Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP) is a cloud-native security model that encompasses Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM), Cloud Service Network Security (CSNS), and Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP) in a single holistic platform.
CNAPP, originally defined by Gartner, emphasizes the need for enterprises to focus on cloud-native security solutions that provide a complete lifecycle approach to application security as opposed to a patchwork of tools.
Gartner made CNAPP a popular security buzzword with the release of their Innovation Insight for Cloud-Native Application Protection Platforms report. However, CNAPP isn’t just a new security tool with some hype. CNAPP is a platform intended to replace multiple independent tools with a single holistic security solution for modern enterprises with cloud-native workloads.
Specifically, the Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform model exists because Gartner identified the need for enterprises to consolidate tooling and security platforms, and treat security and compliance as a continuum across operations and security teams. Viewed from that perspective, CNAPP is a logical evolution for DevSecOps and “shift left” security.
Multiple, disjointed solutions will inherently have gaps in visibility and integration complexities. This means more work for DevSecOps teams and lower observability across enterprise workloads. By using a CNAPP, enterprises can address these issues and improve their overall security posture.
Specifically, a CNAPP approach provides the following benefits:
Tighter controls: Misconfigurations of secrets, cloud workloads, containers, or Kubernetes (K8s) clusters are some of the most common risks facing enterprise applications. CNAPP platforms enable enterprises to proactively scan, detect, and quickly remediate security and compliance risks due to misconfigurations.
At a high level, there are 3 key components of CNAPP:
Let’s take a closer look at each and how CNAPP brings them together.
Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) enables enterprises to automate the detection and remediation of security risks using security assessments and automated compliance monitoring. CSPMs are also capable of detecting misconfigurations that can lead to data breaches. Further, CSPMs provide deep cloud visibility by helping enterprises classify and inventory assets across IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS platforms.
Cloud Service Network Security (CSNS) — while not always cited as part of CNAPP — is a vital aspect of overall cloud-native security and true CNAPP solutions. CSNS provides cloud network security functions designed for the dynamic network perimeters common with cloud-native workloads. CSNS provides granular segmentation and protects both North-South and East-West traffic. Common examples of CSNS functions include:
Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP) solutions deal with protecting the workloads deployed across public, private, and hybrid clouds. CWPP makes it possible for enterprises to shift security left and integrate security solutions early in — and continuously throughout — the application development lifecycle. Solutions in this category first discover workloads within an enterprise’s cloud and on-premises infrastructure. Then, they scan them to detect security issues and provide options to address the vulnerabilities. Additionally, CWPPs provide security functions such as runtime protection, network segmentation, and malware detection for workloads.
While many cloud-native security tools exist, what makes CNAPP unique is the fact it integrates end-to-end cloud-native security across all enterprise workloads. For example, here are just a few of the different security functions a CNAPP platform may provide from “code” to “deploy” across a CI\CD pipeline:
Performing all these functions in a holistic platform removes friction from DevSecOps processes, enables insights with context, and improves overall enterprise security posture.
Check Point’s CloudGuard is the most robust enterprise CNAPP available today, providing a wide range of cloud-native security functions to improve application security across an enterprise. The components of the CloudGuard Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform are:
If you’d like to learn more about cloud-native security, check out the links below to access cloud security ebooks and other free resources.
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If you would like to see CloudGuard in action for yourself, you’re welcome to schedule an application security demo.