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What is code-to-cloud security intelligence?

In the last decade, the technology industry experienced a massive shift toward the cloud where every company no matter the industry developed and deployed cloud-native applications. This pace shows no sign of stopping; we have an app economy – now bolstered by AI-led developments. Data reflects this momentum, with worldwide public cloud spending expected to reach $600 billion by the end of 2023. For businesses, it is evident the cloud provides clear benefits, including the ability for developers to build and ship code with lightning speed. According to a recent survey, more than 75% of organizations are deploying new or updated code to production weekly, and almost 40% are committing new code daily. However, while the cloud dramatically increases agility and efficiency, it also creates major security challenges.

Cloud innovation is on a collision course as the velocity of cloud applications is vastly eclipsing the speed at which security teams can secure them. Today, there are 100 developers for every security professional making it almost impossible for cloud security teams to effectively scale and ensure an organization is protected from risk. The introduction of AI increases this gap as developers leverage it for writing code even faster. Combining this lopsided relationship with the fact that cloud attacks are on the rise equates to an uphill battle for security teams.

Because of the current nature of the cybersecurity industry, where each time there is a new cyber threat a new product category is created, there are thousands of security vendors. This leaves organizations stuck stitching together single-point solutions. The average organization today uses more than 30 security tools, including 6 to 10 solely dedicated to cloud security. This myriad of tools leads to blind spots and affects their ability to prioritize risk and prevent breaches. A piecemeal approach to cloud security is simply not scalable or effective; the industry desperately needs a new way to achieve effective cloud security.

Customers need solutions that reduce risks, prevent breaches, foster collaboration, and reduce operational burdens. The only way to achieve this is through a holistic, code-to-cloud approach. In fact, 80% of organizations say they would benefit from a centralized security solution that sits across all their cloud accounts and services.

Improving developer and security team collaboration

To achieve this, organizations must shift their focus from securing cloud workloads to realizing applications are the crown jewels. Applications hold the most value for organizations and must be prioritized. So, the question becomes, how do enterprises secure their applications?

The best strategy is to first take a step back – security issues can all be mapped to source code or the origin of risk. Securing applications from the code level to actual deployment allows issues to be directly traced back to the source. This offers security professionals a faster and more effective time to remediation and fosters greater reliance and collaboration with their developer counterparts.

At Palo Alto Networks, we call this code-to-cloud intelligence, and it boils down to:

  • Securing every aspect of the application holistically – code, development infrastructure, and production environments.
  • Generating intelligence as code moves throughout the application lifecycle to accurately trace risks back to their origin.

To secure the entire application, organizations must start with shifting security left or implementing security at the start of application development. This is the only way to successfully reduce the amount of risk within applications before they reach production. And the stakes are high – risk does still find its way into active applications. 63% of codebases in production have unpatched vulnerabilities rated high or critical. If vulnerabilities and misconfigurations are discovered in production, organizations can rely on intelligence and application context to backtrack through the development lifecycle and accurately determine where risk lies and how to fix it. Securing applications can only be achieved with a platform approach where developers and security teams share the same single source of truth.

Cloud application development will not slow down anytime soon. Organizations that realize they need a security partner that provides code to cloud intelligence will ultimately prevail as we continue in this AI-fueled era. Enterprises should consider a platform like Prisma Cloud from Palo Alto Networks that is designed to protect applications from code-to-cloud and provides the necessary intelligence for the cloud era. As the leading cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP), Prisma Cloud eliminates blind spots and delivers necessary context into vulnerabilities and misconfigurations for organizations to take immediate action. Prisma Cloud is the platform of choice for organizations who want complete cloud security. Learn more on how Prisma Cloud is leading the code-to-cloud conversation here.

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