Thousands of developers and cloud security professionals will fill the Moscone Center in San Francisco next week for the sold-out Google Cloud Next ’19 conference. Three days of breakout sessions and keynotes will immerse attendees in deep technical content and opportunities for hands-on learning. It’s all designed to help organizations embrace the cloud. A key element of succeeding in the cloud is cybersecurity. More critically, the cloud demands embracing a cloud-native approach to security challenges.
Leading the Way
Since its inception, Google has been pushing the envelope and blazing trails in the cloud. Like Netflix, Google found itself—and often continues to find itself—in uncharted territory, where it was forced to innovate original solutions to address unique challenges.
To help create standards and tool sets for managing container environments, Google joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)—a melding of minds between developer communities and platform vendors—as one of the founding members along with CoreOS, Docker, Cisco, IBM and others. Famously, Google also originally developed Kubernetes—an open source container orchestration system for automating application deployment, scaling, and management.
Google eventually donated Kubernetes to the CNCF. Transitioning it from a Google project to a CNCF project helped it gain broader traction and momentum and emerge as the de facto standard for container orchestration. Kubernetes became the first CNCF project to graduate out of incubation.
Kubernetes is a powerful, scalable platform for deploying and managing container environments of all sizes. Still, security needs to be a core focus for organizations, even in a Kubernetes ecosystem. The nature and volatility of container-based applications and cloud environments requires security to be cloud-native as well. Deploying containerized solutions on Kubernetes requires security that is built in to the distributed infrastructure and puts the focus on API security.
Automation is Key
The word “dynamic” is a very polite way to describe most cloud environments; volatile or chaotic might be more accurate, in many cases. Cloud infrastructures typically leverage DevOps tools and principles to compress development and deployment time frames and expedite the process of iterating new versions with continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD).
The thing is, when development is driven by a CI/CD pipeline, security has to be as well. Manual processes can’t possibly keep up with the volume of assets that need to be monitored and protected, and traditional cybersecurity tools are not equipped for hybrid or multi-cloud environments. What’s more, they lack the scalability necessary for effective cloud security. Implementing and managing security in an environment that is constantly shifting and evolving requires an automated, cloud-native approach.
Security in this context should be managed via API and also optimized to test API-based applications. Speed is crucial as well, though. Security should not break or impede the CI/CD pipeline due to timeouts or delays.
Kubernetes clusters need cloud-native security tools to automate application protection. Tools capable of protecting containerized applications, microservices and APIs across public and private cloud environments while minimizing false positives at the same time.
There will be a ton of great information shared at Google Cloud Next ’19. While you’re networking, gathering insights on cloud strategies and learning how to solve problems in the cloud, don’t forget the crucial role of security. There are a variety of sessions offered that focus on security—how to manage, deploy, and develop security models for the cloud. Or, take a walk through Google’s dedicated Security Area in Moscone Center’s South Exhibition Hall. It’s a great place to connect with experts and educate yourself on why cloud-native solutions are essential for effective cybersecurity in a cloud ecosystem.