Application and network security require different approaches in cloud computing and cloud-native computing. Cloud-native security has a new set of priorities and open-source security requirements that come with introducing a container and container orchestrator into a production environment.
Securing both internal and external systems has become vital. This is evident in the Docker Hub intrusion in early 2019, which also affected GitHub, BitBucket, and other public/private cloud-based repositories.
What Is Application Security?
Application security is developing and testing security features to detect and prevent vulnerabilities. Securing applications avoids unauthorized access and modification of software.
Network Security Tools Provide Software Protection
Network security tools are hardware and software that protect your network from potential threats. These tools secure sensitive information and enable consistent delivery of your organization’s solutions.
Here are some of the protections that network security tools provide:
Firewall. By using predefined rules, firewalls control network traffic flow.
Network Segmentation. Set boundaries between network segments with similar roles, risks, or functions in a company.
Access Control. Network security systems help organizations manage their networks and systems by limiting or providing access when required.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP). Data Loss Prevention software monitors your network for unauthorized attempts to access your data and stops unauthorized data exfiltration.
Email Security. The protection of email content and accounts from threats is essential for privacy and relationships with customers or team members. Security vendors help email service providers keep your information secure with advanced network security systems.
Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS). Intrusions often occur in networks and systems. Attackers try to exploit intrusions before solutions are implemented. Security tools such as IPS prevent attackers from interfering by monitoring a network for malicious activity and taking actions such as blocking to prevent such activities.
Sandboxing. Network security tools enable sandboxing — a process that allows you to run codes in an isolated environment that mirrors end-user activities safely. This process is excellent for testing codes and identifying threats before deployment.
Hyperscale Network Security. When numerous servers are networked together into a scalable cloud computing system, that’s hyperscale.Increasing or decreasing the number of servers in use allows the network to cope with both large and small volumes of data, according to changing requirements.
Serverless Security Improves Application Agility
Serverless security is an operational model in cloud computing where applications depend on managed cloud services to simplify infrastructure security. Adopting serverless security reduces operational overhead and other costs. As applications no longer rely on other services for functionality such as authentication, developers can focus on optimization, thereby increasing agility.
Benefits of a Secure Development Process
Many development teams create codes and try to bolt on security at the end of development rather than securing the process from the start. Here are some reasons why a secure development process is essential:
Early detection of errors. A secure development process allows developers to identify problems in different environments quickly. This reduces the time spent on fixes and enables developers to optimize their operations.
Cost reduction. Early detection of security flaws decreases the cost of fixing errors. Fewer development components are affected, reducing the cost of devising and implementing solutions.
Reduction of corrupt data. A secure development process minimizes the risk of threats and code interference. Security tools prevent unauthorized access, malicious behavior and ensure data security.
Security Architecture Challenges
Security platforms prevent system breaches and malware. Although these functions are advantageous, security architecture also poses some challenges:
Adoption of DevOps. Many organizations have adopted some form of DevOps into their processes. The need for agility and speed associated with DevOps introduces development and security vulnerabilities to systems.
Architectural fragments. Many architectures are fragmented with little to no integration. This disconnection increases security risks, as there are blind spots in company infrastructure, room for errors, and time wasted.
Compliance mandates. Security architecture needs to comply with ever-changing government regulations, security standards, and industry regulations. Non-compliance with these requirements attracts fees and penalties. Many present-day security vendors — except those devoted to the cloud-native space such as Aqua Security — have difficulty complying with these mandates as seen in the 2019 acquisition of the Twistlock security platform.
Architecture complexity. The extensiveness of some security architecture makes managing risks complex and causes some teams to use the architecture less, which defeats its initial purpose.
How Can Providers Improve Network Security Software
Vector attacks and security risks increase as software development takes place. These risks create the need to improve security infrastructure and optimize existing software.
Here are some ways security providers can improve applications and platforms:
Establishing security policies for pods. Google has developed a security architecture for its cloud called BeyondCorp, a zero trust model. The software assumes a company firewall will be breached and secures the application at the user level while managing access.
Addressing issues regarding the internet-based collaborative model of application development. Also known as supply-chain security, this process ensures that you improve the safety of your code. Supply chain security helps organizations monitor, analyze, and mitigate risks arising from external services such as software vendors and open-source libraries.
Scanning container images for buggy dependencies. Container images are immutable static files with executable code that can create containers in a system. Security architecture scans these images to ensure container security and secure the development process.
Application security testing. Teams can secure data and ensure maximum software functionality through application security testing, which is the process of evaluating and reporting on the safety of software applications as they move along the software development lifecycle.
At The New Stack, we monitor the development and adoption of cloud-native security tools and the evolution of traditional security tools — which should be API supported — into the marketplace. We also follow advancements as cloud-native security tools offer real-time feedback and become easily licensed for cloud computing environments.
Save this page to learn more about security tools and how they become integrated with DevOps and CI/CD frameworks.