Security organizations struggle when they try to apply preexisting tools and processes to the cloud because they are often not cloud-native, and intended for use on-prem. This is how CNAPP was born. It’s about building a new model that works for cloud security.

Toni Beck is an Enterprise Solutions Engineer at Wiz, a specialist in cloud-centric security measures. Toni has been in the IT field for 15 years and is currently focused on driving innovation in the field of cloud infrastructure.

Below are the answers Toni provided during an interview with Samir Aliyev, CEO and Founder of the Swiss Cyber Institute where the principal focus was on cloud builders and cloud defenders, and some of the challenges companies are facing to embrace a cloud operating model.

Cloud and cloud-native technologies are considered key tools and essential parts of companies’ strategies. According to Gartner, 70% of all enterprise workloads will be deployed in cloud infrastructure and platform services by 2023. How can companies protect the cloud environment at the speed of the cloud and its development?

It is crucial to have a cloud-operating model that can keep up with the speed of the cloud. This includes appropriate tooling but also properly coordinated organisational structures within the companies.

By distributing the workloads created by security measures, it is possible to work much faster and more effectively.

If, for example, devops teams have access to a centrally controlled tool that shows them security risks in their own infrastructure, they can work effectively and manage their own risks. At the same time, they can react directly to critical risks and remedy them.

In this way, an organisation can continue to innovate effectively. At the same time, it ensures that security rules are followed, and risks are minimised in the long term.        

Cloud builders (developers) and cloud defenders (security) have very different objectives when it comes to a cloud-operating model. How can companies tackle this challenge?    

Developers must be given a tool they love. Only then will they use it to evaluate their own environment and manage their own risks.

Legacy approaches with only centralised security teams no longer work effectively in cloud environments. We are in favour of democratising security, so to speak. This way, developers remain agile in developing innovative solutions. At the same time, it ensures that the corresponding security and compliance requirements are met.

It all comes down to consolidation. Security teams need a deep understanding of risk in order to be effective. In the cloud, security teams need to work with their developer counterparts: they need to think like a product team.

Another way to think of it is in terms of having clear priorities, for example: “This is the most critical risk to your app, and here is why.” To obtain that, you need context, and that strong desire is driving consolidation.

Accuracy is paramount. Without context, you cannot have accuracy. Security teams must communicate effectively with their development colleagues and be able to tell them exactly which risks are critical.

The mentality is: “I want visibility into every aspect of my cloud environment, and I want to know whether I have a vulnerable machine that is exposed.”

There are numerous cloud security players in the market. How is Wiz different in its approach to cloud security?       

Our founders saw that cloud security needed a new operating model. Wiz was born for the cloud: we embody agility, and we think at scale.

Wiz is extremely easy to deploy, and it’s decentralized. Agility and unconditional visibility are at the heart of Wiz. We’ve enabled a model where security and development teams can collaborate and partner effectively and create processes that scale in the cloud.

Ultimately, we are helping security organizations transform into cloud security organizations, and that has made us the leader in the space.

Our research team is also a major differentiator. While we’re working with CISOs as a solution provider, we also have the research arm looking at the problem from an attacker’s perspective.

Wiz can be deployed across all major cloud providers in minutes. Our agentless approach means we don’t need any additional components on the endpoints. Time-to-value is therefore incomparably fast with Wiz.

With our graph database, we have the ability to visualise complex issues with outstanding clarity. This enables us to use Wiz as a tool for all departments. Infrastructure, development, compliance – everyone can use Wiz to evaluate their own environment and take direct action if necessary. Wiz is therefore the right tool to make a new cloud security operating model a reality.

You talk about a new cloud operating model. What exactly does that mean?     

Security organizations struggle when they try to apply preexisting tools and processes to the cloud because they are often not cloud-native, and intended for use on-prem. This is how CNAPP was born. It’s about building a new model that works for cloud security.

So CNAPP has given rise to a new operating model that hinges on a tight interconnection between security and development. It turns security into a team sport through a collaborative approach.

So what problems are CNAPPs solving, and where do they deliver value?

CNAPP solutions fundamentally change how companies approach risk. It’s about more context with less noise, so security teams can focus on and prioritize the risks that matter.

CNAPPs provide a deep understanding of risk through context and accuracy. As a result, security teams can speak the same language as their development colleagues, and pinpoint critical risks.

The cloud is decentralized and ephemeral; it signals a major transformation for infosec teams. CNAPP equips them with what they need to harness the cloud’s power, embrace a new operating model, and be successful.