Best Cloud Security Tools Shortlist
I've evaluated the best cloud security tools based on their suitability in securing workloads and data for cloud adopters:
- Orca Security - Best agentless cloud security solution
- Qualys - Best for vulnerability management in hybrid environments
- Rubrik - Best for enterprise data backup and recovery
- Wiz - Best for medium to large enterprises
- Forcepoint ONE - Best for enterprises with a hybrid workforce
- Zscaler - Best zero trust solution
- CyberArk - Best for end-to-end identity security
- Barracuda CloudGen Firewall - Best firewall for cloud and hybrid networks
- Trend Micro - Best for extended detection and response (XDR)
- CrowdStrike Falcon - Best for endpoint protection
- Pentera - Best for automated security validation
- Splunk - Best unified security and observability platform
Most cloud adopters believe safeguarding their cloud assets is their provider's job. In truth, it is a shared responsibility–providers protect their infrastructure, but it often falls to the user to secure your own application layers, configurations, data, and so on.
In this article, I'll examine the best cloud security tools, including their features and pricing, to help you decide which option most closely meets your requirements.
What Are Cloud Security Tools?
Cloud security tools are software or services that protect cloud assets from cyber attacks using tools such as vulnerability scanning, firewalls, encryption, and threat detection and remediation.
You can deploy cloud security tools across a variety of cloud-based network configurations, such as hybrid, private, and multi-cloud networks. Without them, your data and cloud assets are more vulnerable to unauthorized access, data breaches.
Overview of the 12 Best Cloud Security Tools
My evaluations of the best cloud security tools will cover the core features, pricing, integration options, and much more. Let's get started.
1. Orca Security - Best agentless cloud security solution
Orca Security is an agentless cloud security platform providing multi-cloud support and visibility across data, infrastructure resources, and cloud applications. This platform eases complex deployments and coverage gaps using patented side-scanning technology.
Why I picked Orca Security: While Orca Security offers conventional cloud security solutions like unified visibility and multi-cloud support, what really stood out to me was its automated agentless integration through side-scanning technology. This feature helps you reduce organizational friction, performance hits, and gaps in coverage, all while cutting the high operating costs that come with manual agent-based solutions.
Orca Security Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that make Orca Security great include cloud gap analytics, security auditing, multi-cloud visibility, and compliance monitoring. However, I find that automated and agentless scans differentiate Orca Security from its competitors. These features address the limitations of agent-based solutions and carry out a comprehensive risk assessment on your cloud workloads.
Integrations are available natively with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Kubernetes.
Pricing: From $7,000/month
Trial: 30-day free trial
- Great visibility for your cloud infrastructure.
- Orca's SideScanning technology allows for agentless detection and response, reducing cloud spending
- Ease of use, configuration, and integration with other tools
- Doesn't provide xDR capabilities
- Some false positives
2. Qualys - Best for vulnerability management in hybrid environments
Qualys is a cloud-based security solution that offers a unified risk-based view, compliance solutions, and critical security intelligence for hybrid environments. I have included it because of the platform's comprehensive vulnerability management capabilities.
Why I picked Qualys: I chose Qualys for its excellent visibility, continuous monitoring, and high accuracy, which helps reduce false positives in cloud security analysis. In my opinion, the tool's true value lies in its ability to detect vulnerabilities from across diverse cloud assets and present them in a single, unified dashboard. Their Vulnerability Management, Detection, and Response (VMDR) solution provides improved risk management and robust patching capabilities.
Qualys Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that distinguish Qualys from its competitors include vulnerability scanning and powerful patching capabilities, which streamline the process for critical updates to help protect against breaches. You also get automated scans and remediation of critical security issues, a unified posture dashboard view, and automation of workflows.
Integrations are available natively with AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, and other managed service providers like ServiceNow and JIRA. You can also add your integrations into your applications using the open XML APIs.
Pricing: From $542/month
Trial: 30-day free trial
- Useful and speedy vulnerability assessment
- Great visibility across cloud infrastructure with continuous monitoring of cloud assets
- Easy to deploy with flexible scanning methods and automated workflows
- Scanners lack customization
- Doesn't have a vulnerability triaging feature, resulting in false positives
3. Rubrik - Best for enterprise data backup and recovery
Rubrik is an enterprise data protection solution for data backup and recovery. Rubrik provides data observability, resilience, and remediation to protect data in the cloud. It can deliver unified protection across SaaS, multi-cloud, and on-premises infrastructures.
Why I picked Rubrik: I selected this tool because it offers data protection through access-controlled backups that are air-gapped and immutable. Rubrik tracks and remediates data risks, hence minimizing the impact of insider threats and ransomware. I felt Rubrik was a trustworthy and efficient solution for data protection.
Rubrik Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that set Rubrik apart include access-controlled backups that are air-gapped and immutable and an append-only file system to prevent encryption from attackers. Rubrik also features zero trust retention lock to prevent resetting, retention policies, and encryption to prevent data breaches at rest or in flight.
Integrations are available natively for AWS, Azure, and GCP. Pre-built integrations are also available for workflows and enterprise tools such as Microsoft SQL Server, Splunk, and ServiceNow using APIs.
Pricing: Pricing upon request
- Users can easily generate reports from a central web console
- Automatic incremental backups
- Policy-driven automation
- Difficult to set up and configure for the first time
- Limited reporting and filtering capabilities
4. Wiz - Best for medium to large enterprises
Wiz is a cloud security tool that provides complete visibility, risk prioritization, and actionable content insights. The platform is quite scalable, making it suitable for medium and large enterprises, and it also reduces risk from development to production across your entire infrastructure.
Why I picked Wiz: Wiz is an enterprise-grade cloud security platform built specifically for the challenges of managing cloud estates with multiple environments, workloads, and projects. I particularly liked that it’s optimized to give you a bird's-eye view of potential risks across your entire infrastructure and mitigate risks right from the development stage.
Wiz Standout Features and Integrations:
Features I evaluated that make Wiz best suited for medium-to-large enterprises include end-to-end visibility within multiple cloud environments and deep cloud analysis for extensive infrastructures. You also get actionable content insights, agentless scans for vulnerabilities, and integration into the development pipeline.
Integrations are available natively for AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, Alibaba Cloud, VMware vSphere, Red Hat OpenShift, and Kubernetes. Wiz also has more than 35 pre-built integrations via API with third-party agents, ServiceNow VR, and other platforms.
Pricing: From $25,000/month billed annually
Trial: Free demo
- A valuable tool for multiple teams with multiple integrations
- Deep and intelligent visibility of your workloads
- Well-documented findings
- Limited real-time scanning for malware
- Slow modeling of cloud resources could leave gaps in attack path analysis
5. Forcepoint ONE - Best for enterprises with a hybrid workforce
Forcepoint ONE is an all-in-one cloud-native security solution that protects cloud users with a hybrid workforce across the cloud, networks, and endpoints. The platform is available globally, with over 300 points of presence, so it's one of the best cloud security tools for a hybrid workforce.
Why I picked Forcepoint ONE: I liked that Forcepoint ONE addresses the unique risks posed by today’s hybrid work environment, where remote partners, employees, and contractors use unmanaged devices and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to access your network and cloud resources. I chose Forcepoint ONE because it reduces choke points through automatic scaling and distributed enforcement, allowing you to manage your hybrid workforce better.
Forcepoint ONE Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that differentiate Forcepoint include advanced threat protection, unified gateways, and identity-based access control. I found these features work well together to ensure that sensitive data is always secure on managed and unmanaged devices.
Integrations are available natively with Kiteworks, VMware, ServiceNow, Okta, Microsoft Azure, Google Workspace, AWS, Splunk, and other workflow tools.
Pricing: Pricing upon request
Trial: Free demo
- Streamlines compliance policies
- Single pane solution
- Identifies and blocks sophisticated threats
- Limited integration with other firewall solutions
- Doesn't work well with Windows Communication Foundation and Remote Procedure Call protocols
6. Zscaler - Best zero trust solution
Zscaler is a platform that uses the least privilege and zero trust architecture to safeguard the infrastructure used by a hybrid workforce. I consider it among the top cloud security tools because it speeds up the transition from legacy security to zero trust while strengthening the security posture on all fronts.
Why I picked Zscaler: I was impressed by the ease with which Zscaler enables zero trust cloud connectivity, which simplifies security, reduces the attack surface, and lowers enterprise risk. What stood out to me was that Zscaler builds trust through contexts, such as a user's location, device security, content exchange, and application requests. Hence, enabling your staff to access your data, workloads, and networks securely from anywhere and enjoy fast, reliable connections.
Zscaler Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that differentiated Zscaler for me included vulnerability scanning, identity-based protection, and behavioral analytics, which strengthen your security on all fronts. You also get workload segmentation and zero trust cloud connectivity, which stops lateral threat movement, prevents workload compromise, and protects sensitive data.
Integrations are natively available with leaders in data, cloud, identity, endpoint, operations, and networks like AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, and Okta.
Pricing: $90.00/user/one-time payment
- Comprehensive security through zero trust cloud connectivity
- Easy deployment
- Advanced analytics
- Advanced features can be complex to set up and configure
- Limited control over security policies and configurations
7. CyberArk - Best for end-to-end identity security
CyberArk provides comprehensive and expandable identity security solutions by enabling zero trust and enforcing the least privilege. Access management is a vital aspect of security posture, and CyberArk secures identities throughout the entire Identity Lifecycle, helping you protect what matters most from malicious attacks and unauthorized access.
Why I picked CyberArk: I picked CyberArk because it has intelligent privilege control that protects data in on-premises, cloud, and hybrid settings. Its real value comes from its security-focused identity access management, which reduces cyber risk and provides cloud users with simple and secure access to resources.
CyberArk Standout Features and Integrations:
Features I found that set CyberArk apart from other identity management solutions include remote access to Privileged Access Management, which prevents unauthorized access. Additionally, there is the integration of intelligent privilege controls across your cloud estate to make your cloud infrastructure more secure.
Integrations are pre-built for Ansible, Jenkins, Git, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Okta, Microsoft Azure AD, and Ping.
Pricing: From $2/user/month
Trial: 30-day free trial
- Single admin portal with unified audits
- Streamlined processing of authorization requests
- Extensive functionality with a wide range of optional integrations
- Upgrades aren't easy
- High learning curve before you get comfortable with the system
8. Barracuda CloudGen Firewall - Best firewall for cloud and hybrid networks
Barracuda CloudGen Firewall provides on-premises and multi-cloud deployments with a full suite of next-generation firewall technologies. The firewall offers multiple layers of detection against persistent and advanced threats.
Why I picked Barracuda CloudGen Firewall: Barracuda's CloudGen Firewall is quite an upgrade from typical perimeter security solutions. I chose Barracuda because it has a threat intelligence network with millions of data collection points, so it's optimized to respond rapidly to new threats. It can be deployed to multiple on-prem and cloud locations across your hybrid environment, for round-the-clock protection against sophisticated threats like zero-day exploits and ransomware.
Barracuda CloudGen Firewall Standout Features and Integrations:
Features I discovered that set Barracuda apart from other firewalls include it’s sophisticated threat-detection capabilities. It takes a multi-layered security approach with behavioral analysis, static code analysis, and advanced threat signature recognition. I was also impressed with its comprehensive sandboxing feature, which can be used to safely “detonate” unidentified attachments in an emulated environment.
Integrations are available natively for AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Splunk, ArcSight, and Cisco AnyConnect.
Pricing: Pricing upon request
Trial: 30-day free trial
- NextGen Firewall solution with the most negligible central management overhead
- Advanced threat protection with sandboxing and secure SD-Wan capabilities
- Global threat intelligence network that offers rapid protection against new threats
- Needs extra administrator software to gain access to the firewall
- Complicated user interface
9. Trend Micro - Best for extended detection and response (XDR)
Trend Micro is a unified cyber security platform that provides managed XDR services. I think it's one of the best cloud security tools because it offers incident response services and excellent support for the full product and customer lifecycle.
Why I picked Trend Micro: I chose this tool for its impressive XDR services, which offers a single platform that brings together multiple security facets, covering workloads, email, clouds, servers, and identity tools. I was impressed with TrendMicro’s visibility and its control to deal with the complexity of multiple clouds.
Trend Micro Standout Features and Integrations: In my opinion, the features that set Trend Micro apart from its competitors include early attack prevention through managed XDR and constant scanning for signs of compromise or attack. Additionally, advanced data stacking helps detect attacks, and predictive analytics alert cloud users of impending threats.
Integrations are available natively for AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Kubernetes, Jenkins, and Ansible.
Pricing: $2.00/user/month billed annually
Trial: 30-day or 90-day free trial
- Strong antivirus protection
- Multiple layers of security
- It's very easy to set up and integrate
- Slow system scans, which are resource-intensive
- Limited VPN features
10. CrowdStrike Falcon - Best for endpoint protection
CrowdStrike is a smart, lightweight agent that prevents malware attacks while recording and capturing endpoint activity. Its endpoint security solution uses artificial intelligence and deep link analytics to provide extended detection and response for your cloud architecture.
Why I picked CrowdStrike Falcon: I chose CrowdStrike because it delivers next-generation endpoint protection, combined with a continuously managed threat detection service. I especially appreciated the capacity for detection and remediation tools to safeguard cloud workloads at all stages, from development to production.
CrowdStrike Falcon Standout Features and Integrations:
Features I noted in CrowdStrike Falcon include incident response and endpoint detection, which protect the most vulnerable areas of enterprise risk. Additionally, a next-generation antivirus uses machine learning and behavioral analytics to prevent malicious attacks.
Integrations are available natively for Splunk, IBM QRadar, ArcSight, AWS, Microsoft Azure, Okta, ServiceNow, and many more.
Pricing: From $25/month with an annual plan
Trial: 15-day free trial
- Real-time detection and response
- Integration with other security tools
- Comprehensive reporting
- Potential false positives
- Limited customization
11. Pentera - Best for automated security validation
Pentera is an automated security validation platform that includes automated testing throughout every attack surface layer. It's one of the best cloud security tools because it automatically maps your web-facing and cloud attack surface to reveal complete attack vectors - both external and internal.
Why I picked Pentera: I chose Pentera because its design prioritizes exposing the attacker's perspective to draw attention to the most alluring targets. The platform's real value is in the ever-expanding library of attacks that feed into its attack orchestrator. As a result, you can safely validate the readiness of your internal network against newer threats in real-time with continuous testing.
Pentera Standout Features and Integrations:
Features I found that distinguish Pentera from its competitors include automated security testing and continuous validation for exposure verification and discovery. I was especially impressed by the attack simulation, which I felt would be a useful tool for anyone trying to harden security posture for IT infrastructure.
Integrations are pre-built for AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, IBM Security QRadar, StorageGuard, Microsoft Outlook, and more.
Pricing: Pricing upon request
Trial: Free demo
- Their platform is highly customizable
- Automated security validation
- Integrates with a variety of security tools and systems
- Pentera's platform is quite technical and has quite a learning curve.
- Complex to set up because it employs a distributed architecture
12. Splunk - Best unified security and observability platform
Splunk is an all-in-one security and observability platform that uses advanced security analytics to protect against threats. It provides data-driven insights and full visibility into your security posture, allowing you to protect your business and reduce risk on a massive scale.
Why I picked Splunk: I particularly liked the way this tool combines information from various cloud and on-premises sources, helping you get rid of data silos and gain actionable intelligence to spot malicious intrusions quickly. Splunk is optimized to allow you to visualize data from multiple sources in one unified view, and the interface makes this information easy to see and understand.
Splunk Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that differentiate Splunk from its competitors include data-driven security analytics and risk-based alerting that help detect and remediate threats. Additionally, advanced threat detection using machine learning and other detection frameworks helps to reduce risk at scale.
Integrations are pre-built for AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, Jenkins, GitHub, Puppet, ServiceNow, and more.
Pricing: From $86/month
Trial: 14-day or 60-day free trials
- Powerful search and analysis capabilities.
- Scalable and customizable.
- Strong community support.
- Initial installation and configuration steps can be tedious and time-consuming.
- Limited reporting capabilities.
Other Cloud Security Tools Options
Some other great choices that didn't quite make my top 10 list include
- ZeroSpam - Best for email and spam protection
- Cyscale - Best for identity and access management
- Silver Sky - Best for managed detection and response
- Cisco Cloudlock - Best cloud access security broker solution
- Delinea - Best privileged access management solution for hybrid enterprises
- Cloudflare - Best for secure network-as-a-service
- Lookout - Best data protection and web gateway solution
- Perimeter 81 - Best VPN solution for network infrastructures
- Illumio - Best zero trust segmentation platform
- Fugue - Best developer-first solution
Selection Criteria For Best Cloud Security Tools
Here's a summary of the primary selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best cloud security tools for this article:
For a cloud security solution to make it onto my recommended list, it must have at least the following core functionalities:
- Risk, threat, and vulnerability management for cloud-based infrastructure.
- Protection against cloud misconfigurations, cyber-attacks, data loss, and data leakage.
- Remediation options for data loss and data leakage.
- Data security lifecycle support and change control.
- Compliance controls to enforce industry regulations and standards.
If a cloud security tool is going to provide the core functionality I described above, it needs to have the following key features:
- Vulnerability management: You need a cloud security tool to scan servers, networks, and workloads and identify threat patterns and gaps in your cloud assets.
- Cloud security monitoring: With this feature, you can track, evaluate, and respond to security events and incidents in the cloud to reduce risks and possible threats.
- Privilege access management: To stop insider threats, you must manage user accounts and privilege levels for access to sensitive data and systems.
- Data loss prevention: This feature helps you prevent data loss by tracking sensitive data in transit or at rest.
- Encryption on cloud infrastructures: Cloud security tools with this feature can help you protect the data stored in your cloud environment by encrypting it to prevent theft or unauthorized access.
When deciding on the best cloud security tools, it's crucial to consider usability. I opted for options that provided functionality like
- User-friendly interface.
- Possibility to alter default customizations and install add-ons to improve usability.
- A clean, uncluttered layout with well-defined sections for various features and capabilities.
A good cloud security solution should automate as many security tasks as possible, thus freeing up time for cyber security analysts to remediate vulnerabilities. Common automated tasks include scanning for vulnerabilities, monitoring, and mapping network assets for visibility across deployments.
I selected cloud security solutions that integrate seamlessly with other tools and software. I especially looked for tools with wide range compatibility for multiple common cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.
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Choosing the Best Tools for Your Cloud-Based Systems
Although most cloud providers have in-built security features, you're still responsible for securing your cloud assets. With the right cloud security tools, you can prevent potential threats before they even happen. You'll gain visibility into your cloud environment, protect your assets from potential threats, and remediate critical issues.
I hope my in-depth analysis of the best cloud security tools was useful in narrowing down your options. Get more tips and insights from other top tech leaders by subscribing to The CTO Club newsletter.