What are the Key Challenges Faced Within CNAPP?

What are the Key Challenges Faced Within CNAPP?

5 September 2022

The consolidation of security solutions has now occurred in the cloud, much like it did with the on-premises threat prevention that was becoming more sophisticated. Gartner refers to this new product category as cloud-native application protection platforms (CNAPP).

CNAPP is a security revolution, a unique set that integrates technologies. It enables total management of the dangers that an organization’s cloud-based ecosystem may face. Security teams are finding it difficult to keep up with the problems that the fast-moving cloud environment presents. But has CNAPP actually just given the security team a whole new set of issues, rather than making remediation easier?

Complexity Is Still a Challenge

Without a doubt, CNAPP represents a significant advance in cloud security. Similar to the on-premises world, there have been an increasing number of vulnerabilities and risks as well as detection and repair tools. However, the additional element that makes security in the cloud so challenging is the environment’s extreme immediacy; with developing applications, deploying applications, and all applications upgrading continuously. It is now obvious that administering a wide range of security solutions; from application scanning to configuration management efficiently, is just not viable when reaction time is seconds instead of hours.

By adopting a more comprehensive, unified approach to cloud security and presenting previously siloed solutions as a single suite of tools. CNAPP aims to address this issue. Infrastructure as code (IaC) scanning, vulnerability management, workload protection, cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM), and posture management are the five main parts of CNAPP, according to Gartner.

Protecting assets has undoubtedly been much easier now that the security team has all of these tools in one location. Alongside, a clear picture of what’s occurring in their company’s cloud infrastructure, right? Not so fast; this is where CNAPP encounters a significant challenge. Although it may have assembled the different intricate components that make up the cloud environment. It hasn’t necessarily taken any steps to lessen that complexity. In reality, far from lightening the security team’s task, CNAPP has increased it.

How Alert Fatigue Can Be Dangerous

Excessive notifications are one of the main issues with the present version of CNAPP. Every cloud asset is continuously scanned for vulnerabilities, and this results in a tremendous number of outputs. This means that every potential threat is detectable. This not only causes alert fatigue within security staff, but it also constantly runs the danger of missing a significant threat to the organization’s operations, amidst the noise produced by low-level vulnerabilities. In this case, having too much or too little information might both be detrimental.

Security teams may become distracted trying to defend their cloud infrastructure from a fictitious attack. Especially, if it is not possible to determine what the genuine threats are from among these warnings. A current example of this is the observable panic surrounding the vulnerability in the widely used logging tool Log4j or more commonly; Log4shell. Which sent security systems (whether unified or not) blinking red and security teams scurrying to repair. 

Security teams employing CNAPP are currently in the position of trying to pick which vulnerabilities to address right away and which to postpone for later. using their best judgment based on a manual study of the warnings. But the issue is that there is simply too much information present to allow the security team to always make the proper choice.

Relationships with DevOps are Tense

The persistent tension between security and DevOps is another challenge that cloud security puts to light. There is still a long way to go until the “shift left” mentality, which safeguards software at the initial code-level rather than afterwards. This mentality permeates the app developer community. 

For instance, the excessive rights that many assets have, which developers leave “open” to make it easier to upgrade them, is one of the reasons why CNAPP generates so many alarms. Another conflict between security and DevOps is this one. However, CNAPP has already damaged the two parties’ relationship because it mandates the deployment of security agents on all active assets, which only DevOps can allow.

Prioritization Techniques Could Possibly Remedy these Challenges

The security team needs access to an extra layer of intelligence for CNAPP to truly ease their workload. There must be a prioritizing component that can inform teams where our system needs remediation most urgently; for it to be genuinely efficient and make sense of all those notifications.  Additionally, for this to be effective, it is also necessary to comprehend the business context of each vulnerability found. As an example, we can observe how much the threats affect applications that interact with the public or with customers, or is the issue only internal?

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