What is CNAPP ? How It Benefits for Multi-Cloud & Hybrid Infrastructure Protection

Multi-cloud and hybrid infrastructures are becoming the norm among enterprises nowadays. Around 9 in 10 companies use a multi-cloud strategy, while 8 in 10 adopt a hybrid.

This is not surprising, given the many advantages, including vendor independence, simplified management, and enhanced efficiency. However, maintaining multiple clouds and hybrid systems can be challenging, especially regarding cybersecurity.

One of the biggest concerns is security visibility. With various IT resources and new technologies involved, losing sight of everything that needs to be secured is easy. This also leads to inconsistent security policies because of the broader IT infrastructure and differences in the security requirements of different cloud environments. Additionally, organizations encounter challenges in complying with various privacy and security regulations. It does not help that most organizations continue to be affected by a shortage of cybersecurity skills.

Security solution providers develop new security technologies and strategies to address all these challenges. One notable solution is the Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP), which combines tried-and-tested pre-existing cloud-focused security models to holistically and efficiently address new threats. CNAPP enhances the security of multi-cloud and hybrid environments in the following ways.

Ensuring cloud-native security

Traditional solutions follow a security model that relies on a physical barrier or regulator of access. However, physical barriers are already nonexistent in the cloud computing age. Many IT resources reside in the cloud, meaning access to them cannot be regulated by physical controls on an organization’s premises. To ensure their security, a cloud-native solution would be more appropriate.

CNAPP is a security platform specifically created to address the threats that target IT assets in multiple clouds and those housed in hybrid environments. It supplants independent security tools with a unified, holistic solution that provides suitable protection for cloud-native workloads. It was created in response to the need to consolidate disparate security solutions amid the growing adoption of cloud computing and the threats that come with it.

As the IT industry emphasizes the need to “shift left” and bring security processes into development and operations, organizations can rely on CNAPP to consolidate security functions in a unified platform to ensure comprehensive security visibility and address persistent, new, and emerging threats that take advantage of the insufficiency of cyber defenses for cloud-native workloads.

CNAPP merges the benefits of Cloud Security Posture Management, Cloud Workload Protection Platform, and Cloud Service Network Security in one intuitive platform that ensures the efficient detection and handling of threats.

Cloud Security Posture Management refers to the practice and suite of tools used to ensure the security of cloud resources and environments, especially in terms of configuration, policy enforcement, and compliance with regulations.

Cloud Workload Protection Platforms secure workloads running in cloud environments including containers, virtual machines, and serverless apps. Meanwhile, Cloud Service Network Security is about security measures and practices put in place to defend the network infrastructure and communication channels employed by cloud services.

Addressing the shortfalls of conventional defenses

Cloud Security Posture Management does an excellent job providing an organization with a glimpse of its public cloud, but it is not designed to handle multiple clouds with varying configurations.

Cloud Workload Protection Platforms are great for securing containerized workloads but not for workloads in multiple disparate environments. Also, Cloud Service Network Security is good for protecting cloud networks and communication channels, but it has limited visibility and control when it comes to highly distributed and dynamic environments.

Put together, though, these three security solutions that are merged in CNAPP complement each others’ functions while compensating for their respective inadequacies.

It melds the disjointed approaches of having separate workload protection, service network defense, and security posture management for cloud and hybrid infrastructure. It provides a unified security command center through which critical functions can be managed more effectively and efficiently.

CNAPP also has additional capabilities that make it the right cloud-native security platform. For one, it consolidates security policies for multiple clouds as it provides a unified management dashboard not only for public clouds but also for private ones and on-premise infrastructure. It centralizes the disjointed security operations for multi-cloud and hybrid environments undertaken in conventional cyber defense.

Threat detection and defense are also optimized with CNAPP through the added ability to scan vulnerabilities in containerized workloads. Containerization is already gaining traction among enterprises, with the global application container market projected to grow at a CAGR of over 28 percent from 2023 through 2028.

Having the right tools to secure containerized workloads is becoming inevitable. Additionally, CNAPP enhances threat detection by streamlining the ability to detect threats at runtime for serverless functions.

Moreover, CNAPP ensures workload protection throughout the entire lifecycle. While Cloud Workload Protection Platforms typically cover several aspects of the workload lifecycle, the tools used by most organizations may not extend throughout the entire existence of workloads.

CNAPP can go beyond deployment and post-deployment, extending into the decommissioning of cloud workloads to make sure that they do not become unaccounted-for vulnerabilities in the future.

Streamlining regulatory compliance

Regulations over data handling and cybersecurity have expanded over the past several years. Aside from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA), new regulations or enhancements for existing policies are expected to be introduced. Aside from navigating the complexities of multi-cloud and hybrid infrastructure, organizations also have to deal with regulations.

CNAPP helps address compliance risks by simplifying compliance management even when dealing with multiple clouds operating at different locations where different laws and regulations apply.

CNAPP’s centralized controls, automated reporting, centralized audit logs, continuous monitoring, and adherence to compliance frameworks make it a convenient solution to address both operational and compliance complexities.

It helps ensure that compliance teams have all the information and insights they need to address potential compliance issues without taking away time and resources that should be spent on dealing with threats.

Weathering the multi-cloud and hybrid infrastructure challenges

Cloud-native protection, consolidation, simplification, enhanced defense, and streamlined compliance: These comprise the benefits of using CNAPP to address the challenges of using multiple cloud services and operating with a hybrid infrastructure.

As enterprises adopt new technologies and more complicated IT environments, they must turn to more suitable security solutions. The combination of new technologies, environments, applications, and threats can be likened to a powerful hurricane that can be fatal but is survivable with the established protections.

Posted in Cybersecurity

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