Maturing Your Cloud Security Program

Many organizations are moving their data and applications to cloud infrastructure, utilizing microservices to gain the benefits of agility, scalability and reduced costs. While cloud computing offers competitive advantages, shifting workloads to the cloud has inherent risks, including increased attack surface, configuration errors and the shared responsibility model. When moving operations into these dynamic environments, it's crucial to implement a mature cloud security program to combat cloud vulnerabilities. With the average cost of a cloud breach reaching $4.35 million, it's clear that cloud cybersecurity must be approached with rigor – and quickly.

While many organizations have taken the step to secure their cloud infrastructure by deploying cloud security posture management (CPSM) solutions, they aren't without limitations in their current form. CSPM solutions aim to detect and prevent the misconfigurations and threats that lead to data breaches and compliance violations in complex multi-cloud architectures. Alerting enterprises to compliance and configuration issues is only one aspect of cloud security, and an additional suite of tools must complement them. The problem is that organizational responses to cloud security have been reactive rather than proactive. They deal with vulnerabilities as one-off problems rather than holistically addressing cloud security. They have adopted individual cloud security solutions and tools for each issue, leading to a patchwork approach to cloud cybersecurity.

To secure cloud-native environments, organizations must adapt to be more agile and proactively address cyberthreats, beginning in development and providing continuous security throughout the full application lifecycle. To achieve this agility, they need a platform purpose-built for cloud-native environments, discovering misconfigurations and vulnerabilities before runtime, and identifying runtime attacks. Enter cloud-native application protection platforms (CNAPPs): single-user interfaces that integrate and centralize otherwise disparate security functions.

CNAPP Capabilities Increase the Maturity of Enterprise Cloud Security, Reducing Overall Risk to the Organizations

CNAPPs combines functionality for cloud workload protection platforms (CWPP), cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM) and CI/CD security into a unified, end-to-end solution to secure cloud-native applications across the full application lifecycle.

This holistic approach provides visibility across multi-cloud silos and delivers full-stack security. With CNAPPs, organizations leverage a single platform to protect applications at runtime while integrating security into development workflows to resolve flaws.

Some of the key benefits of a cloud security program powered by CNAPPs are:

  • Shift-Left Security. With an operating model that provides security feedback and guardrails as early in the development process as possible, identify defects in software and stop them from reaching production. For example, software supply change management determines vulnerabilities and configuration issues in all the components of the software supply chain, including open source packages and IaC (Infrastructure as Code). The popularity of IaC has increased exponentially over the last few years as it allows companies to scale their cloud infrastructure quickly and repeatedly. When enterprises integrate IaC scanning in their CI/CD pipeline, they can see a dramatic reduction in compliance and configuration errors that enter production and massive increase in efficiency.
  • Cloud Workload Protection (CWP). Cloud-native applications are increasingly distributed across VMs, hosts, containers, Kubernetes and serverless architectures, and unique security requirements make consistent workload protection a challenge. Leveraging a CWP solution allows organizations to monitor runtime, identifying and responding to anomalies, suspicious and unexpected. Without runtime monitoring and protection, enterprises are flying blind to what is happening and cannot respond to threats in their cloud environments. Workload protection monitors for threats and provides compliance and vulnerability visibility in real-time to further protect the environment against various types of threats. On top, some CWP solutions have built in Web App and API Security (WAAS) to protect against layer 7 threats.
  • Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM). With Prisma Cloud, solve the challenges of managing permissions across Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Overly permissive accounts can provide attackers unfettered access to the environment, leading to high-impact failures. Automatically calculating users' effective permissions across cloud service providers with a solution that detects overly permissive access and suggests corrections to reach least-privileged entitlements.

As you can see, cloud security is much more than security posture management, and having a mature cloud security program can reduce the overall risk to the enterprise of breach and data loss. When these tools are in a single platform, there are greater efficiencies to be gained with a holistic view for cloud security, with integrated security at every stage of the application lifecycle - from code to cloud.

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