly changing digital environment, SPM ensures that enterprises can navigate the intricacies of cybersecurity with confidence and resilience, marking a new era of sophisticated, intelligent security management.

Looking for ways to implement a Security Posture Management Framework successfully? Contact our experts today to learn more about our research capabilities and how we can tailor a cybersecurity and SPM strategy that addresses your current challenges and anticipates future threats.