Security posture: Assessing & improving security at scale

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Security posture is an organization's overall readiness/preparedness against cybersecurity threats. It represents the effectiveness of the measures, policies, and practices to safeguard information, systems, assets, and personnel from potential security breaches, attacks, and unauthorized access.

A robust security posture is crucial to establish a proactive and resilient defense, enabling the organization to detect, respond to, and mitigate security threats effectively, thereby minimizing the impact of potential incidents.

Keep reading to discover more about:

What is security posture, and why is it important?

Security posture is an organization's overall state of cybersecurity readiness. A robust security posture contains a holistic view of the entire security program and incorporates key security components like:

A healthy security posture is important because it empowers organizations to effectively address risks and defend against cyber threats. The more visibility you have into your systems, the better equipped you are to set up effective security programs and threat response processes.

A robust posture also provides CISOs with a comprehensive view of the organization's risks, allowing them to be proactive about reducing risk and keeping appropriate stakeholders and executives in the loop. The cherry on top? By improving your security posture, you can better protect company and customer data against increasing digital threats, helping build customer loyalty and trustworthiness among competitors. 

What is security posture management?

Security posture management refers to the tools and processes that provide AppSec teams, infra/DevOps teams, and CISOs the visibility needed into how their organization is tackling different risks. 

Three types of security posture management tools

Today, vendors are developing different tools and solutions to help businesses improve their security posture and protect against rising risk.

  1. ASPM (application security posture management) is an application security approach that leverages holistic visibility into the application environment. AppSec teams use ASPM tools to manage, implement, and improve their application security programs.

  2. CSPM (cloud security posture management) are tools infra/DevOps teams employ to better understand their cloud attack surface, ensuring the security of workloads in production and cloud infrastructure.

  3. DSPM (data security posture management) are solutions used by CISOs, security, and compliance-focused teams to effectively track and secure vital data within their organization, including personally identifiable information (PII) and payment information, through automated scanning and tagging of data stores.

Security posture and compliance standards

The relationship between security posture and compliance is how an organization meets compliance within its necessary industry-specific frameworks and standards. Adhering to compliance frameworks such as SOC 2, PCI-DSS, ISO 27001, etc. will improve an organization’s security posture. Businesses often take it a step further by incorporating well-known security frameworks into their security program, such as OWASP and CIS benchmarks.

To achieve compliance, organizations must demonstrate the implementation of controls, an active AppSec program, and procedures for identifying and addressing vulnerabilities, showcasing the overall progress in enhancing security posture.

Security posture and the software supply chain

Supply chain security is a critical challenge when improving security posture. Supply chains are more complex than ever, with more moving parts that are difficult to secure.  According to a 2022 report, software supply chain attacks soared 742% in the last three years. The software supply chain is crucial in determining your overall security posture, from software dependencies in open source components to any vulnerabilities within them.

Organizations have a responsibility to build and maintain a software bill of materials (SBOM) to help track open source dependencies and mitigate the impact of potential software supply chain attacks. Organizations must prioritize continuous monitoring and risk assessment of their supply chains to mitigate potential threats and maintain a healthy security posture.

Measuring your security posture and next steps with Snyk

Here at Snyk, we use four key metrics that together can offer a holistic perspective into application security efforts within an organization:

  1. Exposure: What is your overall level of risk exposure?

  2. Manage: How successful is your organization at resolving issues?

  3. Prevention: How successful is the organization at preventing risks? 

  4. Coverage: What tools are in place for monitoring and mitigating?

Security practitioners can view an analysis of their performance across these four pillars and use that information to understand areas of strength and opportunities for improvement across different parts of the business. By measuring your AppSec program through Snyk’s unique lens, you are not only alerted to security problems but also able to highlight wins and growth over time. Snyk helps companies shift from the reactive behaviors associated with responding to high risk issues, to also considering how risk is introduced across different teams to inform what strategies can be implemented to improve security health.

Snyk focuses on AppSec and supply chain security and offers the following:

Book a demo with a security expert and experience Snyk in action to learn more!

Security posture checklist

To help you establish a robust security posture, use our checklist to keep risks, challenges, and vulnerabilities surfaced:



Assess your posture to see your current state.


Identify and prioritize risks, issues, and vulnerabilities.


Create and maintain an asset inventory.


Set policies and controls for your developers.

Review every 6 months

Leverage AI and automation.


Educate your developers and employees.


Ensure continuous security testing and monitoring.


Up Next

What is ASPM? (Application Security Posture Management)

Application security posture management (ASPM) overview - Learn how to strengthen app security using holistic visibility, automation & robust security measures.

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Snyk is a developer security platform. Integrating directly into development tools, workflows, and automation pipelines, Snyk makes it easy for teams to find, prioritize, and fix security vulnerabilities in code, dependencies, containers, and infrastructure as code. Supported by industry-leading application and security intelligence, Snyk puts security expertise in any developer’s toolkit.

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