A Cloud Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP) is a comprehensive security and compliance platform that helps enterprises build, deploy, and run secure cloud native applications. CNAPPs eliminate the need for point cloud security products including cloud security posture management (CSPM), cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM), vulnerability scanning, container security, and data loss prevention (DLP), but the value of a CNAPP extends far beyond simple tool consolidation.
CNAPPs help infosec teams become more efficient by correlating across a wide range of signals and identifying and prioritizing the biggest risks facing the enterprise. They also help security teams collaborate more effectively with development and DevOps by shifting cloud security policies left, integrating into a broad range of development and DevOps tools to identify and remediate security issues as early as possible, avoiding costly and time-consuming rework.
The outcome? A more efficient organization that can maintain the pace of innovation without security slowing things down. Read on to discover the top five reasons your organization should deploy a CNAPP:
The move to multiple cloud providers happens for many reasons. Sometimes it’s driven by development teams that require specific services that are provided only by one cloud service provider. In other cases, vendor diversification is part of either cost containment or DR initiatives. Or, perhaps M&A is part of your organization’s growth strategy and with each new acquisition comes a new cloud provider.
Regardless of the reason, a very high percentage of organizations end up with multiple cloud providers. Each cloud provider has its own unique set of services, configuration options, a unique permissions and entitlements model, and its own set of security services that primarily apply to that CSP’s services.
A CNAPP, on the other hand, is built to be multi-cloud; covering all services, configurations, workloads, and data from a single set of policies that have been unified across providers. This means a single, prioritized set of alerts across your cloud estate and a greatly reduced level of cloud-specific knowledge that members of your organization must maintain in order to mitigate cloud risk effectively.
Many point products have gained traction for public cloud security, and it’s likely that your organization has several of them. CSPM, CIEM, container security, DLP, vulnerability scanning, and more. While each of these tools provides unique value, each also provides their own siloed view of the world and their own sets of alerts.
If your organization is like most, there aren’t enough resources to chase after all alerts, and even if there were, it’s probably not worth spending the effort on many of them. In short, prioritization is key. But the challenge is, as always, which are the right alerts to prioritize? When you have half of a dozen (or more) point products deployed, it’s not easy to tell whether you should prioritize that security group misconfiguration, the excessive entitlement, or the unpatched vulnerability. A CNAPP can consolidate these standalone point tools into a single platform
Unpatched software vulnerabilities that are “high” or “critical” are all too common. The problem is that while CVSS scores do provide some indication of severity, that indication is isolated to the vulnerability itself - it doesn’t take into account the environment in which the vulnerable asset is running. The impact is that it becomes very difficult for infosec teams to understand and communicate risk.
If an asset with a critical CVE is completely isolated with no internet access and no access to sensitive data or applications, that CVE probably doesn’t present a lot of risk to the organization. If that same asset is exposed to the internet and also has access to sensitive data in a cloud database or object storage service, that CVE probably DOES present a lot of risk to the organization.
CNAPP ties many different signals together into a unified data store, correlating across the many different types of security weaknesses in your cloud estate, pinpointing where the real risk of a breach or incident lies. The output is a risk-based, prioritized view of what your team should be focused on fixing first.
Security teams have long imposed gates on application development, scrutinizing new deployments and newly-developed applications when the line of business attempts to push deployment to production. The problem with imposing these checks in production is that it’s costly and time-consuming to punt issues back to developers at this point.
The developer has probably already moved on to another project, which means another context switch back to this area—plus the entire process from development to deployment—needs to be reset and done over again. All of this means time and delays, sometimes slowing the pace of innovation to a crawl.
CNAPP has native integrations into a wide range of developer and DevOps tools, enabling security teams to set policies, while also providing security feedback to the business much earlier in the development process. With this level of workflow integration, developers get feedback even in their development environments as they are writing code. Identifying and fixing policy violations this early in the process is far more efficient and does not cause costly rework.
Compliance has been difficult for enterprises as long as regulatory mandates have existed. In a highly dynamic, highly automated public cloud environment, however, the rate of change makes it incredibly difficult to prove compliance on an ongoing basis. Automation means that cloud deployments change often and without warning. New cloud services are adopted by development teams at any time, and those services are in a constant state of evolution thanks to rapid innovation from the major cloud service providers. All of this means that you might be able to prove some level of compliance today, but that might have changed entirely by tomorrow.
CNAPP monitors your entire cloud estate on an ongoing basis, learning as your team makes changes to your cloud deployments and adapting to new and changing services from cloud service providers. These policies are mapped not only to security frameworks like CIS or NIST, but to a broad range of regulatory frameworks as well. Continuous compliance monitoring in the cloud could prove to be easier than anything you’ve encountered in the past.
For all of the above reasons and more, CNAPP can (and should) be the way forward for public cloud security in your organization. If you’re interested, take a closer look at Zscaler’s CNAPP, Posture Control, and talk to our experts.