Cloud Native Security Challenges and Solutions

Cloud Native Security Challenges and Solutions

Cloud-native adoption is becoming increasingly common and mainstream across organizations. Cloud-native technologies help businesses stay agile and release software and application updates rapidly and efficiently.

Businesses store sensitive data in the cloud, like personally identifiable, customer, and credit card data.

Addressing native cloud security challenges allows companies to tune, baseline, and prioritize security monitoring investments, enhance data-gathering capabilities, and enable the team to launch proactive threat-hunting campaigns.

Therefore, businesses must address cloud-native security challenges by managing threats and vulnerabilities with effective solutions. Here are a few cloud-native security challenges and solutions.

Cloud-Native Challenges

  • Vulnerabilities in Applications

Most security risks come from application developments. Assuming the applications remain vulnerable at runtime during deployments, businesses must consider all the possibilities of threats and must plan to secure the complete application cycle. Therefore, runtime applications will continue to require examination from non-tested code changes to zero-day attacks.

  • Misconfigurations in Infrastructure

Misconfigurations in the cloud and unpatched software invite network attacks and exploits. The most prevalent error is leaving ports accessible to the internet; each port left open to the internet gives hackers with a potential attack vector.

  • Malware

Malware is progressing at a bottleneck speed in the cloud. At the same time, spotting potential cloud-native malware is complex due to security tools’ noise. These “noisy” security tools provide businesses with many alerts that security teams can hardly respond to. It results in alert fatigue, making it difficult for companies to detect and identify vulnerabilities.

  • Too Many Access Provisions

Too many access provisions open up malicious and major cloud security threats. When all the employees within the businesses get excessive permission, companies experience regular attacks and account takeovers.

  • Unprotected APIs

APIs are the foundation of cloud-native and application-based economics. Therefore, failing to secure the APIs can have devastating consequences since a single API breach can collapse the businesses’ entire digital software strategy and developmental operations.

  • Unclear Security Perimeters

Container and cloud-native applications form an interdependent component stack. For example, businesses use cloud services and virtual nodes in networks and data centers together.

Therefore, defining security perimeters and their protection is complex. These operations require a clear architecture and security concept to secure cloud-native applications running on the cloud.

  • Container and Runtime Security

Containers comprise small operating systems and executable packages. There is a high possibility that one of the containers might have vulnerabilities. Therefore, it is crucial to have these containers scanned, considering that they run in a regular Kubernetes cluster on the scale of hundreds of instances.

At the same time, even if businesses safeguard cloud-native services and examine containers for vulnerabilities, threats exist throughout the runtime phase. Since applications packaged as containers run on virtual nodes, companies must ensure that these applications do not expose the data while running and have restricted access to external systems.

  • Observability

Scalability and flexibility are the attributes of modern cloud-native applications. Therefore, businesses must monitor and track the distributed applications and establish holistic observability of the entire stack. It becomes challenging for companies to understand the exact application status and Kubernetes nodes, clusters, and infrastructure.

  • Slow Security Processes

The critical attributes of cloud computing are agility, flexibility, and speed. Organizations require regular compliance and security that resonates with high-velocity CI/CD pipelines, the highly elastic nature of cloud infrastructure, and ephemeral workloads.

Many businesses make the mistake of prioritizing security over speed and efficiency. Placing security over speed and efficiency will hinder the process of new software and updates. Hence, businesses must implement and automate security early in the software supply chain by shifting left.

Ways How Businesses Can Mitigate Cloud Native Challenges

  • Employ Shift-Left Security

Shift-left security is a model that offers robust security feedback and protects early developmental processes. Since the container defines and controls cloud-native computing environments, Kubernetes and infrastructure-as-code (IaC) businesses can gradually detect vulnerabilities before deploying applications. It will prevent all the vulnerabilities down the line and eliminates remediation costs.

  • Zero Trust

A zero-trust security approach is essential for securing businesses’ practical applications, data, and infrastructure. Companies must limit access to these assets and eliminate implicit trust across the environments.

It ensures that no employee has access to data they should not have. Moreover, it gives businesses more control and visibility within their IT infrastructure.

  • Consolidation

Businesses dealing with many vendors create the illusion of having a robust and comprehensive security provision. According to Gartner, by 2025, 70% of enterprises will reduce the number of providers securing the cycle of cloud-native apps to a maximum of three.

Higher costs, security gaps, and various security tools make IT environment management complex. Businesses can implement comprehensive and scalable security controls by facilitating a consolidated security approach.

Also Read: Top API Security Risks and Solutions

  • CSPM

Businesses must deploy Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) tools to address cloud-native security challenges. These tools will effectively automate security management across diverse infrastructures like the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-service (SaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).

CSPM tools enable businesses to identify and remediate risks via automated compliance monitoring and security assessment. At the same time, it automates governance within multi-cloud assets and services like security posture assessment, misconfiguration detection, and enforcement of best security practices.


Businesses must closely involve the developer and security teams to ensure efficient security across cloud-native environments. Developers must shift their mindset and use tools and processes that eliminate application vulnerabilities and misconfigurations early.

Security teams must have complete visibility, zero trust, and a consolidated security strategy to rapidly determine and respond to threats. Addressing these challenges with efficient solutions and facilitating strong communication between the developer and security teams can help businesses enhance their cloud-native security posture.

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