The application development process and methodologies have come a long way from where they began. The traditional “waterfall” model of development is no longer effective in this fast-paced world.
The new trend is that of continuous integration – constant delivery, also known as the CI/CD model equipped with end-to-end automation. But why have we shifted to this approach and left the traditional one?
The Need For a New Approach
This new approach to application development has become the new standard for the industry because it offers a multitude of benefits. This includes:
- Shorter marketing times.
- Faster deployment.
- Continuous improvement.
- Reduce reliance on on-site hardware.
However, all that comes with a cost, in the form of new security challenges.
This is because the traditional security protocols are not enough to keep up with the fast pace of this developmental methodology. These security procedures and protocols were simply not designed to work with this new concept.
Security is Struggling to Keep Up With Development
While the development teams are working at an unprecedented pace, security teams are facing tons of difficulty in keeping up with them.
The security challenges are presented in the form of limited prevention control, poor visibility, lack of automation yield, and incomplete security analytics.
Added together, all of that means that there’s an increased risk of security compromises and breaches in cloud environments.
So, the question is, how can we address all those security concerns without compromising the pace of development?
The solution to all of these problems is cloud-native security platforms.
But what is cloud-native? And how does it make the development and deployment practically seamless?
What Exactly is Cloud Native?
Cloud-native, as the name suggests, is an approach to application software development and execution that fully relies on cloud computing.
In this approach, the on-premises data center is dropped and replaced with cloud computing resources. But how exactly does cloud-native work?
How Does Cloud Native Function?
The cloud-native architecture works based on a number of cloud-based services. These include but are not limited to:
- Serverless security.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS).
All these services are arranged in something called loose coupling. This means that they are not hardwired to any of the infrastructure components.
For the developers, it means that they can make changes to any component of the application whenever they want without affecting the others.
In the simplest words, it means that the application can constantly evolve according to the needs of the users.
But how is cloud-native better than the traditional approach?
Benefits of Using Cloud-Native
The benefits cloud-native has to offer include:
- Ease and efficiency of deployment anywhere on the globe.
- Efficient manageability.
- Limitless computing power at your disposal if and when needed.
All these things cloud-native has to offer, combined with the CI/CD automation technology, mean that this setup radically increases productivity and agility and saves costs on every step.
So far we have established that cloud-native is a developmental methodology that utilizes all the amazing things cloud computing can offer to make application development and deployment faster and more efficient. But what are the security implications of such an approach? How can security be assured on such a system? Let’s see!
The Evolution of Cloud-Native Security
With the widespread use of DevOps and the shift in the developmental process from the on-premises to cloud computing approach, security teams realized that their outdated security tools were not enough.
It was the time to develop something that could cater to the needs of an API-centric, developer-driven, and infrastructure-agnostic development approach brought by cloud-native systems.
The result was a lot of cloud-native security products hitting the market. However, these initial tools were all focused on a specific segment of the whole setup.
Resultantly, it was beyond these tools to effectively comprehend and indicate security risks and vulnerabilities across cloud-native environments.
Developers had no choice other than to use like a dozen security tools on a project and things were still overlooked. The tools overlapped at certain points but blind spots were still existent.
Enter Cloud Native Security Platforms, a complete solution for cloud-native security!
Cloud-Native Security Platforms
As you might have judged, the solution for this security crisis surrounding the cloud-native development approach was a unified platform approach. Developers needed to have a setup that could integrate with the CI/CD style of development while making sure that it worked smoothly with the DevOps workflow.
That solution came in the form of cloud-native security platforms. This entirely changed the approach towards cloud security just like cloud-native changed the approach towards application development.
Cloud-native security platforms (CNSPs) work across the infrastructure, PaaS, users, development platforms, application workloads, and data to make sure that the security is not compromised at any level.
Some of the notable functions of these platforms include:
- Providing unified visibility for DevOps and SecOps teams.
- Delivering an integrated set of capabilities that make it possible to respond to threats in time, ensuring the security of cloud-native applications.
- Automating the process of remediating the vulnerabilities across all components of a cloud-native application.
However, this does not mean that CNSPs is the ultimate solution for the security vulnerabilities in the cloud-native development scenario. There still is much room for improvement.
The Future of Cloud-Native Security
There’s no doubt in the fact that the future of computing is the cloud. There’s no better or economical way of doing it. It offers incredible scalability, efficiency, and dependability that no other setup can offer.
People are cynical about the security scenario of this approach and they are right. It is fundamentally easier to exploit the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of something on the cloud than it is for an on-premises system.
If we are to continue using the cloud-native approach, CNSPs need to improve and eliminate the blind corners that are still there.