Insights and Research

The Top 5 Benefits of a Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP)

Cloud computing

CNAPP platforms help an enterprise integrate security principles and standards across the development lifecycle by implementing security controls at each stage—development, integration, deployment, and  production operations. CNAPP can be used to consolidate security tools while providing increased visibility into enterprise workloads and control over security and compliance risks in cloud environments. The overall idea is to identify security issues as early as possible, which helps save costs, avoids costly rework, and ensures that cloud workloads are “born secure,” having been secured prior to deployment.

According to the Gartner Innovation Insight for Cloud Native Application Protection Platforms report, “CNAPPs are an integrated set of security and compliance capabilities designed to help secure and protect cloud-native applications across development and production.” 

 

CNAPP replaces several cloud security point products

CNAPP consolidates many of the most important features from siloed point-products into one streamlined platform that comprehensively identifies and helps mitigate cloud risks. CNAPP provides functionality previously implemented by: 

  • Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)
  • Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM)  
  • Infrastructure as code 
  • Data Protection 
  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Compliance and Governance  (part of CSPM)
  • Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP)

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM): CSPM continuously scans cloud environments, surfacing potential threats ensuring adherence to compliance policies and reducing risk. It offers comprehensive controls across cloud infrastructure, resources, data, and identities. 

Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM): CIEM secures human and machine identities while enforcing a least-privilege access model—significantly reducing the risk of breach that can be caused by internal and external sources. 

Infrastructure as code security (IaC security): Also known as shift left, IaC security empowers developers to deliver code securely by integrating security with developer and DevOps workflows to identify and fix vulnerabilities and compliance issues before they move into production. 

Data Protection: Data protection module combined with data loss prevention helps secure confidential data across multiple cloud repositories while maintaining visibility, control and compliance. 

Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP): CWPP secures hosts, containers, virtual machines, and serverless functions across the full application lifecycle.

The top five benefits of CNAPP - 

Data breaches, zero-day vulnerabilities, and compliance violations continue to grow, making it imperative for enterprises undergoing digital transformation or building new cloud apps to streamline security processes that can identify and remediate application vulnerabilities early in that development process rather than incurring the high cost of remediating issues in the production or even worse, recovering from a breach. Siloed cloud security tools struggle to provide complete coverage since they only focus on single aspects or specific risks. CNAPP integrates end-to-end cloud-native security to identify, prioritize, and remediate the most critical security risks.
The top five benefits of implementing a CNAPP include: 

 

1.Bringing it all together

Challenge - Securing public cloud environments, applications, and confidential data requires strong collaboration between different teams: security, development, infrastructure, and operations. Unifying these teams and their processes can be challenging, as undefined roles and policies can lead to gaps in security.

Benefit - CNAPP delivers a unified approach to securing heterogeneous, cloud-native applications deployed across distributed clouds. It helps to bring all team members together on a single platform, improving collaboration and efficiency by identifying and correlating minor issues, individual events, and hidden attack vectors into powerful unified intuitive; visual attack flow graphs with quick alerts, recommendations, and remediation guidance for security and non-security experts so that they can make informed decisions. 

 

2. Reduce costs and operational complexity 

Challenge - Multiple, non-integrated traditional security tools create complexities that lead to security gaps and increased overheads. 

Benefits- CNAPP platforms help enterprises replace multiple point products–CSPM, CIEM, CWPP, vulnerability scanning, IaC scanning, DLP, and CMDB–with a complete picture of critical risk via comprehensive visibility into configurations, assets, permissions, code, and workloads. It improves the efficiency of the team by analyzing millions of attributes to prioritize the risks that the security team should focus on first while reducing the noise, complexity, and cost of maintaining point solutions. 

 

3. Comprehensive cloud and services coverage

Challenge - Enterprises rely on multiple clouds to deploy applications and run workloads. As a result, using the native security controls of the different public cloud providers results in limited visibility, and a diversified collection of tools that creates security silos, varying levels of protection, inconsistent security policies, and fragmented reporting of diverse threat landscape. 

Benefit - CNAPP provides visibility and insights across the entire multi-cloud footprint, including both IaaS and PaaS services, extending across VM, container, and serverless workloads and into development environments to identify risks early in the deployment cycle. It helps to continuously monitor cloud resources for misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, and other security threats and enforce consistent security and compliance policies. 

 

4. Security at the speed of DevOps

Challenge - Rapid release cycles can cause coding mistakes that can go undetected and can be exploited. In a traditional development environment, the security team performs security testing after the development stage before sending the application into production. This waterfall-like process can be very time consuming and slows down the fast pace of the DevOps process. Security teams find it difficult to keep up with the pace of deployments and continuously changing environments with limited resources. 

Benefit - CNAPP platforms typically integrate with popular IDE platforms like VS Code and DevOps tools such as GitHub, Jenkins, and more to identify misconfigurations or compliance issues during development and CI/CD, giving security and developer teams a chance to investigate and remediate risks before they are exploited by bad actors and cause significant disruption. It also integrates with SecOps ecosystems such as ServiceNow, Zendesk, and Splunk to trigger alerts, tickets, and workflows on violations so that the teams can act immediately and effectively with the embedded remediation guidance. As a result, cloud environments remain safer, and enterprises can deploy new programs with minimal disruption.

 

5. Guardrails help distribute ‘security’ responsibility

Challenge - DevOps teams expect freedom to innovate with security automation so that security does not become a bottleneck. Security automation helps to identify vulnerabilities sooner, saving time for developers and DevOps engineers. DevOps environments are usually complex with different platforms, codes, open source, and language. Credentials, tokens, and SSH keys are openly shared in this environment. Even applications, containers, and microservices share passwords and tokens. DevOps engineers and developers aren’t usually security experts, with many unaware of enterprise or industry specific security policies and the latest compliance mandates and associated penalties. 

Benefit - CNAPP helps integrate security principles and standards in the DevOps cycle, i.e., injecting security controls at each level of the DevOps cycle, with native integrations into existing development and DevOps tools. The result is that infosec teams are able to implement much-needed guardrails that developers are able to take ownership of in their day-to-day work, reducing unnecessary noise and friction between security and the DevOps team. 

 

Making security a shared responsibility is a recipe for success. 

Learn more about best practices for securing cloud-native applications, infrastructure, and data. Talk to our experts today!

 

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