In the age of cloud computing, data security and cost management are paramount for businesses. Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) serves as a critical tool in this landscape, offering businesses a way to keep their data secure while also managing their cloud storage costs effectively.

DSPM is an essential component of cloud data management, as it provides organizations with the visibility and control needed to protect their data across different cloud environments. By identifying and classifying data, DSPM ensures that sensitive information is adequately secured and that security policies are consistently applied, no matter where the data resides.

One of the key cost-saving aspects of DSPM is its ability to identify and eliminate (ROT) data. This type of data, which often accumulates unnoticed, can significantly inflate cloud storage costs. By using DSPM tools to pinpoint and remove ROT data, businesses can both reduce their storage needs and also streamline their operations while minimizing the risk of data breaches.

The impact of ROT data on cloud storage costs can’t be overstated. As companies scale, the volume of data they store grows exponentially. Without proper management, the costs associated with storing unnecessary data can become a substantial financial burden.

DSPM offers a practical solution to this challenge, helping businesses keep only the data that adds value and ensuring that every byte of storage is used efficiently.

In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into how DSPM works, its role in reducing cloud storage costs, and the steps businesses can take to implement DSPM effectively.

The cost of cloud storage: breaking down the numbers

Cloud storage operates on a pay-as-you-use model, which appears cost-effective at first glance. However, when businesses fail to monitor and manage their data effectively, costs can escalate quickly. Pricing is typically based on the volume of storage used, the period of data retention, and the frequency of operations such as data retrieval. While the per-gigabyte cost is low, the cumulative expense of maintaining large volumes of data over time can be significant, turning what seems like a nominal expense into a substantial financial commitment.

Adding to the direct storage costs is the often-overlooked issue of “ shadow data”—unmonitored data that accumulates in the cloud. This includes backups, logs, and remnants from data migrations. Such data, while not immediately visible, can consume considerable resources. For instance, eliminating shadow data helped one company save $115,000 per year by simply removing unnecessary data and consolidating data stores.

The risk associated with shadow data is not just financial; sensitive information lying dormant in the cloud increases the risk of data breaches, which can have a remediation cost of millions, emphasizing the importance of vigilance in data management.

Redundant, obsolete, or trivial (ROT) data compounds the issue, with outdated and unnecessary data leading to wasted resources and increased risk. Businesses must recognize the significance of ROT data, which often goes unnoticed but can constitute a large portion of cloud storage expenses. Regular identification and removal of ROT data can yield substantial cost savings and improve security posture.

Identifying ROT data with DSPM tools

The first line of defence against this insidious cost of ROT data is global data visibility. Data security posture management (DSPM) tools shine a light on every corner of your cloud environment, revealing the hidden caches of unnecessary data that need attention.

DSPM tools bring precision and efficiency to your data audits with Automated Data Discovery and Classification. By automating the identification process, these tools categorize data based on its relevance and sensitivity, flagging what’s unnecessary or outdated. This classification is crucial not just for understanding what data you have, but also for determining the urgency and method of disposal or archiving.

Embracing good data hygiene practices is like regular housekeeping for your cloud storage. DSPM tools help implement these practices by routinely scanning for ROT data, ensuring that only essential, up-to-date, and compliant data occupies your valuable cloud space. They also prevent future ROT data accumulation by enforcing policies that curb the creation of unnecessary data. With DSPM, you streamline your cloud environment, enhancing both security and cost efficiency.

Implementing DSPM for cost reduction

Effective implementation of Data security posture management (DSPM) can drive significant cost reductions in cloud storage by addressing three critical areas: risk management, access governance, and compliance.

  • Data Security Risk Management begins with a comprehensive risk assessment, where data is scrutinized for vulnerabilities and classified according to the level of risk it poses if breached. By doing so, DSPM tools enable organizations to prioritize the cleanup of high-risk data, which not only tightens security but also strategically reduces storage costs. High-risk data often includes sensitive PII data that can be costly to store due to the stringent security measures it requires.

  • Data Access Governance (DAG) is pivotal for storage optimization. Controlling who has access to what data is a cornerstone of DSPM. By monitoring data access, a DAG solution identifies data that is infrequently used. This helps organizations find outdated or obsolete data that can be archived or deleted. This targeted approach to data access minimizes storage bloat and optimizes costs. By implementing strict governance protocols, organizations can ensure that data sprawl is kept in check.

  • Data Privacy and Compliance are not just regulatory obligations but also opportunities for cost savings. Ensuring that data storage practices are in line with compliance standards often requires a review and reduction of stored data volumes. DSPM facilitates this by automating the discovery of non-compliant or over-retained data, enabling organizations to streamline their data stores to hold only what is necessary and compliant. This minimizes the risk of costly legal and regulatory penalties and reduces the overall cost of data storage.

Step-by-step guide to using DSPM

Follow this straightforward, numbered guide to integrate DSPM into your cloud strategy:

  1. Enforcing Data Security Policies: Begin by setting clear data security guidelines. Implementing DSPM starts with establishing and applying robust policies that define how data should be protected and who should have access to it.

  2. Controlling Data Exposure: Utilize DSPM tools to monitor data access and movement within the cloud. Apply encryption and access controls to secure sensitive data and reduce the risk of unauthorized exposure.

  3. Data Sovereignty Compliance: Ensure that data residency requirements are met to avoid legal penalties and reduce costs associated with data transfer across borders. DSPM can automate and enforce policies to keep data within required jurisdictions.

  4. Environment Segmentation: Strategically place data in the correct segments of your cloud environment. This practice not only enhances security but also aids in cost management by aligning data storage with organizational needs and access patterns.

Advanced DSPM features for cloud cost optimization

Advanced DSPM tools are essential for achieving cost-effective and secure cloud environments. Automating policy enforcement allows for constant, autonomous monitoring and real-time responses to security deviations, significantly reducing the chance of breaches. This automation extends to compliance checks and threat detection, streamlining security operations and reducing the likelihood of costly human errors.

Integrating DSPM with existing cloud architecture ensures that security measures are woven into the fabric of cloud operations. This alignment allows DSPM tools to guide efficient resource use and data lifecycle management, optimizing storage allocation, and suggesting cost-saving measures like data archiving or deletion in line with usage and sensitivity.

By leveraging these essential DSPM capabilities, organizations can maintain a strong security posture while optimizing cloud storage costs. The result is a proactive, streamlined approach to data management that safeguards assets and aligns spending with actual data needs.

Real-world example of identifying and deleting ROT data

In a dynamic e-commerce landscape, Payability stands out as a pioneer, leveraging cutting-edge solutions to streamline its data governance. The company faced a common yet critical challenge: the accumulation of ROT (Redundant, Obsolete, or Trivial) data cluttering its cloud environment. This not only inflated costs but also muddled the software development process with potentially outdated information.

Enter Laminar, an agile cloud-native data security platform. With its sophisticated capabilities, Laminar empowered Payability to achieve continuous and autonomous data discovery, classification, and protection across their multi-cloud setup. This tool provided invaluable insights into data storage, access, usage, and flow, particularly pinpointing ROT data.

By harnessing Laminar’s precise and user-friendly interface, Payability efficiently identified and eliminated ROT data. This decluttering not only optimized cloud expenses but also enhanced their developmental agility. Gevorg Khangeldyan, Payability’s Data Program Manager, lauded Laminar’s coherent UI and low false positive rates, emphasizing its role in streamlining their cloud environment for more effective and cost-efficient operations. This e-commerce data security case study underlines the critical importance and benefits of proactive ROT data management in today’s cloud-reliant business world.


From gaining visibility and control of your data across varied cloud environments to the strategic elimination of ROT data, DSPM offers defense against security vulnerabilities.

The journey through DSPM has highlighted the potency of automated tools in discovering, classifying, and enforcing policies that govern data security, access, and compliance. By prioritizing high-risk data and adhering to stringent access and privacy standards, organizations can significantly diminish their cloud storage footprint and associated costs. Moreover, advanced DSPM features like policy automation and cloud architecture integration have shown to be indispensable for continuous monitoring and real-time threat response, ensuring that security is a constant, unwavering guard over your business data.

The role of DSPM in cloud storage cost management is sure to become more crucial as data volumes expand and cloud complexity intensifies. The future of DSPM will likely be characterized by even greater automation, deeper integration with cloud services, and enhanced artificial intelligence capabilities. As these technologies evolve, they will further empower organizations to navigate the digital landscape with confidence, making DSPM an indispensable tool in the quest for security and efficiency in the cloud.


What is ROT Data?

ROT data refers to digital information within an organization’s IT assets that is Redundant, Obsolete, or Trivial. Redundant data is unnecessary duplicate information; Obsolete data is outdated and no longer useful for current business processes; Trivial data is information that holds no significant business value. ROT data can consume valuable storage resources and potentially increase security risks, making its identification and removal critical for efficient data management and cost savings.

What is DSPM and how does it reduce cloud storage costs?

Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) is a strategic framework utilized within cloud environments to enhance data security and manage operational costs effectively. It provides organizations with comprehensive visibility and control over their data assets, regardless of their location, across various cloud platforms. Through the identification, classification, and application of security policies, DSPM ensures that all data, especially sensitive and regulated information, is adequately protected. Moreover, DSPM tools play a crucial role in reducing cloud storage costs by identifying data that is redundant, obsolete, or trivial and can be removed. This not only streamlines cloud storage usage but also strengthens the overall security posture by minimizing potential data breach risks.

How often should ROT data be reviewed and removed?

ROT data should be reviewed regularly, depending on the organization’s data generation rate and the capabilities of their DSPM tools for continuous monitoring.

Can DSPM tools integrate with all cloud service providers?

Yes, DSPM tools can integrate with all major cloud service providers. When selecting a DSPM solution, it is essential to choose one that not only caters to all major cloud service providers but also has the capability to interface with a variety of data environments. This includes databases, data pipelines, object storage, disk storage, managed file storage, data warehouses, lakes, and analytics pipelines, which can be either managed or self-hosted​​. The Laminar Platform, specifically, is highlighted for its ability to support extensive cloud data deployments. It is designed to handle thousands of data stores and manage petabytes of data across all the major cloud service providers and leading data warehouses. The platform is built for deployment across tens of thousands of accounts, running autonomously without a significant increase in administrative workload​.