Palo Alto Networks this week extended its efforts to secure application environments by agreeing to acquire Cider Security, a provider of a platform for securing continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platforms, for approximately $195 million in cash.
The acquisition of Cider Security, scheduled to close this quarter, will extend the reach of the company’s Prisma Cloud platform that was updated last year to include a set of tools for securing infrastructure-as-code (IaC) used to provision IT infrastructure. Palo Alto Networks previously acquired Bridgecrew, which had developed an open source Checkov policy-as-code tool. Last month, Palo Alto Networks added software composition analysis tools to Prisma Cloud, as well.
Cider Security developed what it described as an operating system for application security. The solution creates a graph that enables DevOps teams to visualize the relationships between all elements that make up a software development environment, including code. It then makes it possible to apply a set of controls to remediate any vulnerabilities and attack paths that might be identified using any number of third-party scanning tools.
Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora told industry analysts the acquisition is an example of the company doubling down on securing software supply chains alongside its existing portfolio of platforms and services for securing production environments.
It’s not yet clear who is in charge of DevOps platform security, but increasingly there will be some type of central security function that works with application development teams to lock down software supply chains, said Mike Rothman, general manager for Techstrong Research, an arm of the parent company of DevOps.com. “There’s going to be a central security group focused on securing the pipeline,” he said.
As Palo Alto Networks continues to extend the reach of Prisma Cloud left, it continues to make a case for centralizing the management of cybersecurity through a portfolio of platforms that can be centrally managed via the cloud. It’s not clear how much organizations are centralizing management of security across their software supply chains and production environments, but Arora noted that interest in consolidating security vendors is high as organizations look to reduce the total cost of cybersecurity.
In the meantime, organizations of all sizes are looking to employ DevSecOps best practices to better secure software supply chains in the wake of a series of recent high-profile breaches. In addition to scanning code for vulnerabilities, many of those organizations are starting to realize the tools and platforms used to build applications are also vulnerable to cyberattacks. The goal of those attacks is to insert malware that will manifest itself in any number of downstream applications that are eventually deployed in a production environment.
It’s not yet apparent just how compromised those tools and platforms may be, but it’s clear software consumers are moving toward holding developers more accountable for vulnerabilities. The best-known example of those requirements is an executive order issued by the Biden administration that will require federal agencies to include software bills of materials (SBOMs) that list known vulnerabilities. Many enterprise IT organizations are expected to adopt similar requirements.
One way or another, however, the tools and platforms that make up a software supply chain, along with the code they produce, are going to be subject to much greater scrutiny than ever before.