Figure 1: Strategies for securing application migration to the cloud
Securely building and operating applications
Many cloud providers present the option of building, testing, and deploying with continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) to accelerate software development lifecycle. At the other extreme of the application modernization spectrum, there is a preference for not migrating an existing application, but instead for it to be developed as a “greenfield” or “cloud native” application.
Among the constant challenges facing companies in CI\CD environments is rapid application security testing to ensure speedy production deployment. It may be beneficial for the company to deploy products quickly, but all application security activities have not been performed as a result. The idea is to collaboratively address security throughout the DevOps process as a set of policies, recommendations, and safeguards. Implementation of development, security, and operations (DevSecOps) then becomes a central part of the entire application lifecycle, and every team and person working on an application is required to consider security.
It is very important for an application security strategy to include automation through CI/CD integration and use it to gain an edge over new and evolving threats.
Due to the shift to cloud and cloud-native application technologies, applications are getting more complex. Massively distributed microservices and serverless functions enable developers to focus solely on their own services, and no one has a complete grasp of the entire codebase.
The shift left approach adopted by the company allows developers to analyze code in a GitHub repository to find security vulnerabilities and coding errors in the applications source code or in third party integrated applications. Among the most common security assessments run by DevSecOps operations are static application security testing (SAST), software composition analysis (SCA), interactive application security testing (IAST), dynamic application security testing (DAST), and runtime application self protection (RASP), followed by manual penetration testing.
Many cloud providers include various security tools in their subscriptions, but these tools are not efficient enough to protect against all of the latest cyberattacks. For a secure environment, it is important to follow all the best practices (two factor authentication, strong password, etc.), and to implement a strategy for effective application security.
The cost of modernizing applications over cloud may be costlier if inadequate security practices are followed by companies, but the risk inflates if we do not conduct security assessments at the various phases of cloud migration. Table 1 shows a highly recommended approach to cloud migration.