Best Practices for Cloud Native Security

Author: 
 Updated: 
February 11, 2021
 / 6 minutes

Companies that are into production, must align with the process of cloud-native security. With the adoption of digitalization, businesses have acquired DevOps practices and are looking for solutions to integrate security through coding in the development phase. This way, they tend to significantly lower the code when a new product is in the development phase. 

In this piece, you will find a detailed explanation of cloud-native security and its best practices for organizations. 

What is Cloud-Native Security?

The term ‘Cloud-native’ can be described as a technology that empowers companies to build and run applications in a dynamic and modern landscape like public, private & hybrid cloud. These technologies are “serverless” and aim at relieving the extra burden of infrastructure ops and monitoring

Without allocating their time to the infrastructure work, developers can now dedicate their time and energy to building tools that generate ROI and leverage the business. 

Further, cloud native security also refers to infrastructure and platform security besides continuous app security. Compute features in cloud-native apps are formulated to be transient and more likely to have a short lifespan. This is one such characteristic that makes cloud-native security more credible and secure. 

However, as they are a relatively new architecture, they will possess certain risks, and developers must prepare to mitigate risk factors. 

As per experts, to shut down security gaps inflicted by the ever-evolving digital ecosystem, businesses should approve a cloud-native security platform that includes threat detection, Artificial Intelligence,  data analytics, intelligence, and automation. Ensuring a public cloud needs constant assessment and protection tightly merged into the applications and infrastructure.  

Comprehend what cloud-native security you are accountable for?

In a conventional IT procedure, all primary responsibilities lie with the end-user company- from access control down to the structure’s physical security. Though cloud computing offloads most of these tasks to the cloud service provider, these end-user companies retain accountability for protecting the data they put in the cloud. 

While protecting cloud-native infrastructure, it’s essential to comprehend where the responsibilities come, considering the fact that the duties vary, relying on the services consumed by the users. Many organizations fall short in this parameter and have common issues that include potential account arbitrates, public divulgence of cloud storage services, losing critical patches, and accepting traffic from any source.  

Legacy processes include creating a wall around the infrastructure, examining, and blocking from the exterior. When some cloud-native technologies shift, their perimeter dissolves. For instance, a WAF will only secure features that are API Gateway triggered. So, a WAF won’t run if your functions are initiated by varied event sources like stream data processing, database change, and more. 

Three new rules for cloud-native app security?

Perform security during the development phase

Before the advent of DevOps, security divisions offered late-stage surveys and suggestions before apps moving from the development phase to the system running in the production process. Security was included at the edge of the development cycle, leading to significant delays if the app’s problems require changes. 

This is not acceptable in today’s tech-driven era where automation and performance rules. Software developers are pressurized to build and deliver applications faster and to update apps regularly via automated features. Companies are now deploying apps developed on containers and functions directly to the production unit to achieve organizational goals, controlling them with orchestration tools like Kubernetes, and running them in the cloud. 

Instead of perimeter install guardrails

Still, many businesses rely on traditional security tools that cannot handle the scale, velocity, and active networking ecosystem of containers. The inclusion of modern serverless function aggravates the issues by outlining infrastructure further to offer an easy execution ecosystem for microservices and apps.    

Cyber attackers look for vulnerabilities in the serverless code and misconfigured cloud infrastructure permission settings to enter networks containing sensitive data. While using containers to deploy applications, developers can influence basic elements and images from internal and external storage to stimulate their efforts. 

Even container images can contain vulnerabilities that can make the application susceptible to cyber attacks.

The solution is to rehabilitate gates with guardrails. Enabling security teams with the necessary tools to obstruct noncompliant images within the CI/CD pipeline is the first step for security. 

Keep the efforts united. 

The internal stakeholder and the cloud service provider must extend a healthy organizational relationship with cloud service providers. The security mantra should be “we take the responsibility together” and not ” 

Cloud service providers do everything”.

This implies accepting the new reality that cloud providers will manage certain security facets, and the rest are left with the consumers.  

Best practices for cloud-native security 

Begin Early 

Start early in the development phase by integrating security at the microservices and container category. If the app’s container is not designed with security, the entire batch will be at risk.

Containers are secured best during the development phase where security can directly integrate into the code. For instance, by enabling DevOps to interpret network policies that will be employed at build time, security can be integrated as the fundamental structure of the app. 

Look on automating more. 

Automation is all about regulating assets to achieve business-oriented goals in less time-frame. Instant feedback on successful or declined automated tests paces the automation procedure.

Look at various ways to automate more security features. If the development board is regulated by security compliance, the higher amount of automation, the simpler the security audit. 

Reiterate 

Security is not at all a one-time occurrence. As the software developers iterate and the app develops, security policies should be continuously applied to ensure that no vulnerable points are introduced during the process. 

Hence, security should be a repetitive task in an ongoing app development cycle. 

Conclusion 

Cloud-native security should be the top priority for every production system. A stack of segregated platforms requires high engagement towards protection as 42% of cloud formation templates comprise at least one unsafe configuration. So, make sure to step up your organization’s security goals by employing cloud-native security.

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