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GigaOm Radar for Data Security Posture Management (DSPM)v1.0

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Market Categories and Deployment Types
  3. Decision Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Solution Insights
  6. Analyst’s Outlook
  7. About Paul Stringfellow

1. Executive Summary

Data security posture management (DSPM) solutions provide visibility into where sensitive data is, who has access to it, and how it is being used. DSPM gives a comprehensive view of an organization’s data security posture, its compliance position, security and privacy risks, and, crucially, how to deal with them.

Data is core to all organizations and has become an essential asset. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, data is increasingly dispersed across a range of locations. No longer limited to on-premises shares and databases, today data is stored in multiple cloud repositories and data platforms. This complexity presents a significant risk to the security and privacy of data, one that cannot go unchecked, as the impact of a data loss incident is becoming increasingly severe.

The risks associated with the proliferation of data are well known, but the move to the cloud presents specific issues. The ease of use and perceived low cost of cloud repositories means they are often created outside of normal controls. Often, they are used for specific tasks and then discarded and forgotten by original project owners. This leads to shadow data repositories that exist outside of established data storage and security controls. Even those with good data security tools often find that they struggle to identify such shadow repositories, leaving them unprotected and unsecured.

Moreover, the proliferation of data in different repositories has led to the adoption of an array of separate, often platform-specific solutions, which increases complexity and adds cost and risk. Couple this with the ongoing security threats and stringent compliance requirements users must adhere to, and it becomes clear organizations need a better way to stay on top of data security and risk.

DSPM solutions have emerged to give organizations the comprehensive view they need by providing visibility across multiple data platform types, both in the cloud and on-premises. Often cloud-based, DSPM solutions can easily integrate with a wide range of data repositories. They are often able to automatically find data repositories and build a data map. They analyze data movement and lineage to understand how data flows through an organization and where it may introduce risk. DSPM solutions can also discover shadow data stores and analyze the data held within them. They can use this data to help give an organization a clear picture of its data estate, its compliance position, and its security posture. Once deployed, DSPM solutions should continuously monitor security posture, provide guidance on access controls, understand user behavior to quickly identify threats, and enable those threats to be rapidly mitigated.

While some DSPM vendors are well-established providers of data management solutions that have evolved to provide DSPM, this is a new and evolving market in which there are many new and innovative providers with solutions built specifically to tackle this problem.

As organizations’ data demands grow, including in areas such as analytics and AI, diligent IT leaders can’t allow potential threats to remain undetected and unchecked. DSPM is becoming one of the best ways to address this challenge, and that’s something modern data security leaders must consider.

This is our first year evaluating the DSPM space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This GigaOm Radar report examines 12 of the top DSPM solutions and compares offerings against the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and nonfunctional requirements (business criteria) outlined in the companion Key Criteria report. Together, these reports provide an overview of the market, identify leading DSPM offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and nonfunctional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.