May 28, 2023

Cloud has now become the new normal. The digital transformation strategy of enterprises globally has come to revolve around the cloud. Reports suggest that the cloud market will expand to $1 Trillion by 2024, and the IaaS market is expected to see exponential growth.

Securing cloud environments is more critical than ever as enterprises accelerate the shift of workloads to the cloud. Enterprises that have had excellent on-premises security controls want to enforce them into their cloud infrastructure. Without a security strategy that is as dynamic as the cloud, achieving this is challenging. No definite solution available to secure cloud

Until recently, researchers and analysts emphasized the need for three solution categories in the cloud security market that could

  • Monitor and manage the security posture of the cloud infrastructure
  • Protect VMs, containers, and serverless workloads
  • Protect applications that hosted in the cloud infrastructure

To plan for these challenges, organizations need visibility and security for SaaS, PaaS, IaaS  

Gartner came up with different categories for the cloud security tools:

  • CSPM
  • CWPP
  • CASB
  • CIEM

CSPM (Cloud Security Posture management)

CSPM assesses the cloud platform’s control plane to determine whether configurations are secure and compliant through tools that support compliance monitoring, integration with DevOps processes, incident response, risk assessment, and risk visualization and offers continuous compliance monitoring, configuration drift prevention, and security operations center investigations by identifying unknown or increased risk across an organization’s cloud estate, including cloud services for compute, storage, identity, and access.

CSPM Use Cases

  • Constant visibility and enforcement of security controls across multi-cloud providers
  • Discovery and identification of cloud workloads and services
  • Threat detection and alert prioritization
  • Cloud risk management, risk visualization, and risk prioritization capabilities
  • Continuous compliance monitoring against a variety of industry or geography-specific regulations

CWPP (Cloud Workload Protection Platform)

CWPP are, as defined by Gartner, “workload-centric security offerings that target the unique protection requirements of workloads in modern hybrid, multi-cloud data center architectures”

Essentially, CWPPs are endpoint protection solutions specifically tailored to server workloads wherever they are running today:  VMs, public cloud IaaS, PaaS and generally container-based application architectures as well. CWPP offers centralized visibility and security management of all the workloads in the cloud with resources on all cloud providers shown in a single console.

CWPP Use Cases

  • Discovery and inventory of workloads across environments
  • System Integrity Assurance and Application Whitelisting in VMs
  • Workload Behavioural Monitoring and Threat Detection/Response Capabilities
  • Container and Kubernetes Protection
  • Serverless Protection

CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker)

Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) are cloud-based or on-premises security software tools placed between cloud applications and their users to monitor and enforce enterprise security policies on access to cloud-based resources. CASBs combine several kinds of security policy enforcement, generally centered around data protection, and independent of the device being used to access cloud services For instance, CASBs often cover security policies around Single Sign-On (SSO), authorization, logging, or encryption and may also support malware detection and alerting of prohibited behavior.

CASB Use Cases

  • Visibility: Discovery of SaaS services in use, basic risk assessment, forensic investigation
  • Data protection: DLP, Governance, Data encryption, MDM
  • Threat protection: helps protect your clouds from, malicious insiders, compromised accounts, or malware
  • It also covers the policies to support compliance needs: data protection requirements, data sovereignty, global regulations.

CIEM (Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management)

Privilege Access is the number one entry point for security breaches. Understanding the importance of access and entitlements, analyst firms Gartner and Forrester have highlighted the need to focus on Identity Governance in the cloud by reiterating the importance of Cloud Identity Governance (CIG) and Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM). Gaining complete control over all identities, access, and privileges can be challenging because of the number of enterprise infrastructure permissions. CIEM technologies discover all identities and users, their entitlements and enforce identity and access governance controls to reduce excessive entitlements and right-size privilege access across the multi-cloud infrastructure.

CIEM Use Cases

  • Inactive identities and super identities.
  • Over permissioned active identities.
  • Cross-account access.
  • Anomalous behaviour among machine identities.

CNAPP (Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform)

CNAPP combines CWPP and CSPM capabilities to scan workloads and configurations in development and protect them at runtime. Securing cloud-native applications requires continuous processes that identify, assess, prioritize, and adapt to risk in cloud-native applications, infrastructures, and configurations.

Cloud-native applications require a systematic approach to identity and entity management and adoption of a zero-trust security posture, including robust user identity management for developers and users. CNAPP tools deliver unified visibility to SecOps and DevOps teams and enable them to respond to threats, secure cloud-native apps, and automate vulnerability and misconfiguration remediation.

By identifying and prioritizing all workloads, data, and infrastructure across endpoints, networks, and cloud based on risk, CNAPP protects organizations from configuration drift and supplies vulnerability assessments across VMs, containers, and serverless environments.

CNAPP Use Cases

  • Strong automation and orchestration.
  • Better security by enabling standardization and deeper layered defences.
  • Allows workloads to be accessed more frequently.

Choosing the Best?

Never Settles with Single Option. In Other Words, no single solution provides a complete security.

  • CASB to control enterprise cloud usage.
  • CWPP to protect workloads on the cloud and reinforce application security.
  • CSPM to comply with cloud configuration best practices.
  • CNAPP to combine CWPP and CSPM capabilities.

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