Because today’s applications are frequently available over multiple networks and connected to the cloud, they are more vulnerable to security threats from malicious actors. There is increasing pressure on organizations to assure application security not only at the network level but also within individual applications as well as in the cloud.

A cloud-native application is a program built specifically for cloud computing. These cloud-based applications are built to make use of the inherent qualities of the cloud computing software delivery paradigm. A native app is software designed specifically for a platform or device. The security of these applications can be greatly enhanced by partnering with a third-party cloud-native application security specialist. They can implement an automated testing tool that helps you deal with code issues quickly and effectively, in real-time.

What are the most common components could we list underneath the umbrella term of cloud-native, and how can these components impact cloud-native application security?

DevOps

Development and operations teams are no longer “silos” in a DevOps architecture. These two teams are sometimes combined into a single team where the engineers work across the whole application lifecycle, from development and testing to deployment and operations, and develop a diverse set of abilities that aren’t limited to a particular role. 

Quality assurance and security teams may become more closely linked with development and operations, as well as throughout the application lifecycle, in some models. 

Security is sometimes viewed as an afterthought in DevOps and executed too late in the process, if at all. Then, due to possibly significant last-minute revisions required to fix vulnerabilities, releases are delayed. To decrease vulnerabilities, improve security posture, and limit risks, strong security practices should be used throughout the application lifecycle, especially during CI/CD.

Containerization and IaaS

IaaS provides storage and network resources in the cloud. It relies heavily on to help manage and operate the cloud. However, cloud APIs are often not secure, because they are open and easily accessible from the web. The cloud vendor is responsible for securing the infrastructure and abstraction layer used to access the resources. 

Your organization’s security obligations cover the rest of the layers, mainly containing the business applications. This is also applicable to individual containers being created by the organization. For security reasons, only in very specific cases, should containers not be segregated from one another.

Amazon’s Elastic Container Solution is a container orchestration service that is scalable. It allows you to operate and scale all AWS containerized applications without having to manage your virtual machines or container environment. This makes it much easier to secure containerized cloud apps.

Clusters

Computer clusters used to be made up of a collection of physical machines connected by a local area network before the public cloud.

Deploying containerized apps across cluster nodes can significantly increase your web application’s availability, scalability, and performance. Numerous containers per node maximize resource usage and guaranteeing that an instance of each container is running on multiple nodes at the same time prevents your application from having a single point of failure.

Managing containers in a ten-node cluster are difficult enough, but what happens when the cluster grows to a hundred or even a thousand nodes? Fortunately, container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes can help your application and security scale as needed.

Cloud-Native Security and Performance: Two Sides of the Same Coin -  DevOps.com

Microservices

Microservices is a design pattern for constructing a distributed application utilizing containers. They gain their name from the fact that each application function runs as a separate service. This architecture allows each service to scale or update independently of the application’s other services. Security must be considered at every level of production, from design to development to deployment, for the microservices architecture to be secure by design. This implies putting a form of continuous stress testing on your architecture, such as SAST and DAST when writing your code.

Wrapping Up

Cloud-native apps have obvious advantages: they are scalable and they allow for individualized process management. Cloud-native apps can function in a highly distributed manner, maintaining independence and allocating resources based on the application needs, including layers of security. They empower your organization to benefit from cloud computing by operating scalable cloud-native applications that are responsive and reliable.