Cloud Native Security

Understanding the 4Cs of cloud native world

Being a cloud native is a way of building and running applications that take advantage of the cloud computing model. Cloud-native applications are designed in a way that they should be scalable, resilient, and manageable. They are also designed in a way that they can be deployed and managed using cloud-native tools and technologies, for example; containers, Kubernetes, and using methodologies like DevOps.

What are Cloud Native Applications?

Cloud-native applications are software applications that are designed to run on cloud computing platforms. They are typically built as microservices, using containers, and other cloud-native technologies.

Cloud-native applications are often described as "cloud-first," meaning that they are designed to take advantage of the unique capabilities of cloud computing platforms.

Cloud-native applications are getting popular, as businesses are increasingly moving to the cloud. If you are developing applications that are deployed in the cloud, it is important to consider using cloud-native principles and related security technologies to avoid any security mishaps throughout your business.

What is Cloud Native Security?

Cloud-native security is a collection of practices and technologies that are used to protect your cloud-native applications and infrastructure. Cloud-native security is important because cloud-native applications are often more complex and distributed than traditional applications, which makes them more vulnerable to attack.

Cloud-native security is an important consideration for both engineering and cloud-ops teams that are developing and deploying cloud-native applications. By implementing cloud-native security practices and technologies, engineering teams can help to protect their applications and infrastructure from attack.
Cloud Native Security - Cloudanix Use Case

What is the importance of Cloud-Native Security?

Cloud-native security tools can automate many of the tasks involved in securing containerized applications, such as vulnerability scanning, misconfiguration detection, and threat response. This can free up engineering and development teams to focus on other important tasks, such as developing and improving applications. Cloud-native security is important from an engineering and development perspective as it can benefit you as an organization in the following ways;
  • Protect applications and data: Cloud-native applications contain sensitive data, such as customer information, financial data, and intellectual property. Cloud-native security can help to protect this data from unauthorized access, theft, and loss.
  • Reduce the risk of security incidents: Cloud-native applications can be vulnerable to various security threats, such as malware infections, ransomware attacks, and data breaches. Cloud-native security can help reduce the risk of these security incidents by identifying and remediating security vulnerabilities, detecting and responding to threats, and implementing security best practices.
  • Improve compliance: Many industries are subject to regulations that require organizations to implement certain security measures. Cloud-native can help organizations comply with these regulations by protecting containerized applications and data.
  • Increase customer trust: Customers are increasingly concerned about their data and its security and privacy. By implementing cloud-native measures, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to data security and gain customer and lead trust.

some specific examples of how Cloud-native security can help engineering and development teams

  • Reduced time to secure new applications: Cloud-native security tools can be integrated into the development and deployment process to help identify and remediate security vulnerabilities on the go. This can help organizations reduce the time to secure new applications and allow them to focus on building their applications.
  • Improve the security of existing applications: Cloud-native security tools are privileged enough to scan existing applications for vulnerabilities and monitor them for suspicious activity. This can help engineering teams to identify and fix security vulnerabilities in existing applications and to respond to threats fast.
  • Secure posture and better management: Cloud-native security tools can provide a centralized view of the security posture of cloud-native applications and infrastructure.
This can help engineering teams to simplify security management and to identify and mitigate security risks effectively.

How does cloud-native security work?

Cloud-native security works by implementing a layered approach to security. The layered approach to cloud-native security is a way to protect cloud-native applications and infrastructure by implementing security measures at multiple levels.
This approach is important because cloud-native applications are often complex and distributed, which can make them more difficult to secure.

The three layers of the layered approach to cloud-native security are

Infrastructure layer

This layer is responsible for protecting the underlying infrastructure that supports cloud-native applications. This includes practices such as:

  • Securing cloud APIs
  • Implementing least-privilege access
  • Monitoring cloud infrastructure for suspicious activity

Platform layer

This layer is responsible for protecting the cloud-native platform itself. This includes practices such as:

  • Securing container registries
  • Implementing Kubernetes security best practices
  • Monitoring the cloud-native platform for suspicious activity

Application layer

This layer is responsible for protecting cloud-native applications. This includes practices such as:

  • Implementing authentication and authorization
  • Encrypting data in transit
  • Monitoring cloud-native applications for suspicious activity



By implementing security measures at each layer, organizations can reduce the risk of security incidents and protect their cloud-native applications and data.

How to implement the layered approach to cloud-native security?

The layered approach to cloud-native security can be implemented in the real world in the following ways;

  • Infrastructure layer: An organization can use a cloud security posture management (CSPM) tool to monitor their cloud infrastructure for suspicious activity. They might also use a cloud access management (IAM) tool to implement least-privileged access to cloud resources.
  • Platform layer: An organization might use a container security scanner to scan container images for vulnerabilities. They might also use a Kubernetes security policy to implement security best practices for Kubernetes clusters.
  • Application layer: An organization might use a web application firewall (WAF) to protect its cloud-native applications from common web attacks. They might also use an API gateway to implement authentication and authorization for their APIs.
The layered approach to cloud-native security is an effective way to protect your cloud-native applications and infrastructure from possible attacks. By implementing the required security measures at each layer, organizations can reduce the risk of security incidents and mishaps.

Organizations should also understand that the layered approach to cloud-native security is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The specific security measures that an organization implements will vary depending on its specific needs and requirements. However, the layered approach provides a good starting point for organizations that are looking to improve the security of their cloud-native applications and infrastructure.

What are the 4 Cs of cloud-native security?

The four Cs of cloud-native security are code security, container security, cluster security, and cloud security. Let us help you understand them one by one;

Code security

This refers to the practice of securing the code of cloud-native applications. This includes identifying and remediating security vulnerabilities in the code, as well as implementing security best practices such as secure coding practices and dependency management.

Container security

This refers to the practice of securing containerized applications. This includes scanning container images for vulnerabilities, implementing security best practices for containerized applications, and monitoring containerized applications for suspicious activity.

Cluster security

This refers to the practice of securing Kubernetes clusters. This includes implementing security best practices for Kubernetes clusters, such as role-based access control (RBAC) and network isolation.

Cloud security

This refers to the practice of securing the underlying cloud infrastructure that supports cloud-native applications. This includes implementing security best practices for cloud infrastructure, such as least privilege access and monitoring cloud infrastructure for suspicious activity.

The four Cs of cloud-native security are interrelated, and each layer depends on the security of the layers below it. For example, if the code of a cloud-native application is insecure, then the containerized application and the Kubernetes cluster that it runs on will also be insecure.

Examples of security measures that organizations can implement at each of the four Cs

Code security

  • Implement secure coding practices, such as input validation and output encoding.
  • Use a static application security testing (SAST) tool to scan code for vulnerabilities.
  • Use a dependency management tool to manage dependencies and ensure that they are up to date.

Container security

  • Scan container images for vulnerabilities using a container security scanner.
  • Implement security best practices for containerized applications, such as using least privilege and running containers with network isolation.
  • Monitor containerized applications for suspicious activity using a container security monitoring tool.

Cluster security

  • Implement security best practices for Kubernetes clusters, such as using RBAC and network isolation.
  • Use a Kubernetes security policy to enforce security policies on Kubernetes clusters.
  • Monitor Kubernetes clusters for suspicious activity using a Kubernetes security monitoring tool.

Cloud Security

  • Implement security best practices for cloud infrastructure, such as least privilege access and logging.
  • Use a cloud security posture management (CSPM) tool to monitor cloud infrastructure for suspicious activity.
  • Use a cloud infrastructure monitoring tool to monitor cloud infrastructure for performance and health.
Therefore, Cloud-native security can assist you in meeting your security goals. We recommend, not to overlook small practices that can make a huge impact on your organization’s cloud security posture.

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