Threats to cloud-native security

When we talk about cloud-native security, it is easy to overlook the often unseen and damaging effects of application vulnerabilities running through federal network environments in spite of the efforts that federal agencies are making to strengthen cybersecurity protections.

The extent to which government agencies have adopted cloud-native applications and shifted their IT operations to multiple cloud environments is one part of the issue. And now most need thing for businesses is cloud-native security and resolving the risk of it.

Even though these decisions have increased the number of opportunities for malicious actors to exploit or inject vulnerabilities into these environments, they have also led to a dramatic increase in the speed at which modernization has been accelerated and security has been improved.

This was made painfully clear two years ago when malicious actors exploited Log4j, an open-source logging library and one of the many building blocks used in modern software. This allowed hackers to penetrate enterprise IT systems throughout the federal government and around the world and cause disruptions.

However, the extent to which federal agencies’ security expertise is still based on managing on-premises IT systems that typically rely on specialized security solutions of cloud-native security is another factor. In today’s cloud-based applications, modular microservices are packaged in effective virtual containers that can be dynamically discovered, scaled, and managed.

In today’s dynamic, multi-cloud environment, legacy on-prem solutions are unable to protect agencies from the numerous vulnerabilities that are emerging because they were not designed to handle these new applications.

Threats to cloud-native security

There are numerous threats to cloud-native security for which organizations must prepare. However, there are five specific issues that federal leaders should focus on, and addressing them will necessitate a new generation of cloud-native application and deployment-specific security solutions:

  • Application Vulnerabilities: Vulnerabilities that are concealed within containers rather than on hosts or servers
  • Misconfiguration of the infrastructure: Cloud resources are dynamic and highly scalable. However, cloud service providers share responsibility for security. All assets and services’ security configurations may suffer as a result.
  • Overprovisioned Access: In multi-cloud environments, the number and complexity of users, roles, and permissions grow exponentially, making it more difficult for Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems to control permissions. Over-privileged access and difficulties in implementing a security paradigm with least privileged access can result from this.
  • APIs (Application Programming Interface) that are insecure: Microservice-based architecture is the driving force behind the proliferation of APIs and their utilization. The advantages of traditional application-level security methods based on web application firewalls (WAFs) are diminished by the need to secure these services at the API level.
  • Malware: Malicious software can take advantage of all of the aforementioned dangers to gain access to your applications and data with greater success.

Agencies must have the appropriate tools and capabilities to identify these risks early in the DevOps process in light of these and other issues with cloud-native security.

It is not a novel idea to address technical issues and potential risks earlier in the software lifecycle (SDLC). Resolving issues earlier in the software’s lifecycle is always easier and less expensive than doing so later.

The extent to which costs and complexity can be reduced with cloud-native applications has changed, particularly in light of the speed with which cloud applications can be deployed, the scale of their deployment, and the technical complexity of today’s cloud-native security systems.

CNAPPs improve agency security

The capabilities of Cloud Native Application Protection Platforms (CNAPPs), which are able to address cloud-native application security throughout the entire lifecycle of those applications, have also changed over the past few years.

To address these and other security risks, customers had to put together a variety of point solutions without much integration or end-to-end visibility prior to CNAPP. That frequently necessitated altering or adapting the security objectives and procedures of customers to take into account the limitations of those point solutions.

Federal agencies can more easily incorporate cloud-native security protections into their processes and their DevSecOps ecosystems thanks to the emergence of comprehensive CNAPP solutions like Palo Alto Network’s Prisma Cloud, which Frost and Sullivan and GigaOm ranked as the market leader in its category. Application governance, end-to-end visibility, and security compliance verification are all made simpler with Prisma Cloud for cloud-native security environments.

While federal agencies continue to struggle with long-term security objectives, such as the requirement to implement zero-trust security architecture, leaders in government must also accept the emergence of new and rapidly evolving vulnerabilities in cloud-native security in the near future.



Innovation insight for cloud-native application protection platforms

The increasing dependence on cloud-based services has made cloud-native application protection platforms (CNAPs) an indispensable tool in securing these services. CNAPs provide comprehensive security solutions for cloud-based services, including APIs, containers, server less functions, and microservices.

This article will provide an insight into the current state of innovation in CNAPs, highlighting the latest trends and advancements.

Key Trends in CNAPs:

  1. Microservices-based architecture:
  • CNAPs are moving towards a microservices-based architecture, which allows for greater flexibility and scalability in deployment.
  • This architecture enables CNAPs to provide protection at the individual service level, rather than relying on a monolithic security approach.
  1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning:
  • CNAPs are increasingly incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to enhance their capabilities.
  • AI and ML technologies can help to automatically detect and respond to security threats in real-time, and to continuously learn and adapt to changing security environments.
  1. Container Security:
  • Containers are becoming an increasingly popular deployment option for cloud-native applications.
  • CNAPs are being designed specifically to provide security for container-based environments, including image scanning, runtime protection, and network segmentation.
  1. Server less Function Security:
  • Server less functions, also known as Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS), are growing in popularity due to their cost-effectiveness and scalability.
  • CNAPs are being developed to provide security for server less functions, including protection from attacks such as code injection and unauthorized access.
  1. API Security:
  • APIs are becoming increasingly critical in cloud-based services, as they provide the means for accessing and exchanging data.
  • CNAPs are being designed to provide comprehensive security for APIs, including authentication, authorization, and encryption.
  1. Integration with DevOps Workflows:
  • CNAPs are increasingly integrating with DevOps workflows, allowing for security to be built into the development process from the outset.
  • This integration enables CNAPs to provide continuous security for cloud-based services, rather than as an afterthought.

Advancements in CNAPs:

  1. Automated Threat Response:
  • CNAPs are being developed to provide automated threat response capabilities, allowing for the rapid detection and response to security threats.
  • This includes the ability to automatically block malicious traffic, quarantine compromised systems, and provide alerts to security teams.
  1. Runtime Protection:
  • CNAPs are being designed to provide runtime protection for cloud-based services, including container-based and server less environments.
  • This includes the ability to detect and prevent attacks such as code injection, buffer overflows, and unauthorized access.
  1. Image Scanning:
  • CNAPs are incorporating image scanning capabilities, allowing for the detection of vulnerabilities and malware in container images.
  • This enables organizations to prevent the deployment of compromised images, ensuring the security of their cloud-based services.
  1. Network Segmentation:
  • CNAPs are being developed to provide network segmentation capabilities, allowing for the secure isolation of cloud-based services.
  • This includes the ability to segment network traffic, limit network access, and enforce network policies.
  1. Continuous Compliance:
  • CNAPs are being designed to provide continuous compliance, ensuring that cloud-based services meet industry and regulatory requirements.
  • This includes the ability to monitor and report on compliance, providing organizations with the confidence that their cloud-based services are secure and compliant.


In conclusion, the innovations in CNAPs are leading to more comprehensive and effective security solutions for cloud-based services. The trends and advancements outlined in this article highlight the continued evolution of CNAPs, providing organizations with the tools they need to secure their cloud-based services in the ever-changing security landscape.

The incorporation of AI and ML, container security, server less function security, API security, and integration with DevOps workflows, along with automated threat response, runtime protection, image scanning, network segmentation, and continuous compliance, demonstrate the growing importance of CNAPs in securing cloud-based services.

As organizations continue to adopt cloud-based services, the role of CNAPs in providing comprehensive security solutions will become increasingly vital.

  1. What is a Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAP)?

  • A CNAP is a platform that provides comprehensive security solutions for cloud-based services, including APIs, containers, server less functions, and microservices.
  • CNAPs aim to secure cloud-based services in a way that is optimized for the unique requirements of these services, including their dynamic and distributed nature.
  1. Key concepts in developing cloud-native applications:
  • Microservices-based architecture: Breaking down a monolithic application into smaller, independent services that can be developed and deployed independently.
  • Continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD): Automated processes for building, testing, and deploying software.
  • Scalability: The ability of the application to handle increasing workloads by adding resources as needed.
  • Resilience: The ability of the application to continue functioning even in the face of failures.
  1. Pillars of cloud-native applications:
  • Automated operations: Automated processes for managing the application and its infrastructure.
  • Observability: The ability to gather data on the behavior and performance of the application, allowing for troubleshooting and optimization.
  • Infrastructure as code: Treating infrastructure as software, allowing it to be managed and versioned like code.
  1. Securing a cloud-native application:
  • CNAPs provide comprehensive security solutions for cloud-based services, but there are additional steps that can be taken to ensure the security of a cloud-native application.
  • Access control: Implementing authentication and authorization mechanisms to control access to the application and its resources.
  • Encryption: Ensuring that sensitive data is encrypted both in transit and at rest.
  • Network security: Segmenting the network to limit the attack surface and prevent unauthorized access.
  • Vulnerability management: Regularly identifying and remedying vulnerabilities in the application and its dependencies.