With the rapid migration to cloud-based infrastructures, the realm of cybersecurity is undergoing a radical transformation. The catalyst behind this change? Cloud-native security is a dynamic, adaptive, and forward-looking approach that's rewriting the rules of safeguarding our digital assets.

As per Gartner's predictions, through 2025, 99% of cloud security failures will be the customer's fault, largely because of misconfigurations. This statistic highlights the significance of ensuring proper cloud-native security practices to avoid misconfigurations and vulnerabilities in cloud environments.

You might ask, but what is cloud-native security? Imagine your valuable data as a precious gem, and you need the most secure vault for its protection. Traditional security resembles a formidable, impenetrable castle; it's safe, but inflexible, potentially falling short in adapting to new, ever-evolving threats. In contrast, cloud-native security is like housing that precious gem within a shape-shifting fortress. It can seamlessly morph and adapt, protecting your gem from threats on all fronts, and staying one step ahead of potential dangers.

How Does Cloud Work?

At the heart of cloud-native security lies a transformative paradigm shift. Unlike conventional security, which emphasizes static, perimeter-focused defense, cloud-native security centers around the notion that threats can emanate from within and outside the traditional boundaries. This approach acknowledges the agility, scalability, and constant evolution of the cloud environment, paving the way for a dynamic, adaptable, and multi-layered security framework.

Structure of Security Layers

  • Identity and Access Management (IAM): The first layer is the gatekeeper. IAM ensures that only authorized users can access resources, implementing strong authentication, authorization, and policies to manage user access effectively. For example, Netflix uses AWS IAM to control access to its cloud infrastructure.
  • Data Security: Data is the crown jewel. This layer protects data through encryption, data loss prevention, and access controls, shielding it from unauthorized eyes.
  • Network Security: Think of this as the guardian of the highways. Network security fortifies cloud networks with measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection, and secure communication protocols, ensuring safe data transfer.
  • Application Security: Here, cloud-native security focuses on safeguarding the applications themselves, employing security at the code level, runtime protection, and continuous monitoring for potential threats. OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) provides resources and tools for securing web applications.
  • Compliance and Governance: This layer is the rulebook. It enforces industry-specific compliance standards and governance policies, ensuring that the cloud environment adheres to regulatory requirements.

Cloud Native Security Tools

Gartner predicts that by 2025, 95% of new enterprises will have implemented cloud-native applications, demonstrating the growing importance of specialized security tools in the cloud-native environment. Cloud-native security tools are a set of software solutions and practices designed to protect cloud-native applications and environments.

These tools are specifically tailored to address the unique challenges and risks associated with cloud-native architectures, such as containers, microservices, serverless computing, and the use of orchestration platforms like Kubernetes. The goal is to ensure the security of applications and data in dynamic and rapidly changing cloud-native environments.

How to Implement Cloud-Native Security

Here are the various ways to implement cloud-native security along with some real-world examples and use cases of cloud-native security.

Containerized applications

Shopify uses container security tools like Aqua Security to scan container images for vulnerabilities, ensuring that their containerized workloads are free from security risks. Aqua Security provides runtime protection and vulnerability assessment for their container environments.


Netflix, a company known for its extensive use of microservices, employs Istio, an open-source service mesh, for microservices security. Istio manages and secures the communication between microservices, implementing access control, encryption, and observability.

Serverless functions

AWS Lambda, a serverless computing service, provides security features such as AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) and AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF). Organizations like Coca-Cola have used AWS Lambda for serverless applications, relying on these built-in security features to protect their functions.


Many companies use Twistlock, a cloud-native security tool, for securing their Kubernetes environments. Twistlock helps monitor containerized applications running on Kubernetes and enforces security policies to protect against threats.


Salesforce, a cloud-based software company, integrates security into its DevOps practices. They use tools like Veracode and Checkmarx to perform static application security testing (SAST) and dynamic application security testing (DAST) during the development process, ensuring that security is an integral part of the software development lifecycle.

Cloud Compliance and Governance

Capital One, a financial services company, uses automated compliance tools such as AWS Config to ensure that its cloud resources adhere to regulatory requirements. They continuously monitor configurations and maintain compliance with industry standards.

Best Practices to Secure Cloud-Native Applications

Securing cloud-native applications requires a combination of best practices, tools, and processes to protect your applications and data in the cloud. Here are some key best practices to secure cloud-native applications:

  • Zero Trust Model: Adopt a "never trust, always verify" approach to security, which is at the core of cloud-native security.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Implement continuous, real-time monitoring of your cloud environment to detect and respond to security threats promptly.
  • Automation: Leverage automation for security tasks, such as vulnerability assessments and incident response, to reduce manual errors and enhance response speed.
  • Secure Development: Incorporate security into the development lifecycle, emphasizing secure coding practices and continuous security testing.
  • Threat Intelligence: Stay informed about emerging threats and vulnerabilities by integrating threat intelligence feeds into your security strategy.

Benefits of Cloud-Native Security

Embracing cloud-native security carries a trove of benefits:

  • Scalability: Cloud-native security allows organizations to scale their security measures in sync with their cloud infrastructure, providing the flexibility to adapt swiftly to changing circumstances.
  • Security by Design: It fosters a culture of "security by design," making security an integral part of the development process, ensuring that security is not an afterthought but a proactive consideration.
  • Risk Mitigation: By incorporating security from the outset, risks are mitigated, and the organization's overall security posture is significantly improved.

As we conclude our journey through the realm of cloud-native security, one thing becomes abundantly clear: the future of safeguarding digital assets has taken a transformative turn. Cloud-native security offers not only a multi-layered defense system but also the agility and adaptability required to navigate the ever-evolving threat landscape.

By embracing the structural fortifications, benefits, and best practices of cloud-native security, organizations can establish a security culture that is proactive, adaptable, and capable of withstanding the challenges of the digital age. In this dynamic security paradigm, your digital assets remain guarded, your data stays secure, and your organization can forge ahead with confidence, knowing that it stands resilient against the persistent threats in the digital realm.