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Over the past decade, the cloud-native ecosystem has been growing steadily. Some of the benefits of adopting cloud-native technologies include faster deployments, cost-efficient infrastructure, auto scalability, resilient programs, and ease of bringing new solutions to the market.
A McKinsey report revealed that organizations that adopted cloud platforms said they could bring new solutions to the market 20-40% faster. However, companies face severe security challenges associated with cloud-native environments. This is because the cloud-native ecosystem has a large “surface area” prone to attacks, and the traditional security approaches are not applicable.
The large and decentralized microservices-based architecture of cloud technologies increases surface area for attacks and makes the perimeter-based security approach inapplicable. In addition, open-source components, multi-cloud support, technology proliferation, and an increased threat landscape make management and security of cloud infrastructures demanding.
The cloud-native security landscape is ever-evolving. That said, what are the cloud-native security trends in 2021? What are companies doing to mitigate cloud-native security risks? Read on for a detailed insight into what’s going on in the cloud-native security space.
Let’s dive right into it!
According to the Q3 2021 State of API Security report by Salt Security, API attacks are increasing at an alarming rate - up 348% in six months.
APIs are the common ways to link microservices and containers together. Attackers target APIs to steal data and embed malicious codes. Consequently, organizations are focusing on API security since it’s one of the primary targets of malicious cyber-actors.
APIs are not insecure or necessarily the weakest link in a cloud-native environment. However, cybercriminals target them for some reasons. By design, they’re accessible programmatically. Secondly, the technologies used in building APIs require low-level skill sets to exploit.
The risks posed by third-party technologies are expected to get worse. Some third-party platforms and open-source libraries offer tools and software packages that enable developers to build faster. The challenge here is that some third-party components are vulnerable or infected with evasive malware.
“... rarely does a week go by without a discovery of malicious open-source packages …,” - Maty Siman
As Kubernetes technologies are growing, there’s a consequent proliferation of open-source libraries. Not all third-party platforms are secure. So, malicious cyber-actors exploit the vulnerabilities in some open-source platforms - thereby exposing companies to security breaches. Due to compromised third-party programs, attacks are on the rise as attackers take advantage of vulnerabilities in open-source libraries.
Over the years, many Kubernetes security breaches have been based mainly on taking advantage of misconfigurations. Attackers target weaknesses in configurations to infiltrate Kubernetes clusters.
Tesla’s Kubernetes console was infiltrated in February 2018 because the console wasn’t password protected. In 2019, about 190,000 users were affected when Docker’s online repository was breached due to inadequate implementation of security policies by Docker.
However, attack methods are evolving into more sophisticated, malicious mechanisms. As the adoption of container technology is increasing, attackers are upgrading to more sophisticated attack tools like malware. Beyond taking advantage of inadequate security policies implementation, cybercriminals use advanced malware kits like rootkits to infiltrate cloud-native systems.
A recent executive order by the president of the United States mandates the government and the private sector to partner together to foster a more secure cyberspace. The government has made the prevention, detection, assessment and remediation of cyber incidents a top priority.
As part of the cloud-native security strategies, organizations and governments are proactive when it comes to handling security incidents. Security incidents are inevitable. But being prepared for breaches - before they happen - is the standard approach. Today, companies evaluate their cloud environments, institute tested response plans, and build security policies to help them recover from security breaches swiftly.
There’s an increased demand for cloud-native security providers and open-source technologies. The cloud-native security industry is undergoing what can be termed rapid growth. The broad adoption of container technologies has made cloud security a promising destination for investments and acquisitions.
According to Marketsandmarkets, the global cloud security market size is expected to grow from USD 34.5 billion in 2020 to USD 68.5 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 14.7% during the projected period. The main factors driving this growth include sophisticated attacks on cloud infrastructures and the growing need for policy compliance.
More security companies are sprouting out, and this trend is expected to intensify in 2022 and beyond. The market is driven by the need for innovative technologies and approaches to counter threats and secure cloud-native environments.
DevSecOps enables dev teams to integrate strong security measures into the DevOps process right from the outset. According to a report by Coalfire, a minority of organizations have embraced DevSecOps. About only 32% have extensively instituted security into the DevOps process.
However, many companies are already adopting this security approach. By 2022, 68% of organizations plan to adopt DevSecOps to secure a majority of their cloud applications. In addition, DevSecOps market size is estimated to reach USD 15.9 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 30.24%.
DevSecOps encourages collaboration among security practitioners and developers. To implement security throughout the building process, security teams need to work closely with developers. This relationship is essential because developers think differently, and they always have their opinions on how they want things to be done. Of course, the development team must buy a security idea before it can be successfully integrated into the development process.
Incorporating security into the entire application development process offers better cloud-native security outcomes versus implementing security at the end. Post-2021, more and more companies are expected to shift left.
A shift left strategy is necessary for maintaining a secure Kubernetes infrastructure. This approach enables you to implement Kubernetes governance that provides the ability to incorporate security into existing workflows. The positive outcomes of shifting left include saving time & resources, bugs are uncovered & fixed early, good testing coverage, better application delivery, cost-efficiency, and more.
Magalix can help you manage your cloud infrastructures and enforce industry-standard Kubernetes best practices. We're in the business of assisting organizations in implementing policy-as-code across their entire Kubernetes and cloud infrastructure. Magalix helps companies identify and secure workloads to meet cloud-native applications' scale needs while accommodating a continuous flux.
Prevent Kubernetes NetworkPolicy misconfigurations by enforcing policy as code