As more organizations shift to the cloud, securing those cloud environments has become a top priority. With cloud environments, companies are facing challenges, with more regulations, a higher rate of data loss, and an increase in the number of attacks.
To handle these challenges, organizations need to gain security and visibility for their software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds. There are many tools available that can help organizations provide security for their cloud environments, including CASB, CWPP, CSPM, and CNAPP.
CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker)
Essentially, a CASB acts as a firewall for cloud services. It provides a security policy enforcement gateway to make sure that a user’s actions are compliant with company security policies and are authorized. A CASB also allows organizations to extend the reach of their security policies beyond their own infrastructure.
A CASB has many benefits. including:
- It can raise alerts when necessary and can identify all the cloud services used by an organization, including shadow IT/unapproved or unmanaged SaaS and PaaS.
- It enables cloud usage tracking, reporting, and logging.
- It has auditing and reporting tools for regulatory compliance, including cloud-stored data.
- It provides anti-phishing, account takeover, URL filtering, malware detection, and sandbox protections.
- It can monitor access to data and enforce data-centric security policies through granular access controls, such as access to cloud services only through designated devices or platforms.
- It also offers policy-based encryption.
CASBs include the following features:
- Cloud governance and risk assessment
- Data loss prevention
- Control over native features of cloud services, like collaboration and sharing
- Threat prevention, often user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA)
- Configuration auditing
- Malware detection
- Data encryption and key management
- SSO and IAM integration
- Contextual access control
A CASB has 4 pillars:
- Data Security
- Threat Protection
CWPP (Cloud Workload Protection Platform)
A CWPP is a workload-centric security protection solution for all types of workloads, including physical servers, containers, virtual machines (VMs), and serverless workloads. CWPPs include a single pane of glass for visibility and protection across on-premises and cloud environments. They are designed to provide comprehensive and targeted protection for workloads, both on-prem and in the cloud. They work by scanning cloud environments for improperly configured security settings or ones that violate corporate security policies or regulatory compliance requirements.
The advantages of a CWPP include:
- CWPPs are cloud-based, allowing for flexibility with regard to application and workload security.
- They have the ability to identify vulnerabilities earlier in the CI/CD process.
- They provide faster detection of exploits and active threats.
- A CWPP has greater context and investigative capabilities when responding to an incident.
- A CWPP makes it possible to move workloads between environments without compromising security.
- CWPPs provide a more consistent view, no matter how many workloads there are or where they are located.
CWPP features include:
- Features for hybrid and multi-cloud architecture
- Accessibility and automation
- Container protection
- Serverless protection
- Vulnerability scanning
- Encryption management
- Configuration management
A CWPP is composed of eight layers of control:
- Hardening, configuration, and vulnerability management, including scanning for vulnerabilities before software is pushed to production
- Network firewalling, visibility, and microsegmentation
- System integrity assurance
- Application control and allowlisting
- Exploit prevention and memory protection
- Server workload EDR, behavioral monitoring, and threat detection and response
- Host-based IPS with vulnerability shielding
- Anti-malware scanning
CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management)
A CSPM protects workloads from the outside by assessing secure and compliant configurations of the cloud platform’s control plane.
A CSPM has many benefits, such as:
- It is able to identify unknown or excessive risk across an organization’s entire cloud, including cloud services for compute, storage, identity and access, and more.
- It provides continuous compliance monitoring, configuration drift prevention, and security operations center investigations.
- It continuously monitors cloud infrastructure for security gaps in security policy enforcement.
- CSPM tools provide the necessary cloud visibility to detect and prevent configuration errors before they cause a breach. CSPM solutions often include automated features to ensure threats are identified and handled as quickly as possible.
- Through the use of AI, some CSPM solutions are able to predict where risks are likely to arise.
- CSPM tools are especially helpful for administrators, allowing them to work more efficiently and effectively.
- CSPM tools help to reduce overhead and also eliminate friction and complexity across multi-cloud providers and accounts.
The features of a CSPM include:
- Smooth integration
- Incident response
- Risk identification
- Compliance monitoring
- Integration with DevOps processes
- Risk assessment
- Risk visualization
CNAPP (Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform)
A CNAPP combines the capabilities of CWPP and CSPM. Its purpose is to scan workloads and configurations in development and to protect them at runtime. Securing cloud-native applications involves a continuous set of processes focusing on identifying, assessing, prioritizing, and adapting to risk in cloud-native applications, infrastructure, and configuration. CNAPPs require a systematic approach to identity and entity management and embrace a least privileged, or zero trust, security posture.
Its advantages include:
- CNAPPs provide unified visibility for SecOps and DevOps teams.
- They offer a set of capabilities to respond to threats and secure cloud-native apps.
- They provide automation of vulnerability and misconfiguration remediation.
- A CNAPP identifies and prioritizes all workloads, data, and infrastructure across endpoints, networks, and cloud based on risk.
- They guard against configuration drift and supply vulnerability assessments across VMs, containers, and serverless environments.
- They enable organizations to build policies based on zero trust and observe behaviors to eliminate false positives.
- They prevent cybersecurity threats by decreasing the number of cloud misconfigurations.
- They allow organizations to achieve scale with good behavior enforcement.
- Misconfiguration checks
- Runtime monitoring and protection of your cloud workloads
- Automated detection of vulnerabilities within containers, virtual machines, or serverless functions
- Exposure scanning for CVEs, secrets, sensitive data, and malware
- Infrastructure as code (IaC) scanning
In summary, a CASB is a security gateway to cloud services that enforces security policies to ensure users’ actions are compliant and authorized. A CWPP is focused on protecting all types of workloads, like servers on premises, virtual machines, containers, and serverless workloads. CSPMs focus more on configurations, and continuously monitor for misconfigured cloud infrastructure. Lastly, a CNAPP operates with a combination of CWPP and CSPM capabilities.