Why Data Security Posture Management?

Human illness is inevitable. So are data breaches. In 2023 alone, there were 10,626 confirmed data breaches, doubling that in 2022 (5,199 breaches). (Source: Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report for 2023 and 2024)

You cannot protect yourself 100% from getting ill. But you can proactively adopt a healthy lifestyle and habits to help reduce the risk and the impact of an illness and recover quickly. Similarly, your organization cannot protect itself 100% from the outcome of a data breach. However, you can take proactive measures to reduce the risk of data exfiltration and minimize the impact of cyberattacks. Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) can help with this.



By 2026, more than 20% of organizations will deploy DSPM technology, due to the urgent requirements to identify and locate previously unknown data repositories and to mitigate associated security and privacy risks.

Source: Gartner Innovation Insight: Data Security Posture Management

Let’s dive into what Data Security Posture Management can do for your organization.

What is Data Security Posture Management?

Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) is an approach to data security that solves one of the most complex issues in modern hybrid environments - knowing where all your data is and how it is secured. This emerging security trend was named by Gartner in its 2022 Hype Cycle for Data Security and has emerged as one of the most pertinent practices in the cybersecurity space. DSPM addresses the inherent challenges arising from the rapid proliferation of sensitive data in on-premises, cloud, and SaaS environments.

Data Security Posture Management provides important, actionable data context, to help CISOs, CIOs and IT executives know about their organization's data and be able to answer these questions:


By having an inventory of your data assets and risks wherever your data lives, having visibility into who has access to the data and applying least privilege access to the data, you can be better prepared ahead of an attack to minimize data exposure and data exfiltration risks.

There are four common Data Security Posture Management capabilities.

Use Data Discovery and Classification to automatically discover and classify sensitive data across on-premises, Cloud, and SaaS environments.

  • Identify what types of sensitive and regulated data are present across the environment.

  • Analyze data proliferation over time across different environments and workload types. 

  • Identify highly sensitive information workloads that require the highest level of security to ensure adequate protection.

Use Data Risk Management  to eliminate and archive unused data, and secure the rest.

  • Discover unused or redundant data that can be deleted or archived, to potentially lower storage or backup costs. 

  • Identify overexposed data (exposed to public, internet-facing, externally shared, or organization-wide) to reduce the data attack surface.

  • Ensure data is properly protected, aligning with your security standards and regulations.

  • Define guardrails to ensure regulated and sensitive data is stored in the appropriate locations.

Use Data Access Governance to minimize excessive and unqualified access to sensitive data.

  • Discover high-risk identities to be able to right-size their permissions and to limit the scope and damage of security incidents.

  • Identify the blast radius of a compromised identity to help identify and proactively reduce risk. 

  • Post a breach, help accelerate incident response and forensics by allowing prioritization of impacted users and tracing activity that led to the breach.

  • Identify excessive and unqualified/unauthorized permissions for users or groups to data they shouldn’t have access to.

Use Data Detection and Response to detect suspicious and malicious data activity.

  • Continuous monitoring to help ensure all sensitive objects are monitored for suspicious and malicious activity. 

  • Reduce noise by prioritizing activity monitoring alerts based on data sensitivity.

  • Reduce mean time to detect (MTTD) through integration with leading SIEM and ITSM tools; investigate threats quickly and effectively using data context.

Data Security Posture Management is a data security approach that addresses the challenge arising from the rapid proliferation of your organization’s sensitive data everywhere, by helping organizations discover where all their sensitive data is everywhere and reduce the risk of data theft. Similarly, personal health management is a proactive approach that helps address the challenge of humans contracting illnesses due to exposure to various organisms (food, plants, other humans, and animals).

Data Security Posture Management and Personal Health Management help organizations and human beings stay resilient in the face of risks to data and health, respectively.

Data Security Posture Management Questions DSPM can help answer Personal Health Management
Discover sensitive data everywhere (on-premises, cloud, and SaaS environments) with data discovery.

Do you know where your organization’s sensitive data is (across on-premises, cloud, and SaaS environments)?

Where is your data stored?

Where is your data located?

Discover the illness - Become aware of the onset of illness.
Classify - Explain what type of sensitive data it is with data classification.

Can you classify your sensitive data?

What type of data do you have? 

What is in your data?

Diagnose - Know what type of medical condition you have by checking with a healthcare professional.
Manage Access - Use data context to manage access to sensitive data, starting with high-risk identities with data access governance.

Who has access to your data? 

Why do they need access? For how long have they had access?

Limit exposure - Reduce physical exposure (isolate from the organisms that trigger your condition) to contain the infection and enable a faster recovery.
Proactively reduce data exposure risk with data risk monitoring.

How is your data changing?

Is any data overexposed, unprotected, misplaced, or redundant?

Reduce your chance of falling sick and contracting infections and diseases by

sleeping enough, exercising, 

adopting healthy dietary choices, and (optionally) immunizations.

Detect data threats early and respond with data detection and response.

Who is accessing, deleting, and modifying sensitive data? 

Is there abnormal activity on sensitive data from privileged accounts?

Pay attention to early warning signs. If you experience a sudden change in health (physical and/or mental), immediately consult with a healthcare professional

and follow their guidance until your condition stabilizes.



To learn more about Rubrik Data Security Posture Management, check out the Data Security Posture Management session from Rubrik Forward, our user conference. You can also read the Gartner Innovation Insight report on DSPM.