Cloud Native Security: Cloud Native Application Protection Platforms

Back in 2022, 77% of interviewed CIOs stated that their IT environment is constantly changing. We can only guess that this number, would the respondents be asked today, will be as high as 90%+. Detecting flaws and security vulnerabilities becomes more and more challenging in 2023 since the complexity of typical software deployment is exponentially increasing year to year. The relatively new trend of Cloud Native Application Protection Platforms (CNAPP) is now supported by the majority of cybersecurity companies, offering their CNAPP solutions for cloud and on-prem deployments.

CNAPP rapid growth is driven by cybersecurity threats, while misconfiguration is one of the most reported reasons for security breaches and data loss. While workloads and data move to the cloud, the required skill sets of IT and DevOps teams must also become much more specialized. The likelihood of an unintentional misconfiguration is increased because the majority of seasoned IT workers still have more expertise and got more training on-prem than in the cloud. In contrast, a young “cloud-native” DevOps professional has very little knowledge of “traditional” security like network segmentation or firewall configuration, which will typically result in configuration errors.

Some CNAPP are proud to be “Agentless” eliminating the need to install and manage agents that can cause various issues, from machine’ overload to agent vulnerabilities due to security flows and, guess what, due to the agent’s misconfiguration. Agentless monitoring has its benefits but it is not free of risks. Any monitored device should be “open” for such monitoring, typically coming from a remote server. If an adversary was able to fake a monitoring attempt, he can easily get access to all the monitored devices and compromise the entire network. So “agentless CNAPP” does not automatically mean a better solution than a competing security platform. Easier for maintenance by IT staff? Yes, it is. Is it more secure? Probably not.