Classify and Prioritize Risks with Deep Application Context

Nov 07, 2023
4 minutes

In complex cloud-native environments, security teams must protect an increasing number of applications. Limited resources make prioritizing and contextualizing cloud security risks a challenging task, especially when aligning them with the appropriate applications.

Compounding the problem, teams often lack insight into the applications they need to protect. Without knowing each application's functionality, associated resources and risks, prioritizing fixes becomes difficult. Directing risks to the proper application owners without context is equally difficult.

The market has attempted to address these issues. Some tools provide a limited view of the application landscape, but this forces security teams to manually tag resources to map assets to applications. The time-consuming and error-prone approach neglects valuable data from cloud configurations, permissions and live traffic — all of which should factor into accurate risk categorization.

In the end, cloud security teams face the same dilemma. How can they prioritize application protection and assist developers in efficiently resolving security issues when their tools lack context?

Introducing AppDNA: Enhance Risk Classification

As part of Prisma Cloud's Darwin release, we introduced AppDNA, providing intelligent application context to streamline risk prioritization and remediation for cloud-native applications. AppDNA empowers security teams to prioritize and protect their most critical assets by offering application-level insights.

AppDNA automatically discovers and inventories cloud applications by collecting Kubernetes resources sent via REST APIs. Even in cases where resources are untagged or assets aren’t onboarded, AppDNA ingests data, enabling a comprehensive and accurate approach to application security. This bridges the gap between development and security teams, expediting root cause analysis and remediation.

AppDNA visualizes every resource component that makes up the application.
Figure 1: AppDNA visualizes every resource component that makes up the application.

AppDNA Use Cases

AppDNA equips organizations to navigate the complex landscape of cloud security with confidence and precision. Let’s explore various use cases for AppDNA and its capabilities.

Enhanced Visibility for Asset Management

Discovering and Grouping Assets

AppDNA auto-discovers applications and intelligently determines the application boundary. It then groups associated assets under each application, offering organizations a clear view of their assets and enabling teams to understand components in the context of their broader applications.

Alerts and Vulnerabilities Contextualized

With the applications and their boundaries defined, AppDNA provides visibility into alerts and associated vulnerabilities. AppDNA ensures that organizations can quickly identify and address potential threats specific to each application, streamlining the security management process.

Risk Prioritization with Application Context

Criticality-Based Alert Management

Imagine an organization with multiple applications, each serving a distinct purpose. While a critical alert on an internal analytics tool might be treated as medium priority, the same alert on a highly sensitive application would be of utmost importance. AppDNA provides the application context, allowing organizations to prioritize alerts based on risk severity levels and the criticality of the application affected. This helps teams to focus on high-priority risks and protect their most valuable assets with minimal guesswork.

Automated Asset Mapping

With AppDNA, Prisma Cloud introduces a novel automated approach to asset mapping. Without the need for manual tagging, it intelligently groups assets under the appropriate application, ensuring organizations always have an accurate view of their asset landscape.

Search and Investigate for Efficient Threat Management

Quick Queries for Immediate Insights

Critical vulnerabilities require rapid response. AppDNA's search and investigate feature allows organizations to quickly query their environment. Whether identifying applications affected by a specific vulnerability or searching for assets with certain configurations, AppDNA provides fast insights.

Reduced Mean Time to Respond

By streamlining the search process and providing context-rich results, teams can efficiently find the root cause of a risk and take appropriate steps before potential threats escalate into breaches. Reducing the mean time to respond to threats enhances both security and operational efficiencies. AppDNA allows for effective resource allocation — as well as the alignment of security and development efforts — to strengthen the cloud security posture.

Unlock the Power of Application Context with AppDNA

Examining an alert in isolation of its connection to the system is like studying a puzzle piece without regard for the puzzle and how the piece fits into the big picture. AppDNA transforms cloud security by automatically discovering, cataloging and contextualizing applications along with their associated assets. It empowers teams with a deeper understanding of their risks, enabling them to implement optimal remediation measures. Prisma Cloud's AppDNA allows organizations to address risks according to their unique needs.

Learn More

To learn about Prisma Cloud's latest innovations, tune in to our on-demand virtual event, CNAPP Supercharged: A Radically New Approach to Cloud Security. We’ll show you how to streamline app lifecycle protection, so be sure to watch.

And if you haven’t tried Prisma Cloud, we’d love for you to experience the advantage of best-in-class Code to Cloud™ security with a free 30-day Prisma Cloud trial.

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