Organizations are turning to cloud-native architecture to gain the agility required by the modern business landscape where market conditions and customer needs change rapidly, and organizations need to continuously innovate to stay competitive.
Cloud-native architecture enables you to develop and scale applications quickly and efficiently while providing the flexibility and resilience needed to meet the demands of the modern business environment.
But as companies migrate to the cloud and adopt cloud-native technologies as part of their digital efforts, cyberattacks are also increasing exponentially.
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Table of contents:
- Why is it so difficult to ensure cloud-native security?
- Is shifting security left enough to ensure the security of your cloud-native applications?
- How to ensure your cloud-native apps are secure
- Introducing OutSystems
Cybercrime, which includes everything from theft or embezzlement to data hacking and destruction, is up 600% since the beginning of the pandemic, and it is expected to cost companies worldwide an estimated 10.5 trillion dollars annually by 2025!
Although one of the most significant benefits of the cloud is the shared security responsibility between the cloud provider and the customer, there’s still a large attack surface that hackers can exploit, and that needs to be taken care of by the cloud customers. According to Gartner,
“Through 2025, more than 99% of cloud breaches will have a root cause of preventable misconfigurations or mistakes by end users.”
Another relevant stat is that organizations know the risks and the importance of securing their software solutions, but many still lack even the most basic cybersecurity practices like IT governance. Accenture’s Cybercrime study showed that 43% of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses, but only 14% of those are actually prepared to defend themselves.
Why is that? Why do companies struggle to protect their modern digital solutions and business, and what can they do?
That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.
Why is it so difficult to ensure cloud-native security?
Cloud-native security is a term used to describe security measures that are designed specifically for cloud-native applications and environments. As more organizations move their applications and data to the cloud, there is a growing need for security measures that can keep pace with the dynamic and distributed nature of cloud-based architectures.
In a traditional on-premise environment, security measures are often implemented in a static and centralized way, but cloud-native security is different. It requires a more dynamic and decentralized approach that is capable of protecting applications and data across multiple clouds, containers, and microservices.
And this is particularly challenging due to two factors:
The first is tool proliferation
The move to the cloud, at first, seemed simple and similar to traditional, on-prem approaches but it quickly got really complicated, especially for security professionals and developers.
In a report published by Palo Alto, more than 75% of respondents reported that their organizations struggle to identify which security tools help them meet their needs. This goes in accordance with our own research that showed that the #1 challenge companies face when adopting a cloud-native strategy is identifying the right tools and platforms.
Going back to Palo Alto study, the average organization uses more than 30 security tools, including 6 to 10 exclusively dedicated to cloud security.
As a result, leaders struggle to have a bird-eye view over their entire cloud portfolio, which hampers their ability to prioritize risk and prevent threats.
The second is the lack of cybersecurity specialists
Simply put, organizations lack the talent to implement and manage security tools.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, by 2025, there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions.
The reason for that is that the growth of cybercrime is fueling demand for cybersecurity experts much faster than industry and universities can deliver raw talent. I guess it’s a great time to be a cybersecurity pro and a terrible time if you’re trying to hire one.
Is shifting security left enough to ensure the security of your cloud-native applications?
The cloud-native security approach recommended by analyst firms and industry leaders is to adopt a DevSecOps mentality, where security professionals are brought to earlier stages of app development.
This “shift-left” mentality means implementing security measures during the entire development lifecycle rather than at the end of the cycle.
However, organizations are pressured to accelerate their delivery pace to meet their customers' demands and remain competitive. Bringing security professionals to early development stages only translates into more costs and slower delivery. Not to mention that it doesn’t solve the talent shortage.
So, what can you really do?
How to ensure your cloud-native apps are secure
You must look for security solutions that provide visibility and place barriers at emergent points of vulnerability. These solutions must meet organizations where they are, be catered to their unique needs and priorities, and enable them to adopt cloud-native solutions at a price point that works for them.
The industry recommendation is to embed security earlier into your application lifecycle, but I argue that you should embed security directly into the app lifecycle.
This way, security is indistinguishable from app development rather than a separate silo.
And that’s exactly what the OutSystems platform does for you.
OutSystems is a high-performance low-code platform designed to help organizations innovate through software.
With OutSystems, you can deploy your applications on-premises, on public, private or hybrid cloud, or as cloud-native. For the latter, OutSystems offers the OutSystems Developer Cloud — ODC.
You can explore how OutSystems protects your on-prem and cloud applications and their users in our Evaluation Guide or blog post about low-code security.
Here, I’ll focus on our cloud-native offer.
ODC is built on top four tenants:
For this blog post, we’ll focus on the last two.
- Evergreen: we have an always-on platform that is always up to date as technology evolves with no impact on running applications and immediate access to new features and patches.
- Security by design: OutSystems provides a secure software development lifecycle practice, encryption by default, modern identity manager, and security, all backed into the design.
Cloud adoption is accelerating, and cloud-native capabilities are growing at a rate that professional developers cannot keep up with. OutSystems embedded security capabilities take advantage of cloud-native capabilities like modern authentication, microservices, and Kubernetes, even without you having to know what a microservice is or how a serverless database even works.
My colleague Lara Leite, Product Manager for Governance, and I spoke about how OutSystems enables you to build secure web, mobile, and cloud-native applications from the ground up in our recent webinar, App Security and Governance: Why High-Performance Low-Code Is Better that I invite you to take watch.
There, we’ll explore OutSystems embedded security capabilities and governance mechanisms to ensure you follow DevSecOps best practices without blowing up your budget and using your existing resources.