Securing Cloud Native Applications: Your Checklist

Securing Cloud Native Applications: Your Checklist

Cloud native development brings tremendous benefits of speed and agility, but existing security approaches break down as organizations migrate their workloads to containers. What fundamental capabilities do you need to secure modern applications deployed in these increasingly dynamic environments? Use our cloud native security checklist to discover the key concepts of cloud native security and find out whether your strategy is up to scratch.

Cloud native security involves a comprehensive set of capabilities across the build, infrastructure, and workloads. The checklist covers the key concepts for cloud native security and outlines the core capabilities that underpin any effective security strategy in the cloud.

Why is cloud native security different?

In the past, security teams were accustomed to planning and operating in an environment that, unlike a cloud native environment, is composed of discrete, infrequent releases with little open source, and in which workloads are persistent, the host has a permanent address, and the hypervisor or hardware is isolated. 

In the cloud native environment, applications are built mostly using open source components, frequent code updates continually flow through automated CI/CD pipelines, and highly ephemeral workloads are dynamically orchestrated with Kubernetes and deployed across multiple diverse environments. Hence, the strategies used to ensure the security of the applications need to change and adapt to this new world of DevOps and accelerated release cycles.

Holistic, full lifecycle security: Critical capabilities

Protecting the entirely new attack surface of cloud native environment requires a holistic approach that addresses unique security requirements across all stages of the application lifecycle, spanning the build, infrastructure, and runtime.

So, what security capabilities should you look for? Some of the essential elements include:

“Shift left” with automated scanning

Embedding security as early as possible into the software development lifecycle is key to securing cloud native applications right from the start. You should “shift left” and integrate security tools into the CI/CD pipeline to find and remediate vulnerabilities and other risks as the code is created.

Risk-based vulnerability management

To effectively manage your vulnerability posture, you need to prioritize CVEs based on their actual impact on your environment. A risk-based approach considers contextual factors, with recommended prioritization for remediation and mitigation of vulnerabilities.

Supply chain security

Malicious actors are increasingly looking to infect the software supply chain with malware to carry out sophisticated attacks that evade traditional application security testing. To detect such hidden malware in your CI/CD pipeline, you should run images in a secure sandbox before production.

To get the full list of critical capabilities to secure your cloud native applications along with technical examples, download our cloud native security checklist.


Cloud native security can seem intimidating and overwhelming, especially when many different teams are responsible for different pieces of the cloud native application life cycle.

If you’re involved in DevOps, cloud engineering, security, or compliance, use this checklist to gain a full understanding of the capabilities required to secure cloud native applications and the infrastructure on which those applications run.

This simple checklist can help you close the security gap and ensure that your security strategy is set up for success across the build, infrastructure, and workloads.

Cloud Native Security

Lena Fuks

Lena Fuks is a Product Marketing Manager at Aqua. With a background in public relations for technology companies, Lena now writes blogs, whitepapers, and articles to help people understand the value of Aqua. She is passionate about simplifying complex things and engaging with audiences through storytelling. In her free time, Lena enjoys working out and watching beautiful Mediterranean sunsets.