What Is a Cloud Native Application Protection Platform or CNAPP?

What Is a Cloud Native Application Protection Platform or CNAPP?
What Is a Cloud Native Application Protection Platform or CNAPP?

The digital space is growing, and so are cyber attacks. Business owners are worried about the cloud application security to handle attacks like ransomware, phishing, etc.

Cloud security was introduced to address all such security challenges associated with cloud applications and servers. CNAPP is a type of cloud security.

Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform or CNAPP is a term coined by Gartner to provide governance and security to cloud-native applications.

However, CNAPP is not just a security tool; there is much more to it, which we will understand in this blog. Here, we will learn in detail about CNAPP.

What is CNAPP?

CNAPP is the all-in-one platform security platform for cloud-native applications that protects cloud-based infrastructure and environments from cyberattacks. The goal of the CNAPP solution is to implement security configuration at the early stage of the application development process.

CNAPP generally follows the "shift left" and "shield right" security concepts to improve the overall security posture of cloud-native applications.

It means businesses, by shifting to the left, can leverage security controls from the development phase. The "shield right" part focuses on security incidents during the runtime of cloud applications.

Earlier businesses used to rely on disparate point products for security, but now, with the help of CNAPP, they can easily consolidate the monitoring, detecting and reporting of cloud applications from a single platform.

Need for CNAPP

The security solutions that existed before are designed to protect the on-premises data centres. With the evolution, businesses started moving to cloud servers and applications. And these traditional security measures can't offer security to cloud solutions.

Let's have a look at some cloud security challenges :

  • The cloud environment is complex, with many resources, services and configurations available. This complexity invites new kinds of attacks and threats. So, the cloud security solution should have a threat detection and response strategy to prevent such attacks, which traditional security can't offer.
  • Because of the complexity of the cloud environment, visibility is another big issue, due to which critical issues go unnoticed.
  • Furthermore, organisations often use standalone security tools such as data security posture management, vulnerability management and more, which brings additional operational challenges as businesses require unique expertise to address these tools.

Considering all these cloud application challenges, businesses need a holistic security approach. They need a solution that can identify and mitigate security measures to both the highest-risk cloud applications and the lowest-risk cloud applications based on the need.

This is where CNAPP comes in; it is the security solution for ever evolving digital landscape. By employing CNAPP, businesses can address various cloud security issues such as visibility gaps, security gaps, operation challenges and more by improving overall security posture.

Key Components Of CNAPP

CNAPP is a security solution that is a combination of different technologies to make it a single consolidated security solution.

Different security capabilities come under the CNAPP umbrella. There are three critical components of CNAPP which are:

  • Cloud Security Posture Management - CSPM or cloud security posture management is the visualisation and security assessment tool that allows automatic detection and remediation of security risks.

Not only this, it is capable of identifying the misconfiguration in the cloud system that can lead to security breaches. Further, it offers deep visibility into a cloud infrastructure that allows businesses to classify assets and resources between SAAS, PAAS and IAAS.

  • Cloud Service Network Security - CSNS or cloud service network security is designed with security functions that are standard with cloud-native workloads. It offered advanced security features such as next-generation firewall, TLS/SSL inspection, load balancer and more.
  • Cloud Workload Protection Platform - CWPP or cloud workload protection platform is designed to protect work deployed on private, hybrid and public clouds. It is the solution that makes it possible for organisations to integrate security solutions from the development cycle.

To function smoothly, first, the solution will assess the workload and security issues within it and then address those security issues.

How Does a CNAPP Work?

CNAPP combines various security tools like CWPP, CSNS and CSPM to offer security throughout the life cycle of cloud-native applications.

It provides security in the development, testing, production and deployment phase. The working of CNAPP includes offering various security to cloud-native applications such as:

  • Container Security - CNAPP provides container security by inspecting the vulnerabilities in runtime activity and then enforcing defence mechanisms.
  • Network Security - It provides security to the entire cloud network by monitoring traffic and checking security policy and attack detection and prevention mechanisms.
  • Application Security - Further, it offers security to applications by detecting vulnerabilities, observing the run time performance of applications and then enforcing security measures.
  • Data Security - The data security offered by CNAPP ensures that data protection laws are maintained to avoid legal penalties. Further, it also offers detection and prevention of data breaches.

Other than this, there are various threat detection and response tools such as threat hunting, security analytics and more to provide enhanced security for cloud-native applications.

Key Benefits of CNAPP

Let's focus on some key benefits offered by CNAPP, which are:

  • Enhanced Security - One of the most popular benefits of the CNAPP is deep and thorough security for all cloud-native applications. There are challenges associated with cloud applications, such as misconfiguration, container vulnerabilities and more. By using various security tools like vulnerability inspection, runtime protection and more, CNAPP offers complete security.
  • DevOps Integration -Another benefit of the CNAPP security solution is easily integrated with DevOps workflows and practices. Because of this, it becomes possible for developers to implement security measures in the development phase and deployment phases. Not just this, automatic security controls, such as security-as-code CI/CD pipelines, ensure that security features are embedded throughout the application lifecycle. That makes the whole development process fast and safe.
  • Simplified Management - Another most talked about benefit of the CNAPP solution is its centralised administration that allows administrators to set up and manage security policies, monitor security events and generate security reports from the single platform. The centralised management makes the security process more accessible by offering complete visibility and control over the application.
  • Multi-Cloud Support - Further, various businesses rely on multi-cloud or hybrid cloud settings. To those businesses, CNAPP offers multi-cloud and hybrid security architecture to ensure they have uniform visibility and control over various cloud platforms.
  • Better Incident Response - CNAPP solution uses a modern threat detection algorithm that keeps businesses ahead of the problem by sending them real-time threat warning text. It also has better incident-handling capabilities because of actionable insights and automatic reaction capabilities. This lowers the incident response or handling time.
  • Compliance and Governance - Lastly, CNAPP helps businesses maintain the regulatory and governance guidelines as per the industry standards. By providing tools for policy enforcement, reporting and auditing, it helps business compliance with security standards.


There is no doubt that with time, CNAPP will become the standard security measure for cloud applications for developers to ensure the smooth running of applications. But now, businesses can put a robust security front by adopting CNAPP.

However, before going with any CNAPP solution, organisations should consider their business requirements. With so many applications available, picking a secure cloud security solution can become tricky.

That's why presenting you InstaSafe Zero Trust Security Solutions for cloud applications. Our solution improves the security posture of your business by providing authentication and secure connections to cloud applications.

With the InstaSafe security solution, you can get end-to-end threat detection for all cloud applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the difference between Cnapp and CASB?

CNAPP is a cloud-native application protection platform, and CASB is a cloud access security broker and security solution with different purposes.

The CASB technology mainly focuses on data protection and user access on cloud applications, while CNAPP handles the risks and vulnerabilities in various cloud-native applications.

2. What is included in Cnapp?

The CNAPP is a unified security solution that offers various security tools and capabilities such as CWPP, CSPM and CSNS.

3. What are the benefits of Cnapp?

There are various benefits offered by CNAPP, such as granular protection, real-time threat detection and more.

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