Most CISOs worry cloud software flaws aren’t being caught

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Around three-quarters (71%) of CISOs doubt that their code in the cloud is free from flaws before going into production, new research has found.

According to a worldwide survey of CISOs in large enterprises with over 1,000 employees, 89% of CISOs said microservices, containers, and Kubernetes have caused application security blind spots. The survey also found 97% of organizations don't have real-time visibility into runtime vulnerabilities in containerized production environments.

Pressures to make code live and not having the right tools and processes to ensure code is vulnerability-free for cloud-native apps have worsened these issues.

Over two-thirds of CISOs (68%) said the volume of alerts makes it very difficult to prioritize vulnerabilities based on risk and impact. On average, security teams need to react to 2,169 new alerts, but only 42% of potential application security vulnerabilities each month need action, as the rest are false positives.

Over one-in-four CISOs (28%) said application development teams sometimes bypass vulnerability scans to speed up delivery. Another three-quarters (74%) said traditional security controls, such as vulnerability scanners, are no longer fit for purpose in today's cloud-native world.

Bernd Greifeneder, founder and chief technology officer at Dynatrace, said the increased use of cloud-native architectures has "fundamentally broken traditional approaches to application security."


The secure cloud configuration imperative

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"This research confirms what we've long anticipated: manual vulnerability scans and impact assessments are no longer able to keep up with the pace of change in today's dynamic cloud environments and rapid innovation cycles," Greifeneder said.

"Risk assessment has become nearly impossible due to the growing number of internal and external service dependencies, runtime dynamics, continuous delivery, and polyglot software development, which uses an ever-growing number of third-party technologies. Already stretched teams are forced to choose between speed and security, exposing their organizations to unnecessary risk."

Over three-quarters of CISOs (77%) said the only way for security to keep up with modern cloud-native application environments is to replace manual deployment, configuration, and management with automated approaches.

"As organizations embrace DevSecOps, they also need to give their teams solutions that offer automatic, continuous, and real-time risk and impact analysis for every vulnerability, across both pre-production and production environments, and not based on point-in-time 'snapshots'," said Greifeneder.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.