Cloud-native apps are specifically designed for deployment and operation in a cloud setting. They use services that cloud providers or third-party partners offer through API and are made up of tiny, independent microservices like serverless functions and containers. They also use the cloud for automatic stability, scalability, and recovery. Development teams may concentrate on building designs that are best for the cloud’s scaling capabilities by creating cloud-native apps. However, what exactly does cloud-native security mean?
The security environment is altered by the unique, distinctive structure of cloud-native apps, which influences how attackers approach them. Security experts and developers must modify how they defend cloud-native apps as attackers alter their strategy and shift to Gen VI assaults.
To better avert these new hazards for their company, they need to devote more time and resources to them. Strategic resource allocation is necessary, but it is first necessary to comprehend which risks are most likely in this new threat environment.
Threats to Cloud Native Applications
In cloud-native apps, compute services are meant to be temporary and have limited lifespans. This is one of several characteristics that make cloud-native apps more secure by definition. Attackers are unable to establish a long-term stronghold in your system and must hence change strategies. The Groundhog Day attack is one such approach, in which an attacker creates a considerably shorter attack that takes, for example, only a few credit card numbers and then repeats. Attackers take advantage of the cloud-native app’s automated scalability to take advantage of its ephemerality.
Another strategy is the Upstream attack, also known as Poisoning the Well, in which attackers attempt to acquire longer-term persistence in the app. Cloud-native apps frequently include several modules and libraries. A single serverless function might contain hundreds of lines of code from sources apart from your engineers’ work. Malicious code is included in common projects by attackers. The malicious code in the cloud apps may then contact the home, acquire instructions, and cause trouble after poisoning the well.
How to Secure Cloud Native Applications
Fortunately, cloud-native apps are more difficult to compromise. However, because they are a new sort of architecture, they create new security issues, and developers must take action to limit risk. Here are some best practices for securing cloud-native apps.
- Apply perimeter security at the function level
- Create minimal roles for each function
- Secure application dependencies
- Make security a concern and priority for everyone
When the perimeter dissolves, perimeter security no longer applies
Building a wall around your architecture and observing and blocking from the outside are legacy practices. The boundary is dissolving with the adoption of cloud-native technologies such as serverless. A WAF, for example, will only protect functions that the API Gateway triggers. As a result, a WAF will be ineffective if your functions are triggered by a variety of events, like stream data processing, cloud storage events, and database updates.
Furthermore, traditional external scanner and firewall techniques lack the context required to perform accurate security. Scans and perimeter defenses lack comprehension and insight into the resources they assess and defend. This misunderstanding leads to errors and false positives. Experts must fix them, identify weaknesses, and close gaps such as false negatives. Such methods that rely heavily on manual work will not scale.
Cloud Native Security necessitates high visibility and context
Cloud sprawl outpaces the capacity to protect it. Visibility is difficult to achieve, even at high or middling fidelity. Restricted visibility in the absence of a larger context leads to incorrect judgments. A lack of centralized management and visibility raises the possibility of undiscovered misconfigurations and the inability to assess risk. Alerts that lack context necessitate human involvement, resulting in mitigating delays and alert fatigue.
Cloud-native security must address the context issue. Details regarding questionable activity utilization are required for effective cloud-native security. You must understand not only the source IP but also the destination IP, protocol, content and application function, user and group, and so on.
Cloud Native Security: People, Processes, and Technology
Continuous evaluation and protection must be deeply integrated into the infrastructure and apps to secure the public cloud. The funding for tools, security, and specialist employees is not growing at the same rate as the number of tools that businesses are utilizing as part of their digital transformation.
Cloud Native Security Integration
Cloud Native refers to the security of both the platform and the infrastructure and continuous application security.
Security must be embedded into the assets you are attempting to protect. This applies to numerous layers, from the operating system through the container to the application. To give proper evaluation and protection, get inside an app to understand the data flows and transactions. Integrated security also allows your workload to move from the cloud to a container. Security will be included in the application.
Legacy Tools and Application Security
Threats are becoming more sophisticated, and business-critical apps and platforms have advanced to the point where conventional security measures are no longer enough. Traditional security approaches, strategies, and technology are inadequate for today’s sophisticated threats and intricate hybrid IT environments.
The employment of legacy tools leads to a massively complex program comprised of a patchwork of different tools, all of which need the training of specialized personnel. False positives and complicated deployments are other issues with such software.
The inside-out methodology of new cloud-native technologies, on the other hand, acts as a force multiplier. AI-powered models may watch app activity after distribution to detect odd behavior.
In cloud-native apps, compute services are meant to be ephemeral and have brief lifespans. This is one of several characteristics that make cloud-native apps more secure. However, because they are a new sort of architecture, they create new security issues, and developers must take action to limit risk.
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