Palo Alto Networks has updated its Prisma Cloud to make it easier to embrace best DevSecOps processes while deploying workloads in the cloud.
New capabilities include the ability to define and apply cybersecurity policies to continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) workflows and scanning tools for discovering misconfigurations in cloud infrastructure templates, which is the most common source of cloud security issues.
Palo Alto Networks has also added the ability to scan virtual machines native to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) before they are deployed as well as an ability to apply policies to workloads running on the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework via a single click. That capability eliminates the need to manually install wrappers in application code running on the AWS Lambda framework.
John Morello, vice president of Product Management, Container and Serverless Security at Palo Alto Networks, said in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate at which workloads will move to the cloud will accelerate. Deploying applications allows organizations to retain a higher level of flexibility, which, given the current uncertainty over how long the COVID-19 pandemic may last or even return once this latest outbreak is contained, means organizations need to be able to manage workloads centrally from any location where their IT staffs are located.
Of course, cybercriminals that have become especially adept at scanning for cloud misconfigurations realize this as well. As such, many of them will be focusing their future efforts on scanning for vulnerable workloads residing on public clouds, Morello noted.
A recent analysis of public cloud configurations published by the Unit 42 research arm of Palo Alto Networks found more than 199,000 templates that had medium-to-high vulnerabilities. The most vulnerabilities were discovered in templates created using CloudFormation (42%), Terraform (22%) and YAML for Kubernetes (9%).
As cloud computing environments become more complex the opportunity only increases for misconfigurations involving, for example, ports left open. IT organizations are increasingly trying to secure a wide range of application workloads running on a mix of public cloud services based on virtual machines, Kubernetes clusters and serverless computing frameworks. Public cloud computing environments assume that responsibility for cybersecurity is shared between the cloud service provider and the IT teams who employ those services. Unfortunately, developers often assume the cloud service provider is assuming more responsibility than they actually do. Most cloud service providers are really only promising to secure the infrastructure they manage. Responsibility for application security remains firmly in the hands of the IT teams deploying cloud applications.
To rise to that challenge, many organizations have been embracing best DevSecOps processes that shift cybersecurity responsibility further left toward developers. However, to achieve that goal, developers need access to tools that are well-integrated with the CI/CD platforms that DevOps teams rely on to push code out to cloud platforms. Obviously, that shift represents a substantial cultural change that will take time to fully manifest within most organizations. However, no such change is ever likely to be attained without being armed with the tools needed to enhance application security within the context of their existing CI/CD workflows.