When securing cloud native applications, many security teams face several challenges. Traditional security tooling has limitations in dynamic environments, and security experts need tools to help them discover software flaws, vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and more.
Unlike traditional applications that use a single server as a reference point, cloud-native architectures rely on microservices, containers, and APIs to create distributed systems. It makes a new network model that security teams must understand, build and operate to protect their application infrastructure.
With cloud native architectures and design patterns, businesses can deliver business values faster, maintain a fast pace of innovation, and ensure high availability and scalability. It helps organizations achieve digital transformation goals and reach a global user base.
Cloud-native applications can be deployed faster than traditional ones and updated without downtime. It is made possible through declarative provisioning of immutable infrastructure, which allows companies to replace components as needed without losing data or causing downtime.
In addition, cloud-native architectures allow companies to scale more easily as their needs change over time. It can mean adding extra processing power to accommodate a spike in traffic or decreasing capacity to respond to less-than-ideal use.
Scalability and elasticity are the main factors determining how much flexibility cloud-native applications offer. They refer to how quickly a company can add or remove resources like networking, processing power, or storage.
Regardless of how a company uses cloud-native architectures, it is essential to secure them properly. It means implementing preventive, investigative, and response-based controls and capabilities across the cloud and leveraging cloud-native automation to strengthen security from the ground up.
Cloud native applications leverage modern practices like microservices architecture, containerization, DevOps, and infrastructure-as-code to help you deliver business value faster, improve user experience, and ensure high availability and scalability. They also enable you to scale up and down resources automatically as your application grows and changes in demand.
However, cloud computing’s inherent scalability and flexibility also come with security challenges. As a result, you need a robust and secure cloud native application security strategy that can protect your data, apps, and infrastructure in case of a hacker exploit or breach.
It can include a unified solution that spans CI/CD pipelines and DevOps workflows and a platform that offers a range of security visibility and protection capabilities. Gartner refers to this as a Cloud Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP), which can provide a full spectrum of connected security and compliance capabilities to ensure your applications run securely at all times.
In addition, CNAPP enables your team to identify misconfigurations and potential threats in the CI/CD pipeline phases, reducing the number of bug fixes and merge/pull requests. It also provides overall visibility and controls for all cloud-based workloads, containers, and hosts, with intelligent security controls to detect and remediate vulnerabilities, secrets, malware, and compliance violations. CNAPP prioritizes risk remediation and automates tasks and scans, increasing productivity and response times when vulnerabilities are discovered.
Cloud native applications have become the de facto standard for modern business applications due to their ability to deliver high value, maintain a faster pace of innovation, and ensure high availability and scalability. They leverage current practices like microservices architecture, containerization, infrastructure-as-code (IaC), DevOps, and automated CI/CD processes.
They can be deployed to any geographical region, making them incredibly flexible and scalable. Moreover, they can be ported from one cloud to another with minimal setup and configuration.
In addition, cloud native applications are based on open source and standards-based technology, which helps reduce vendor lock-in. It makes them easier to deploy, test, and integrate with other systems in your organization.
Despite the benefits, cloud native applications also have various security challenges. These challenges include data breaches, vulnerabilities, account hijacking, insecure APIs, and identity and access management issues.
While DevSecOps has helped to shift security left in the SDLC, there is still a need for more consistent application security measures at every stage of development. Using these best practices can help organizations to secure their applications throughout the entire cloud native journey and ensure that they are protected against common security threats.
This whitepaper outlines some of the critical challenges, trends, and “call-to-actions” that influence the implementation of security throughout cloud native development. It then introduces core patterns and anti-patterns of cloud native application security, helping enterprises to understand how to avoid them and build secure cloud native applications.
Security challenges are inevitable when dealing with cloud native application security. As development cycles accelerate, code bases never stop changing, and releases are rolled out almost as quickly as customers expect, security operations teams must find a way to keep up with cloud-native environments.
One of the major challenges organizations face is identifying security vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and exposed secrets in these rapidly evolving environments. Traditional security tools post alerts when issues occur, which is often insufficient.
The best cloud native application security solutions provide proactive scanning and detection, enabling rapid remediation of vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and exposed information. They also offer automated vulnerability resolution mechanisms, such as the three R’s, preventing recurring vulnerabilities.
In addition, cloud native application security solutions integrate with CI/CD pipelines and deliver protection across single-cloud and multi-cloud environments. It helps DevOps and security teams collaborate efficiently to ensure that all applications are secure at every stage of their lifecycle.
To provide complete visibility and stop attacks in your environment, a unified and automated security solution that addresses the whole lifecycle of your cloud native applications is necessary. Platforms for cloud-native application protection (CNAPP) provide this feature. They are designed to automate tasks, scan configuration, and infrastructure, enabling increased productivity and faster response times when vulnerabilities are discovered.