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Cloud Native Application Protection Platforms: Key Findings & Challenges from the CSA Survey

Cloud Native Application Protection Platforms: Key Findings & Challenges from the CSA Survey

Blog Article Published: 08/24/2023

Written by Hillary Baron, Senior Technical Director - Research, CSA.

CNAPP Survey Report cover

With organization cloud environment complexity increasing year-to-year, monitoring, detecting, and preventing threats and vulnerabilities in the cloud has also become an even greater challenge. Coupled with the proliferation and fragmentation of security tools, security teams are facing an increasingly intricate challenge when securing their cloud environments. It quickly becomes apparent why Cloud Native Application Protection Platforms (CNAPPs), which provide a comprehensive, unified security across multiple cloud platforms, have quickly gained popularity in the industry after being defined by Gartner in 2021.

In an effort to understand the industry's stance on CNAPPs, Microsoft commissioned a survey conducted by CSA. This comprehensive study, completed in April 2023, sourced opinions, knowledge, and attitudes from 1201 IT and security professionals, offering a valuable glimpse into cloud security priorities and the state of CNAPP adoption.


Embracing CNAPPs for Multi-cloud Security

With an astounding 75% of organizations either already utilizing CNAPPs or planning to do so, the adoption rate is impressive. This trend can largely be credited to the rise of multi-cloud strategies, which traditional security solutions struggle to accommodate. The need for improved cloud security posture management (CSPM), cloud workload protection (CWP), and cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM) is evident, with CSPM adoption reaching 25%.


CSPM: A Need for Prioritization

When it comes to managing and prioritizing security enhancements, security teams are encountering challenges. The deluge of alerts and inadequate information pose a significant challenge, as does the disparity in monitoring systems. Organizational tools and technology need to support automation and consolidated security tools to assist in effective prioritization and decision-making.


DevOps Security: A Work in Progress

Security integration into DevOps practices is ongoing, with 51% of organizations actively involved in this process. Major roadblocks include a lack of security expertise, automation, and actionable feedback, as well as an overabundance of false positives. To overcome these hurdles, emphasis must be placed on education, training, and high-quality tooling.


Cloud Workload Protection: Incident Response Challenges

Protecting cloud workloads and providing effective incident response entails addressing challenges related to people, processes, and technology. The lack of manpower and formal response plans, along with automation deficits, stand as major obstacles. Prioritizing these areas will significantly enhance incident response capabilities.


Network Security: A Mature Yet Challenging Landscape

While network security exhibits relative maturity compared to other areas, threat detection and alert management remain substantial challenges. Prioritizing critical assets and vulnerabilities using a risk-based approach and leveraging advanced security tools can significantly enhance network security in multi-cloud environments.


CIEM: Misconfiguration Concerns

Misconfigurations top the list of concerns for CIEM. Automated security tools can effectively manage permissions across multi-cloud environments, proactively detect misconfigurations, and reduce the vulnerability window.


Looking Ahead

CNAPPs have quickly gained traction in the cybersecurity landscape due to their ability to provide comprehensive visibility, posture management, and effective protection for multi-cloud environments. The need for well-trained security professionals and effective technology is evident. Tools such as CNAPPs can equip security teams with accurate information and visibility for securing multi-cloud environments effectively. Some of the capabilities that organizations should look for in CNAPPs include multi-cloud security in the following ways…

  • Consolidate multiple vendors and platforms for improved visibility, collaboration, and reduced costs
  • Comprehensive insight into their security posture (i.e., CSPM capabilities)
  • Protection of sensitive data and understanding of data posture (i.e., CWP capabilities)
  • Implement DevOps security and reduce risks (i.e., support DevSecOps strategies)
  • Manage identities and permissions in the cloud (i.e., CIEM capabilities)
  • Assist in threat detection and response (i.e., network security capabilities)

As organizations continue their cloud journey, embracing solutions like CNAPPs that address both people and technology aspects can significantly enhance their readiness to face the evolving cybersecurity challenges.

To gain deeper insights into these findings, we invite you to download the full CSA survey report. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the adoption, implementation, and challenges of CNAPPs, and leverage this knowledge to fortify your organization's cybersecurity posture.

Download the full survey report.

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