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HomeBig DataPalo Alto Networks CTO Talks Securing ‘Code to Cloud’

Palo Alto Networks CTO Talks Securing ‘Code to Cloud’


The Palo Alto logo on a screen and more info about the company on a phone.
Picture: Timon/Adobe Inventory

Palo Alto Networks held its annual Code to Cloud Cybersecurity Summit Thursday, specializing in cloud, DevOps and safety. Specialists mentioned traits, alternatives and challenges with coding and the cloud.

Not too long ago, Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 issued a cloud menace report discovering that the typical safety staff takes six days to resolve a safety alert. Its State of Cloud-Native Safety Survey revealed 90% of organizations can not detect, include and resolve cyberthreats inside an hour. Unit 42 additionally not too long ago printed new API menace analysis, which discovered that 14.9% of assaults in late 2022 focused cloud-hosted deployments.

Among the many audio system on the occasion was Ory Segal, chief know-how officer at Palo Alto Networks Prisma Cloud, who joined a panel on how cloud safety could be aligned with the aggressive growth cycle underneath which builders work.

Previous to the occasion, he spoke to TechRepublic about defending the software program growth course of and cloud-native utility platforms (CNAPP). (Determine A)

Determine A

Ory Segal, chief technology officer at Palo Alto Networks.
Ory Segal, chief know-how officer at Palo Alto Networks.

Soar to:

CNAPP as a platform

TR: What constitutes a CNAPP (cloud-native utility safety platform) now? What falls underneath that banner, and the way do you untangle the completely different approaches to it in the case of DevOps safety, in the case of … [reducing] vulnerabilities in functions lifted to the cloud or written for cloud environments?

Segal: Completely different corporations get to the purpose the place they are often thought-about CNAPPs based mostly on their journey. Some began from container safety, like Twistlock (acquired by Palo Alto Networks) or Aqua safety, for instance. Some arrived … from cloud safety posture administration. So it actually will depend on who you ask. However I like Gartner’s perspective: The emphasis is on holistic cloud native safety, so it’s not about “cloud safety,” “workload safety” or “code safety.” It’s about offering a platform that lets you apply the appropriate forms of safety controls all through the event lifecycle, from the second you begin coding to the cut-off date if you find yourself deployed and monitoring the workloads. And underneath that fall many, many various classes of merchandise, not all of which might be instantly regarded as part of CNAPP.

TR: What are some good examples of CNAPP inside the growth cascade or cycle? Is CNAPP a blanket time period for any DevSecOps?

Segal: So clearly, scanning infrastructure-as-code templates as you develop software program to just be sure you usually are not embedding any sort of dangers or misconfigurations on the left; doing software program composition evaluation to keep away from or forestall the chance [of bad code or vulnerabilities] from getting deployed. Even doing static evaluation, one thing that in the present day we’re exploring however usually are not but providing, however I feel SAST (static utility safety testing), DAST (dynamic utility safety testing) and IAST (interactive utility safety testing), all of that are utility safety testing basically, are components of that.

SEE: Sticking to the standard playbook is a mistake for cloud safety (TechRepublic)

TR: And additional to the appropriate extra towards manufacturing?

Segal: After which as you construct the product, scanning and securing artifacts, accompanying the method of deployment to the cloud, monitoring and defending the workloads as they run. And that features runtime safety, WAF (internet utility firewall), [application programming interface] safety, and issues which might be extra associated really to safety operations facilities, monitoring the workloads.

Securing the software program growth pipeline

TR: With all of those functions that fall underneath CNAPP, is there an space that isn’t sufficiently addressed by many of the options accessible?

Segal: Sure, on prime of that, and one thing that we’re presently exploring because of our acquisition of Cider Safety — and one thing that almost all disregard or haven’t but considered — is the safety of the CI/CD (steady integration/steady growth) pipeline itself, which in fashionable growth environments constitutes very refined and complicated functions by themselves.

TR: However isn’t the CI/CD pipeline simply the beads within the necklace, because it had been? What, in concrete phrases, is the excellence between the CI/CD pipeline and the step-wise DevOps code-to-cloud processes?

Segal: It’s not the appliance that you’re constructing to your prospects, however relatively the appliance that you’re utilizing to construct your personal software program; third-party libraries that you simply’re bringing in, for instance, or if we’re utilizing Jenkins or CircleCI to construct code and generate artifacts, are we securing these factors as nicely? As a result of I can write probably the most safe cloud-native utility and deploy it, but when anyone can someway tamper with the pipeline itself — with my construct and deployment course of — all the safety that I’m embedding in my very own code just isn’t worthwhile.

TR: As a result of anyone can simply poison the pipeline.

Segal: They will embed malware, as we noticed occur to SolarWinds in 2020 and have seen quite a few occasions these days. And so that is one thing that we’re additionally now contemplating part of CNAPP, although you received’t typically see it described that means.

How the general public cloud creates vulnerabilities for CI/CD

TR: How are cloud-based, open-sourced codebases and hybrid work affecting CI/CD?

Segal: The way in which we used to construct software program — and I’m not speaking concerning the languages and the frameworks, I’m speaking merely concerning the construct course of itself — we might run supply code administration regionally, on a server, not even a knowledge heart, however our personal IT infrastructure. We might pull and push code regionally, construct after which burn it on a CD and ship it to our prospects. In the present day, many of the organizations that we work with use some sort of GIT repository, fully on the general public web, and utilizing an increasing number of companies to do the construct. Jenkins, GitLab, CircleCI, for instance, most of that are consumed as build-as-a-service platforms.

TR: So, not native in any sense and never protected inside a fringe?

Segal: In essence, all the workflow is hosted on the general public web to some extent. Moreover, builders typically use their very own laptops to develop, typically accessing their GIT repositories by a browser. And in the event that they occur to obtain and reply to a phishing e mail or different social engineering assault, they might be susceptible to the actor manipulating them and stealing, for instance, session tokens from the browser, which might then give the attacker direct entry to the GitHub repository. From there, they will start to poison the event course of. So from the perspective of zero belief, we’re exposing probably the most delicate factors in the best way we develop software program in the present day, so it’s not very nicely managed. So, no, there isn’t any perimeter anymore.

Defending the provision chain

TR: By way of defending the provision chain, going again to different merchandise designed to make sure the hygiene of the CI/CD pipeline, I’m conscious of merchandise, some open supply on the market, like in-toto, which assures signatures for each step within the growth course of, so there are not any factors left invisible and susceptible.

Segal: I’ve checked out that undertaking. We not too long ago, a couple of months in the past, acquired an organization in Israel, a startup referred to as Cider, that was actually a pioneer on this area. And as a part of that acquisition, we’re creating a brand new safety module that applies safety guardrails to the CI/CD pipeline.

TR: What does this do for safety groups?

Segal: For a safety particular person, it “activates the lights,” illuminating the event pipelines, as a result of in the present day IT safety utility groups are fully out of the loop in the case of this CI/CD course of, as a consequence of the truth that we have now shifted from a waterfall mannequin to a transport mannequin, and meaning massive percentages of our prospects are pushing code a number of occasions a day — or a number of occasions per week. There’s loads of aggressive stress for groups to develop and push an increasing number of new issues each week, so builders are tremendous busy with coding performance. Even anticipating them to make use of static code evaluation is a bit on the market. On this paradigm, the IT safety or utility safety groups can’t be the choke factors. They can’t be blockers; they should be perceived as helping.

TR: And what does that imply in observe?

Segal: Which means they can’t cease processes to scan every code that’s being pushed. And so they undoubtedly don’t have any visibility into the character of CI/CD pipelines, or the place builders are pushing code to, or what the artifacts and dependencies are or whether or not or not there are dangers, equivalent to whether or not build-as-a-service plugins have entry to code.

TR: By ‘artifacts,’ you imply binaries?

Segal: It could possibly be binaries, container pictures, serverless perform code and even EC2 (Amazon’s cloud computing platform) pictures. It consists of all of the third-party packages, packaged normally as pictures or features able to get pushed to the cloud.

Palo Alto Networks Prisma Cloud to reinforce CI/CD safety

TR: So you might be popping out with a Palo Alto Prisma Cloud product particular to securing CI/CD.

Segal: Sure, we’re planning so as to add a CI/CD safety module to the Prisma Cloud platform to assist safe the software program provide chain. You begin by onboarding your cloud accounts, your code repositories, your construct processes. After which we begin scanning all the pieces. We’ll scan your code on the left. We’ll scan these associated artifacts — the container pictures, for instance — when they’re constructed, and we’ll apply runtime safety on the appropriate. And the entire thing is ruled and operated by the Cloud Safety staff, which is answerable for the end-to-end course of for all the pieces till you push it to the cloud. It’s ensuring that the cloud account is safe, ensuring that you simply don’t have any belongings with dangers being deployed to the cloud.

SEE: Why cloud safety has a “forest for bushes” downside (TechRepublic)

TR: Clearly, shifting left is paramount as a result of upon getting deployed to the cloud flawed or susceptible codebases, you may have created a hydra, proper?

Segal: One line of code, for instance, in a file that you simply write, goes right into a repository that may generate a number of container pictures that get deployed into many, many various clusters on a number of cloud accounts. And so if you happen to had been to play that sort of whack-a-mole and assault the issue on the appropriate, you would need to go and repair and patch 1000’s of cases of the identical downside.

How Palo Alto Networks avoids the ‘hydra downside’

TR: When you wait till it’s already on the market, you might be coping with not one downside, however 1000’s.

It turns into a disseminated downside. How do you repair that?

Segal: Give it some thought this fashion: You make a mistake within the code of a procuring cart performance in your utility, which is now deployed to five,000 containers which might be operating redundantly to assist the visitors on a number of clouds — Google Cloud, AWS, Azure, no matter — in a number of areas. Now, you get a scanning alert from the runtime aspect saying you may have 5,000 cases which might be susceptible. In case your platform is clever sufficient, you may map all of it the best way again to that unhealthy line of code and that particular code dedicated by that particular developer. You possibly can open a ticket to that developer to repair the issue and resolve it in these 1000’s of cases. Additionally, it would be best to prioritize these points: Let’s say you’re wanting on the outcomes on the code stage, and also you see a thousand issues that it’s a must to repair. How are you aware which downside is probably the most extreme? When you now have info from the dwell setting, you may establish susceptible code being utilized in a manufacturing mission-critical setting, versus an issue that’s solely in your staging setting, which isn’t as extreme and is definitely not an imminent menace. These are the sorts of issues {that a} CNAPP permits you, supposedly, to do.

TR: Nicely, that’s crucial as a result of it saves loads of time doubtlessly?

Segal: That’s proper, as a result of there are tens of millions of potential dependencies and actually you solely have to give attention to those which might be related. Having that runtime visibility, and never solely wanting on the static aspect, is what could make a giant distinction. In Prisma Cloud, for instance, our Cloud Workload Safety registers which software program packages are literally loaded into reminiscence within the operating containers. And that is gold. This knowledge is precisely what you want as a way to know how you can prioritize what you need to repair first.

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