What Is a Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform?

An all-in-one cloud-native application security platform (CNAPP) streamlines monitoring, detecting, and acting on potential security threats and vulnerabilities, enhancing safety for cloud-native applications through integrated capabilities.

Cloud-native application protection platform

A CNAPP acts as an end-to-end approach for cloud security by offering a complete infrastructure protection system. Previously, organizations relied on disparate point products that were manually integrated for this approach.

CNAPP helps organizations consolidate cloud environment monitoring, reporting, and detecting into a single platform. This reduces errors and cuts down on time spent on analysis. CNAPPs delivers the right security information to the right team at the right time.

Combining multiple cloud security capabilities allows CNAPPs to increase risk visibility and detection. Security teams can quantify and respond to risks that pop up within cloud environments without having to juggle multiple pieces of software.

A unified and automated system, a CNAPP doesn't get in the way of DevOps’ mission to drive faster customer value. It’s made up of several vital parts, all of which play a key role in ensuring your company’s cloud environment remains secure.

Security teams can automate basic tasks and scan for configuration issues. CNAPPs also reveals additional issues with your company’s cloud infrastructure. All these moving parts prevent threats while improving your company’s productivity and response time to vulnerabilities whenever they may be discovered.

Simpler and more secure

As more organizations add security controls earlier in their development pipeline, it’s important to find protection that can keep cloud-native applications secure. A single platform makes managing these processes easier, especially in larger-scale distributed operations.

By making things simpler and more organized, a CNAPP helps your team make the most of its resources. You can detect threats, monitor risks, and report on them without switching between multiple consoles. This means fewer chances for information to break down between platforms and more opportunities to catch risks before they do harm.

Start security in development

One important feature that CNAPPs offer is infrastructure-as-code (IaC) template scanning. This helps your team define guardrails that DevOps teams can deploy against using configuration files and specific code. IaC scanning integrates with existing tools in your CI/CD pipeline, which helps minimize the number of risks associated with misconfiguration.

Similar to code review, IaC scanning helps to ensure your cloud infrastructure’s code is configured correctly. This is achieved by removing human error from the entry process. IaC scanning can also detect vulnerable network exposure, as well as infringements with resource access and compliance violations.

Runtime visibility

Another key part of CNAPPs is cloud security posture management (CSPM). These solutions are designed to detect, prevent, and remediate misconfigurations that could lead to cloud security risks. CSPM also helps to ensure that potential security incidents are detected early, and that cloud resources and activities adhere to the industry-set regulations and mandates for compliance.

CSPM alerts your security team if any compliance issues are detected. By allowing your team to update and resolve issues, you can easily keep your cloud infrastructure compliant. This ensures that your cloud infrastructure is always configured according to best practices. CSPM provides additional monitoring and risk analysis alongside its normal functions.

Not only does CSPM give you additional visibility of possible security risks, it alerts and provides guided or automated remediation options to help close security gaps that may appear. Security teams can maintain the industry’s golden standards and ensure a healthy security posture.

A better workload

Another vital CNAPP element is the cloud workload protection platform (CWPP). This allows for better visibility and protection of your company’s cloud infrastructure workloads from security risks and threats. These cloud workloads cover a wide range of compute services, including VMs, containers (such as Kubernetes), and serverless functions. CWPP also can detect and suggest corrections to your cloud infrastructure’s security. This helps teams better protect from cybersecurity issues as well as ensuring business-critical applications run securely.

Cloud network security focuses on protecting your cloud infrastructure from malicious traffic in real time. This can stop the introduction of ransomware and other threats into your environment, as well as the lateral movement of threats. It achieves this protection by utilizing mechanics like web application firewalls (WAF), as well as web application and API protection (WAAP). Cloud-network security also makes use of TLS examination and intrusion prevention protection to help balance your infrastructure load.

Kubernetes security posture management (KSPM) is another component of CNAPPs. Similar to CSPM, companies can ensure that the Kubernetes platform itself is free of misconfigurations for deeper instrumentation of the Kubernetes environment. KSPM also allows your security team to report on misconfigurations and security issues more easily, while letting them monitor the workload, configuration, clusters, environment, and more to minimize user errors.

KSPM can help provide better cluster penetration testing and benchmarking, both of which ensure your system is running smoothly.

Cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM)

Another important part of the CNAPP is CIEM. It enables better permissions management and lets your security team access and manage your organization's rights access to its cloud environment, including multi-cloud setups, in one place.

Typically, CIEM allows you to enforce the principle of least privilege, as well as to scan the environment and cloud infrastructure configuration. This ensures there are no unnecessary access points for resources. If you do find any unnecessary access points, CIEM makes it easy to report them to your company’s security team so that they can be remediated quickly.

CIEM also allows you to detect and report on misconfigurations which may be tied to a specific user or even a role. This helps ensure that no role or user is being given access to files and configurations they should not have access to, keeping your cloud infrastructure secure and running smoothly.

Why you should consider a CNAPP

You should consider this platform if your company relies heavily on cloud infrastructure to run its most important systems. With the ongoing threats that bad actors pose to your businesses, having an all-in-one solution that streamlines monitoring, detecting, and remediating threats is vital. Look for a CNAPP that protects cloud file storage (like Amazon Simple Storage Service) and also extends to fit with your broader security tooling and processes, such as extended detection and response (XDR).

With a CNAPP, your security team can take a proactive response to cloud security. Instead of waiting for cybersecurity issues to happen, you can prepare for them in advance. Additionally, it removes the trouble stemming from utilizing multiple point products. Developers and DevOps teams also benefit from CNAPPs, as tight integrations with their existing tools and processes drive better communication across teams. CNAPPs help prioritize the remediation of security issues in a natural way for developers, leaving them more time to drive business value.

Many companies have adopted dozens of security tools to handle the jobs that one CNAPP can perform. With multiple tools involved, though, it’s more difficult to take a proactive approach. And when you’re utilizing multiple products, you have to find options that work well together. This can be a difficult endeavor for your security team and increases the possibility of losing valuable security or application context.

Separation also creates blind spots. CNAPPs remove the need to manage multiple applications and solutions at one time, so your security team can better focus its efforts. This translates to more consistent detection and more thorough cloud infrastructure. And because a CNAPP puts everything on one platform, you’ll never have to worry about missing an issue because your team was handling a different situation.

CNAPPs are a more unified security solution for protecting your cloud footprint. With less point solutions to manage, your company’s security team can apply more consistent protections and turn a reactive situation into a proactive one. Not only can this keep issues from popping up, but it can also save your company thousands or even millions of dollars by mitigating and detecting risks before they escalate.

Finally, a singular platform makes it easier to manage and simpler to configure.

Cloud Native

  • Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP)

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