The Future of Cloud Native Security

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30 days of cloud - cloud transformation30 days of cloud - cloud transformation


The Prisma Cloud team examines the state of cloud native security tools, and discusses how cloud native security platforms will shape the landscape in the coming months. Explore the pieces that make up a cloud native security platform.



When It Comes to The Future of Cloud Native Security, Less Is More

Cloud native security has made significant strides in recent years thanks to the adoption of DevSecOps, increased automation, and new solutions offered by the major cloud providers themselves - such as Containers-as-a-Service (CaaS) and Function-as-a-Service (FaaS). Despite these advances, cloud security remains one of the top challenges facing IT organizations in 2020.


One leading factor is the profusion of disparate point solutions, sometimes called “security tool sprawl.” These solutions have popped up to address the fact that traditional security methodologies are not equipped for the dynamic, distributed nature of cloud environments. Even a small organization might use more than a dozen separate software tools to secure its apps, while a large enterprise might find itself juggling well over 100. This sprawl has started in an industry-wide reaction toward consolidation, with more security teams demanding solutions that will allow them to address all of their needs in a single platform.


Below, we take a closer look at the challenges that security tool sprawl poses, and explain why the next 18 months will see the rise of the cloud native security platform. We’ll also discuss the ways in which cloud security consolidation could be the key to wider DevSecOps adoption as more businesses embark on their digital transformation.


The Problem of Security Tool Sprawl

Despite the rapid growth of cloud native apps, IT organizations have only recently begun to develop cohesive security strategies for the cloud. On the other hand, vendors have spent years developing a seemingly endless list of security and compliance point tools. This has led to the tool sprawl in which organizations of every size find themselves juggling dozens of disparate tools in an attempt to meet their security needs.


While managing multiple solutions may not be a problem in and of itself, the gaps between the solutions can cause major blindspots and headaches for IT organizations. Each security tool comes with its own operational requirements, which can place an enormous strain on already limited security resources. Multiple tools generating dozens of alerts without context can also lead to alert fatigue, which can make it impossible to identify the most urgent security concerns at any given moment. And, of course, managing dozens of security tools is antithetical to an agile DevSecOps culture.


Consolidation Offers A Solution

In order to achieve greater visibility of cloud environments, gain control over organizational data security and enforce compliance posture, IT organizations are looking to consolidate their security toolkits and centralize processes. A more centralized approach to securing hybrid and multi-cloud environments enables teams to evaluate risk across the entirety of the software development lifecycle and threat landscape, making it easier to identify, prioritize, and remediate threats.


The best way organizations can accomplish this is by adopting Cloud Native Security Platforms (CNSP), which are optimized for securing applications and workloads natively developed in cloud environments. They integrate with agile, CI/CD development lifecycles, are programmatically accessible through APIs and provide security controls everywhere the apps run.


A CNSP isn’t a response to a specific threat, nor is it simply a remixing of existing technologies behind a new set of buzzwords. Instead, it’s a platform-centric approach to security, optimized for the cloud native architectures and operational practices of the present and future.


Visibility, Compliance and Governance

Obtaining full lifecycle visibility of your cloud assets is critical. Without a comprehensive view, misconfigurations or policy and compliance violations can go unnoticed, resulting in any number of negative outcomes.


A CNSP dynamically discovers new resources as soon as they are deployed and continuously monitors your resources for vulnerabilities and other security threats in the cloud. It will also allow you to automatically employ a complete library of compliance standards, track any changes for auditing purposes, and quickly generate reports of that data for audits.


Compute Security

Developers use a variety of compute options, depending on the workload, ranging from VMs to containers to serverless functions. A CNSP provides coverage across this continuum with purpose-built security tools.


It will prioritize vulnerabilities based on your unique environment and prevent compromised code from ever reaching production, and protect apps in runtime with behavioral models that enforce known-good behavior across your deployments.


Network Protection

Network protection needs to be adapted for cloud environments while still enforcing policies in a hybrid environment. A CNSP detects and prevents anomalies by ingesting traffic flow logs from multiple sources to provide deep visibility, and enforces container-level microsegmentation. You can segment cloud networks and deploy policies based on logical workload and application identities, rather than IP addresses.


Identity Security

Enforcing controls for user access cloud resources is exponentially complex. A CNSP helps you secure and manage the relationships among users and cloud resources. You gain visibility into IAM profiles across your cloud environments and enforce governance guardrails over them. Additionally, you can enforce least-privileged access to cloud resources and infrastructure for access management, and decouple user permissions from workload permissions.


Enabling DevSecOps

The surge of cloud native development tracks closely with the rise of DevOps. These new workflows offer the possibility of accelerated technological achievement. However, it is absolutely critical that this is bound by a proper security foundation, or companies will see cloud native as a failed project.

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