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What is a Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP)


Cloud environments are complex and dynamic. Due to the complexity and multifacetedness of cloud technologies, cloud-native applications are challenging to safeguard. As a result, security teams use multiple security solutions, like CWPP and CSPM, to protect applications.

The problem with this approach is that handling multiple security tools is laborious, time-consuming, and inefficient. Cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP) is a new cloud security solution that promises to solve this problem.

What is CNAPP?

A cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP) is an all-in-one tool with the capabilities of different cloud-native security tools. It combines the security features of multiple tools and provides comprehensive protection – from the development and configuration stages to deployment and runtime.

Container security is here to stay
A CNAPP combines CSPM, CIEM, IAM, CWPP, and more in one tool. It streamlines cloud security monitoring, threat detection, and remediation processes. The all-in-one platform gives organizations better visibility into threats and vulnerabilities.

Instead of using multiple tools to receive alerts and formulate a remediation plan, a CNAPP minimizes complexity and enables security teams to monitor and draw insights from a single platform.

How Does CNAPP Work and Why is it So Important to Have?

This new cloud security approach offers the capabilities of multiple security tools in one software. 

Some of these security functions include Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM), Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) Scanning, Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP), Cloud Network Security Connectivity (CNSC), and Kubernetes Security Posture Management (CIEM).

The all-in-one platform centralizes insights, enabling security professionals to monitor and analyze data from the same space. A CNAPP identifies risks with strong context, provides detailed alerts, and offers automation features to fix vulnerabilities and misconfigurations. 

A CNAPP is essential because it reduces complexity and minimizes overhead. Given how complex and dynamic the cloud environments are, organizations are faced with enormous security threats. 

Enterprises deploy applications on multiple private and public clouds leveraging various dynamic, mixed technologies. This makes securing cloud assets significantly challenging. 

To cope with the complexity, security operations teams rely on multiple cloud security solutions. SecOps use various solutions to protect modern development practices, such as containers, Kubernetes, serverless functions, CI/CD pipelines, and infrastructure as code (IaC).

This approach has been helpful. That said, it’s laborious and inefficient. In addition to not providing a broad view of security risks, dealing with multiple tools negatively impacts accuracy and decreases productivity. Having to correlate data from several platforms leads to errors and delayed responses.

A CNAPP takes care of these problems by combining the functionalities of multiple tools in one software. It protects every stage of the cloud application lifecycle, from development to runtime. 

Leveraging advanced analytics and remediation automation, CNAPPs help organizations address cloud-native risks, harden applications, and institute security best practices.

What Problems Does a CNAPP Solve?

This new category of cloud application security tool is revolutionizing the cybersecurity landscape. It solves major challenges DevSecOps have been dealing with. That said, a CNAPP helps security teams to solve the following problems.

1. Enhancing Visibility and Quantifying Risks

A CNAPP offers a broader visibility of security risks. It leverages multiple security capabilities to enable DevOps and DevSecOps to spot and fix potential security issues throughout the entire application lifecycle. 

The all-in-one security platform enables teams to keep tabs on all cloud infrastructures ( like apps, APIs, and classified data) and cloud services (like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud). In addition, it provides insights that help security teams to quantify risks and formulate data-driven remediation strategies.

2. Combined Cloud Security Solution

A CNAPP eliminates the need to use multiple cloud-native application protection solutions. It provides all the features needed to detect and solve security issues. Scanning, detection, notification, and reporting are consolidated in one software. 

This reduces human error, shortens response time, and minimizes the cost of operation.

3. Secure Software Development

It reinforces security at every stage of the application lifecycle. The tool helps DevOps teams to shift left, thus minimizing the incidence of vulnerabilities or security issues at runtime.

4. Team Collaboration

Collaboration is difficult and error-prone when teams are using multiple tools. Data correlation and analysis take more time since team members have more than one tool to deal with. 

A CNAPP is a game-changer! It has advanced workflows, data correlation, analytics, and remediation features. These functionalities enhance team collaboration and increase productivity.

What are CNAPP Features and Capabilities/Key Components of CNAPP?

Even though the features and capabilities of CNAPPs differ (based on vendors), there are key components an effective CNAPP should have. That being said, here are the seven key components:

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)

A CSPM solution focuses on maintaining proper cloud configuration. It monitors, detects, and fixes misconfigurations & compliance violations. CSPM monitors cloud resources and alerts security teams when a non-compliant resource is identified.

Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) Scanning

IaC Scanning enables the early detection of errors (misconfigurations) in code. Spotting misconfigurations before deployment helps to avoid vulnerabilities at runtime. This tool is used to carry out some kind of code review. The purpose is to ensure code quality by scanning for vulnerable points, compliance issues, and violations of policies.

Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP)

Cloud workload protection platform (CSPM) secures cloud workloads, shielding your resources from security threats. CSPM protects various workloads, from virtual machines (VMs) and databases to Kubernetes and containers. 

A CWPP monitors and provides insights to help security teams prevent security breaches.

Cloud Network Security Connectivity (CNSC) 

Cloud Network Security Connectivity (CNSC) provides complete real-time visibility and access to risks across all your cloud resources and accounts. This cloud security solution allows you to explore the risks, activate security rules, and suppress whole risks or risk triggers, export risk trigger details, access all network rules in the context of their policy sets and create risk reports.

Kubernetes Security Posture Management (KSPM)

Kubernetes security posture management (KSPM) capability enables organizations to maintain standard security posture by preventing Kubernetes misconfigurations and compliance violations. 

KSPM solution, similar to Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM), automates Kubernetes security, reinforces compliance, identifies misconfigurations, and monitors Kubernetes clusters to ensure maximum security.

Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM)

A Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) tool is used to administer permissions and access policies. To maintain the integrity of cloud and multi-cloud environments, identities and access privileges must be regulated. 

This is where CIEM comes in! CIEM solutions, also known as Cloud permissions Management Solutions, help organizations prevent data breaches by enforcing the principle of least privileges.

Integration to Software Development Activities

This component of CNAPP focuses on integrating cloud-native application protection solutions into the development phase to improve reliability and robustness in the CI/CD pipeline stage.

What are the Benefits of CNAPP?

Transitioning from using multiple cloud security tools to implementing a CNAPP solution can benefit your company in many ways. Some benefits include:

1. Streamlines Security Operations

Managing multiple security tools decreases efficiency and leads to employee burnout. Correlating data from different software is laborious and error-prone. It prolongs response time. 

A CNAPP streamlines activities by giving security teams broad visibility from a single tool. This makes monitoring and remediation easier than ever – making security teams more efficient and productive.

2. Better Visibility into Risks

A CNAPP provides better visibility into security risks associated with your cloud infrastructure. It covers all aspects of cloud-native application protection, providing security teams with the necessary insights to close security gaps, harden applications, and ward off threats. 

3. Improves Security With Automation

Risk detection and vulnerability management are automated. Automation of security tasks increases reliability, reduces human error, and enables rapid response to threats. It combines automation and advanced analytics to offer organizations accurate insights into risks.

4. Reduces the Number of Bug Fixes

A CNAPP prevents vulnerabilities at runtime by detecting threats and errors in the CI/CD pipeline phases. This approach improves DevOps team productivity and decreases the number of bug fixes after deployment. In other words, shifting left ensures the deployment of high-quality code.

5. Reduces Overhead Costs

If you want to cut down the cost of operation, consider choosing a CNAPP over CSPM and other standalone cloud security tools. It reduces overhead by eliminating the need to operate and maintain multiple cloud security solutions.

AlgoSec CNAPP with Prevasio and CloudFlow

Cloud environments are increasingly complex and dynamic. Maintaining secure cloud infrastructures has become more challenging than ever. Security teams rely on multiple tools to gain visibility into risks. CNAPPs promise to fix the challenges of using multiple solutions to protect cloud-native applications. 

Gartner, the first to describe the CNAPP category, encourages organizations to consider emerging CNAPP providers and adopt an all-in-one security approach that takes care of the entire life cycle of applications – covering development and runtime protection.

Prevasio makes transitioning to a CNAPP a fantastic experience. Prevasio takes pride in helping organizations protect their cloud-native applications and other cloud assets. Prevasio’s agentless cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP) offers increased risk visibility and enables security teams to reinforce best practices. Contact us to learn how we can help you manage your cloud security.

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