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How to Modernize Your Cloud Security Posture

    Cloud security posture management is an automated data security solution responsible for managing, monitoring, alerting, identifying, and remediating compliance risks and misconfigurations in the cloud setting. It helps enterprises continuously monitor for potential gaps in enforcing security policies. Also, it fosters proper control over your cloud infrastructure and configurations. 

    Gartner predicted that the adoption of cloud security posture management solutions will reach 25% in a few years. This is because more companies identify them as must-have tools for cloud platform security. But why do you need cloud security posture management? And how can you modernize your cloud security posture to ensure your cloud security is on-point? Keep reading to find out. 

    Modernize Cloud Security Posture

    Why Do Enterprises Need Cloud Security Posture Management?

    The adoption of cloud-based applications and cloud solutions has been on the rise. They enable businesses to boost their flexibility and productivity levels. As these tools are readily available to anyone on the internet, they expose enterprises to a higher risk of cybersecurity breaches. Despite everyone’s best efforts and training, security issues arise, and vulnerabilities remain prevalent. As a result, it puts the company’s data at risk. 

    Business, risk, and IT security leaders continuously work to manage:

    Data breaches are due to misconfigurations in the cloud infrastructure. These breaches expose vast amounts of crucial data, leading to financial losses and legal liabilities.

    Challenges integrating cloud governance (inadequate knowledge about cloud platform security controls, permissions, visibility, and policy enforcement across various business units. 

    Continuous compliance for cloud applications, which is unattainable with conventional on-premise processes and tools. 

    Modernizing Your Cloud Security Posture

    Keeping your cloud infrastructure and data safe is no easy feat. Since cloud security posture is mandatory for compliance and security in the cloud, enterprises must devise strategies to modernize it to ensure its safety. Companies identify containerization as a critical approach to modernizing their cloud security posture. 

    ✔ What is Containerization? 

    It is a software deployment method that groups together an application’s code with all libraries, files, and dependencies it requires to run on any infrastructure. The container is the lightweight package that bundles the application and its dependencies. Containerization has become famous with enterprises globally courtesy of its simplicity, faster deployment times, and development efficiencies. 

    The development team embraces containerization because it helps develop and deploy solutions faster. On the other hand, the security community focuses on this approach's overall risk profile and integrity. 

    How Containerization Modernizes Your Cloud Security Posture?

    Vulnerability management forms the foundation of an efficient, modernized container security policy and cloud security posture. Therefore, to secure the cloud container ecosystem, you need to consider the development pipeline, services, and applications deployed via that pipeline throughout the entire lifecycle. Any attempts to properly manage container vulnerabilities must consider hosts, platforms, and orchestration. 

    ✔ Vulnerability Management, a Crucial Element for Container Security

    Your cloud assets are at constant risk. As a result, using containers helps shield the individual elements within the container. Container images are designed in layers, with the foundation being the base operating system. Each layer depends on the layer beneath; this is the best practice to sort layers with the most significant change on the top of the stack. Doing so minimizes the number of elements updated in every release. 

    In most cases, container images grow over time. This is because new configuration items, agents, and libraries are added to accompany each update. This increase makes image scanning for vulnerabilities time-consuming and more complex. 

    Containerized cloud services and applications may have exploitable vulnerabilities, especially in the lower image layers. This is because these layers are often insufficiently scanned and experience less frequent changes. Even images held in famous registries aren’t immune. 

    Cybercrime perpetrators utilize various approaches to encourage users to download malicious images. Therefore, it’s imperative to implement appropriate controls around container image usage. Fortunately, there are modernized tools to spot and prevent vulnerabilities, enhancing the overall cloud security posture. They include: 

    • Container image Signing tools 

    • Container governance policy tools

    ✔ Container Image Signing Tools 

    Container images enhance the productivity of building and deploying cloud applications and services. The immutability of your container image helps maintain the working environment without external interference. However, these images cannot identify their authorship or origin – and that’s where container image signing tools come in. 

    These tools enable users to provide a digital fingerprint to a container image. The added fingerprint is later tested cryptographically to verify the originality of the container image. Various cloud service providers offer several mechanisms that support container image signing. 

    For instance, IBM implements the simple image signing and verification approach. This solution is integrated into primary open-source projects like Podman and Docker. The container image signing tool signs the image when it is pushed to the image registry. It then generates encrypted signature data containing the information that identifies the container image. 

    The signature data is stored in a location accessible to container image users. The consumer fetches the signed image and one or more associated signatures to verify the signed image. The image signing tool decrypts the signature (if correct) to validate the consistency of the container image content. The pulled image cannot be trusted or deployed if the decryption fails.

    ✔ Container Governance Policy Tool

    Container governance policy tools, such as Kubernetes, provide an open-source, portable, and extensible platform for governing containerized applications, services, and workloads. These tools need policy-based governance, compliance, and management. Each enterprise creates and enforces a security posture that adheres to government and corporate regulations and policies.  

    Container governance tools modernize cloud security posture in various ways. For instance, they enable you to:

    • Monitor configuration drifts and automates remediation across various container clusters.

    • View and enhance your organizational compliance posture

    These tools automatically monitor and ensure security and configuration protocols conform to corporate standards and industry compliance requirements. Also, container governance tools prevent malicious or indeliberate configuration drift that may attack surfaces or expose threat vectors.  

    With comprehensive container governance tools, you can use the least privilege principle to limit access to approve container images and registries. Also, you can remediate or report policy on the given governance tool to manage access control, identity access, and configurations. 

    Final Thought

    Achieving a robust cloud security posture is not a walk in the park. However, you can modernize using the containerization approach. Containerized cloud services and applications can be easily secured, checked for compliance, vulnerability, and remediated thanks to modernized solutions for container image signing and governance policy tools, like Kubernetes. These tools enable you to reach an advanced cloud security posture management level. 

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