Cloud security management challenges customers. That is according to Gartner, claiming that most cloud security failures are the end-users’ fault, not the providers. Considering the volatile landscape of cloud-native applications, even the smallest mistakes can lead to serious cybersecurity breaches and data leaks.
Since more workloads move to the cloud, securing those cloud environments will get more complex. With that in mind, Gartner came up with several essential tools for the evolving market of cloud security and assessment solutions. In this article, we will focus on the two more dominant ones:
Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)
Cloud Workload Protection Platforms (CWPP)
These two categories offer an overlapping set of capabilities. However, a single domain does not support all the required features and use cases. For that reason, it is important to get familiar with each domain and its differences to focus on what matters most for your organization.
What Is CSPM?
Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) is a class of several services and solutions, designed for monitoring and mitigating cloud-related security issues. Organizations often leverage CSPM tools for continuous and automatic assessment of cloud environments and deployments pipeline.
CSPM products generally address the growing need for proper management of public cloud environments, while navigating through the increasing number of resources to manage.
Many CSPM solutions analyze relevant data about the cloud infrastructure, its assets, and network attributions. Once gathering enough information, DevSecOps teams can create policies as a baseline, defining the desired state of the cloud infrastructure. This enables a centralized view of all cloud assets and more importantly, quick detection of security risks such as policy violations, new vulnerabilities, and compromised assets.
In the recent few years, CSPM gained its popularity among modern businesses moving their data to the cloud and considered most effective when used in multi-cloud IaaS environments.
The surge in potential unmanaged risks and breaches derives directly from the increasing adoption of cloud platform services, setting the stage for emerging technologies like CSPM.
What Is CWPP?
As the name suggests, Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP) is designed for workload-specific protection. CWPP’s unified management solutions address the unique requirements of server workload protection in modern hybrid architectures that scale across on-premise setups, virtual machines, and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environments.
CWPPs are built to reduce cloud protection complexity while providing a consistent view of all cloud environments and ensuring strict security guardrails, no matter where or what the workload is. Ideally, an end-to-end CWPP solution will offer both agent-based and agentless approaches for various security scenarios that span across all cloud formations (public, private, and on-prem).
According to Gartner’s recent Market Guide for Cloud Workload Protection Platforms, some of the most noteworthy findings are:
- Most enterprises are using more than one public cloud IaaS
- Many organizations are using container-based applications, alongside serverless PaaS
- Workload security should be enforced as early as you build
- Most vulnerabilities and misconfigurations are scanned in the development stages. However, there is no continuous protection for these workloads in runtime
Based on the findings we listed above, the evolving market of CWPP empowers companies like Alcide to leverage its Kubernetes DNA to offer enhanced security capabilities. Alcide’s unified platform, equipped with Kubernetes-native and AI-driven security modules addresses each of the above-mentioned issues and many more from day one.
The platform is specifically designed to provide end-to-end security for Kubernetes deployments and workloads while enabling the smooth operation of business applications. The platform and its capabilities were built to address modern requirements of both DevOps and Security teams while operating distributed Kubernetes workloads across multiple environments.
Seamlessly complementing many CSPM solutions, Alcide’s CWPP offers its Kubernetes security capabilities via three main modules. Here's a quick overview on those modules:
- Microservices Firewall
- Misconfiguration prevention
- Misconfigurations auditing
- Control plane unauthorized activity
- Image scanning and vulnerability management
With an agentless multi-cluster vulnerability scanner, Alcide provides a single-pane view for Kubernetes related aspects. Integrated with the CI/CD pipelines from the early stages, Alcide simplifies security assessment for the entire Kubernetes environment.
Security risks are highlighted and scored in an instant, as well as misconfigurations and hygiene drifts.
By intelligently leveraging Kubernetes audit logs, Alcide’s automated analytics and forensics module are specifically designed for the complex Kubernetes distributions. Constant monitoring and analysis of relevant audit entries enable conforming to the organization's policies and compliance requirements while identifying suspicious network activity.
We can expect that the CSPM and CWPP markets will continue to expand, shaping the way we handle and manage cloud-native and containerized applications.
Ultimately, organizations will forever look for the silver bullet of cloud security across infinite scenarios and situations. Managing an organization’s cloud security posture with the help of cloud workload platforms like Alcide ensures that security practices are effective and properly applied.
Considering that Kubernetes is widely spread and many security teams still lack the relevant knowledge to handle it, organizations are susceptible to potential risks, mostly derived from misconfigurations and costly mistakes.
With Alcide as CWPP, DevSecOps teams are equipped with a full-blown platform that provides continuous, end-to-end security for their Kubernetes deployments and workloads.