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What is Cloud Native?

In computing, what is meant by the term ‘cloud native’?

Cloud native can refer to a variety of different concepts, tools, and technologies.

It commonly refers to a specific approach to building applications for the cloud, in the cloud, and often across multiple cloud platforms. The most authoritative definition of cloud native comes from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).[1]

With cloud native techniques, developers can quickly and easily build and deploy applications and make high-impact changes to the cloud infrastructure. Previously, the use of traditional application architecture could have taken weeks, and involved dependencies on hardware, security and compliance testing, and more.

These deployments are built within modern cloud-native workloads which include architectures such as containers and serverless that have even more operational advantages but also introduce new security challenges.

What are the goals of the cloud native approach?

Goals of the cloud native approach include:

  • Enabling faster software development. Adopting a cloud native approach means transitioning from complex, traditional architecture to modern, facile and automated processes.
  • Enabling Dev teams to spend more time focusing on the end-user experience. Historically, Dev teams were required to source the hardware and other infrastructure for running the applications. This took time away from app development itself. Now, cloud native applications allow for complete focus on the software and final product with quick development and review cycles in an effort to enhance the user experience.

What are the advantages of using ‘cloud native’ applications?

  • Improved app development speed
  • Better end-user experience
  • Reduced TCO
  • Auto redundancy helps apps avoid failures
  • Faster time-to-market

All of these elements allow enterprises to keep pace with the competition.

What is cloud native security?

This refers to security applications that are specifically designed for deployment and operation in a cloud environment. Security engineers are always evolving these types of applications in accordance with the changing cyber threat landscape. With multiple cloud native applications, organizations are often challenged by having to manage the security and compliance in multiple locations.

What should decision makers look for when deciding on a cloud native security product?

  • Seek out a vendor with a solid security track record. Look for a vendor that’s NSS recommended.
  • Seek out unified threat prevention for all of your cloud applications. This means that you’ll have full visibility and control across your entire cloud environment. Visibility into only one or two solutions at a time means that incident response will take longer than otherwise, potentially increasing the cost of a data breach.In addition, with multiple clouds that are running separate security configurations, the platforms cannot exchange data and security intelligence with one another. This results in potential security gaps, enabling bad actors to easily infiltrate your network. Having more cloud native security tools doesn’t necessarily equate to having stronger security.
  • Investigate automated security. This enables you to ensure continuous monitoring for security threats, and will reduce the amount of time that IT professionals must spend on cloud security. In turn, this enables IT teams to focus on higher-level priorities. Automated security also means a potential reduction in human error.[2]

[1] Cloud Native Computing Foundation https://www.cncf.io/

[2] Why Cloud Native Security Requires a Unified Platform, Trisha Paine, Check Point Blog