Challenges of Cloud-Native Security and How to Mitigate Them
Cloud-native applications have become a growing trend in today's business world. They allow developers to build robust applications that are scalable and cost-effective.
Cloud-native applications provide the benefits of cloud computing with microservices through containers or without servers that can be managed by DevOps teams. Organizations need cloud-native infrastructure to build these solutions that can perform continuously with zero human intervention.
However, these applications come with a big risk of maintaining robust security. Cloud-native environments are a collection of microservices interlinked together and cannot take advantage of the security tools or processes designed for monolithic environments.
It is also a fast-changing environment with frequent releases, which makes its security a challenging venture. In this article, we will discuss the essential principles of cloud-native security, which will allow you to understand how to use it effectively.
The security aspects should be as dynamic as the cloud-native environment, which will make it difficult for cybercriminals to attack them and gain a foothold. For that, you must constantly repair, revise, and rotate your security measures.
An ideal cloud-native security strategy would be to monitor the systems and microservices for vulnerabilities continuously. It will allow you to fix them as soon as they appear. To achieve that, you will need to:
Monitor announcements by vendors
Cross-check new vulnerabilities against your system
Install relevant patches as soon as they come
Even though these practices might seem basic, several organizations tend to forget them, which leads to security breaches.
Revising the environment is a process to bring it back to its original state periodically. It removes any drifts that have occurred and allows the applications to confirm with the environmental baseline. That means if hackers gain control of the environment, they will not get a lot of time to inflict lasting damages.
Moreover, customers from regulated industries have to go through audits that ensure their standards of compliance. Revising the compliance environment regularly ensures that it stays in the designated state.
You should also rotate the system credentials to ensure the security of the environment. That way, if hackers gain access to one of the credentials, they will not be able to inflict long-term damages to the cloud-based environment. Some of the credentials that need regular rotations are:
Ensure Security for the Entire Application Lifecycle
Use a cloud-native security solution that oversees the application's protection while being developed, integrated, and deployed. If you already have a DevOps team at your organization, or you plan to have one soon, infuse these security practices into their operations so that the cloud environment can enjoy the benefits.
You must choose the right cloud platform irrespective of whether you need a public/hybrid cloud platform or multiple cloud providers linked together, as it will probably be a mix of VMs, containers, and serverless cloud-native environments. You must consider the security protocols of the platforms and choose one carefully with the right automation capabilities.
Some organizations try to build and implement their own set of automatic frameworks. This step is usually not required as it is better to choose a cloud service provider that offers the ideal cloud-native security solutions to help you protect the workloads.
You should be able to secure the application infrastructure, integrate guidelines from multiple sources, and provide remedies for the vulnerabilities. The cloud platform should also update and support the emerging workload patterns of the industry.
Evolve on a Cloud-Native Team
If your organization is used to traditional work, you would have separate teams that take care of the building, implementing, managing, and securing an application. In such an environment, every team is responsible to meet the goals while adding the necessary layers to the application.
However, if you wish to operate in a cloud-native environment, you will have to change the way your teams operate. Running a DevOps team requires security to be a part of each step in the CI/CD pipeline, which means that the same team will have to take care of each stage of the application lifecycle.
Cloud-native security allows multiple benefits for an organization. It provides the ability to operate workloads on multi-cloud platforms. It also allows your organization to choose a secure platform that fits your requirements in the best way. Your engineers and developers can recover from attacks faster and fix vulnerabilities in the cloud environment. Since your teams would be performing rollouts several times a day, they would be able to detect and fix security issues immediately. It also offers better visibility to monitor the workloads and make real-time decisions.
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