Top 3 Application Security Must-Haves
Look to slow down a development team with security and expect to be greeted with a wave of frustration. Between a lack of integration of security tools and confusion about shared responsibility, security teams are often playing from behind when it comes to defending cloud environments.
Meeting the needs of DevOps and the multiple clouds that companies now need to protect requires a unified platform that automates security controls and compliance for hosts and containers regardless of the cloud provider or deployment model. To win the cloud security race, organizations need the right ingredients for effective security to end up in the winner’s circle.
Ingredient No. 1: Unified and Portable
Let’s start with an unfortunate truth. Traditional security tools simply do not work in the cloud; they are not designed to scale alongside dynamic cloud environments. The end result is gaps in visibility and security. Meeting those challenges with point solutions is untenable for security teams seeking to keep pace with the realities of a cloud native world. As the limitations of those point products became apparent, it led to ad hoc approaches designed to address blind spots and a lack of integration.
Eliminating visibility gaps takes a cloud native security platform, a unified solution capable of providing visibility into the ever-growing number of containers and microservices today’s organizations need to protect. Armed with comprehensive visibility and continuous workload discovery, these platforms support efforts to identify vulnerabilities and ultimately help DevOps teams weave security into CI/CD workflows so that issues can be fixed before they reach production.
Security has to move at the speed of DevOps, and it needs to work across any cloud so that when workloads move, security and visibility are maintained. It’s a multicloud world, and security solutions need to live in it and not get passed on the outside.
Ingredient No. 2: Automated and Fast
Rapid changes are a part of that world as well. Microservices, for example, can be quickly spun up and are often short-lived. While they can simplify application updates, they are also a reminder of how dynamic cloud environments are. Enterprises need to know what is running, where and who is running it. With automated asset discovery and monitoring, organizations can get a handle on everything happening across their cloud environment without slowing anything down.
As noted earlier, integrating security with CI/CD improves security by enabling a “shift left” approach. Automation allows security to be orchestrated more effectively to resolve vulnerabilities and security risks early in the development life cycle, though care must be taken to prevent security holes from being introduced via Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) templates. Recently, a survey of 300 CISOs performed by IDC revealed that 67% of respondents viewed security misconfigurations in production environments as a top concern. By automating the discovery of misconfigurations, organizations can reduce the chance that one will slip through their defenses and affect their customers or business.
Ingredient No. 3: Integrated and Scalable
To ensure success, security and DevOps teams need to operate like a finely tuned engine. It should be clear by now that security cannot be treated as an afterthought or bolted on. It must be integrated into the development process from the beginning and implemented to work seamlessly with applications, cloud instances and cloud workloads. Doing so allows teams to build securely in the cloud knowing cloud native apps are protected from the control plane to runtime.
This is the ingredient that makes the term “cloud native” an essential part of the cloud security winning team you are trying to build for your organization. Non-cloud native tools increase complexity; they are not optimized for cloud native applications, and they make monitoring harder. They also require more manual intervention. Conversely, cloud native solutions ensure consistency across the entire cloud estate. API-driven and integrated with DevOps tools, cloud native solutions allow organizations to maintain security and compliance levels operating at top speeds to take the lead and win the race.
The right solution will also empower businesses to scale at will in accordance with their needs. As businesses grow, security needs to grow alongside it. Cloud security solutions need to be able to scale at will, adding and decommissioning capabilities as simply as possible so enterprises can get the security they need when they need it, where they need it.
A Winning Combination
To win the cloud security race requires the right ingredients, and so does protecting your cloud environment. The ability to leverage a cloud native platform that provides visibility and control across public, private, hybrid and multicloud environments is a winning combination for any business. By automating cloud security management across the application development life cycle and providing real-time monitoring of cloud resources, this type of approach will enable organizations to prevent the types of cloud misconfigurations that are often exploited in cyberattacks and to deploy applications securely.