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What is a Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP)?

Blog Author
Laura Kenner

As cloud-native applications become the status quo, businesses face a growing array of security challenges. CNAPP (Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform) is a comprehensive security solution designed to safeguard cloud-native applications and infrastructure throughout their lifecycle.

There's no shortage of tools available to help keep your applications secure. However, juggling multiple security tools can be a headache, especially when they don't play nicely together. Today's businesses need a unified solution to help them navigate this complex landscape. 

Let’s explore what CNAPP really means, learn how it relates to other cloud security tools, and how it brings all these tools under one roof to streamline your security operations.


What is CNAPP?

CNAPP stands for Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform. Let's break that down:


C - Cloud: Refers to the environment where your applications live and breathe.


N - Native: This signifies that these applications are built and run in the cloud.


A - Application: Your custom-built or off-the-shelf software that runs in the cloud.


P - Protection: Security measures to safeguard your applications throughout their lifecycle.


P - Platform: A unified solution that combines all the necessary security tools in a single UI.


One acronym to rule them all

Let's review some of the better-known security acronyms that fall under the CNAPP umbrella and explore why it serves as the one acronym to unite and enhance these essential security components.


CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management): Identifies and remediates cloud misconfigurations, enforces policies, and ensures compliance.


CIEM (Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management): Monitors and enforces least privilege access by identifying excessive permissions and automating access rights.


CWPP (Cloud Workload Protection Platform): Offers visibility, monitoring, and protection for cloud workloads across environments.


CDR (Cloud Detection and Response): Detects and responds to threats in cloud environments using advanced analytics and automation.


KSPM (Kubernetes Security Posture Management): Secures Kubernetes environments, assesses posture, identifies misconfigurations, and enforces best practices.

XDR (Extended Detection and Response): Consolidates telemetry from multiple sources for advanced threat detection and response, providing a comprehensive security view.


With Uptycs’ unified CNAPP and XDR, these functions are all part of each customer’s Uptycs Detection Cloud (a security data lake and analytics engine), single user interface, and data model. This eliminates security gaps and provides one comprehensive solution to protect your applications, the tools used to build them, and the environment they run on.


Gartner’s definition of CNAPP

Gartner introduced Cloud-Native Application Protection Platforms as a holistic approach to address cloud-native application security challenges throughout the development lifecycle. Gartner’s definition  combines various security capabilities, such as development artifact scanning, Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM), Infrastructure as Code (IaC) scanning, Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM), and Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP), to provide a unified approach to securing cloud-based environments.


Gartner's framework provides several critical benefits for organizations, including:


  • Proactive vulnerability and misconfiguration identification

  • Continuous security posture monitoring

  • Real-time protection for cloud workloads

  • Streamlined security management through a unified solution

  • Compliance adherence and alignment with security best practices

When it comes to selecting the right cloud-native security tools, look no further than the 2023 Gartner® Market Guide for Cloud-Native Application Protection Platforms (CNAPP). This authoritative guide provides a curated list of representative vendors, and we are proud to say that Uptycs is among them. 


Uptycs unified CNAPP and XDR solution

If you're looking for a comprehensive solution that combines all the necessary security components into a unified platform, look no further than Uptycs.

A proven leader in the CNAPP space, Uptycs provides Gartner's five core capabilities and goes beyond with additional features for a holistic cloud-native application security approach.


Uptycs aligns with Gartner's five core CNAPP capabilities

Staying in line with Gartner's five core capabilities, Uptycs presents the following advanced features to ensure robust cloud security:

    1. Development artifact scanning: Identifies vulnerabilities in early application development stages. 
    2. Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM): Assesses, manages, and rectifies cloud security configurations, ensuring compliance.
    3. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) Scanning: Validates security best practices in cloud setup and deployment.
    4. Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM): Regulates access to cloud resources, ensuring least privilege and automating permissions.
    5. Runtime Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP): Protects cloud workloads and provides continuous visibility and security.

Uptycs goes beyond basics

Beyond the core CNAPP capabilities, Uptycs provides a comprehensive laptop-to-cloud security approach with additional capabilities:


    • Cloud Detection and Response (CDR): Uptycs CDR offers visibility, analytics, and threat detection capabilities within cloud environments, continuously analyzing cloud logs and telemetry to identify malicious activities and unauthorized access.
    • Extended Detection and Response (XDR): Uptycs XDR expands the scope of threat detection beyond endpoints by consolidating and correlating data from multiple sources, including networks, cloud environments, and applications.
    • Kubernetes Security Posture Management (KSPM): Uptycs KSPM extends the capabilities of CSPM to secure Kubernetes environments, addressing misconfigurations and enforcing best practices.

With Uptycs, organizations benefit from a unified platform that combines the core capabilities plus the crucial CDR, XDR, and KSPM functionality. This approach streamlines security operations, reduces complexity, and ensures comprehensive protection for cloud-native applications and infrastructure.


CNAPP’s impact on DevSecOps and securing the CI/CD process

The adoption of DevSecOps and CI/CD pipelines has revolutionized the way applications are developed, deployed, and maintained. With the increasing complexity and speed of these pipelines, the demand for integrated security solutions that align with DevSecOps principles has risen. This is where CNAPP offers its transformative benefits.


Seamless integration with CI/CD pipelines

At the core of DevSecOps is the principle of integrating security measures directly into the CI/CD pipelines. CNAPP offers tools designed to align with this integration-first approach. By doing so, it ensures that security checks and remediations are carried out continuously, right from the coding phase to deployment, thereby optimizing both development speed and security.


Proactive cloud security posture management (CSPM)

One of the primary challenges in the CI/CD process is maintaining a cloud security posture management (CSPM). With cloud infrastructure being dynamic and evolving, security configurations can often be left vulnerable. CNAPP acts as a vigilant watchdog, constantly monitoring cloud configurations, identifying potential misconfigurations, and immediately flagging them. This proactive approach ensures that security risks are mitigated even before they pose any tangible threat.


Unified security platform for DevSecOps teams

Instead of juggling multiple security tools, DevSecOps teams can leverage CNAPP’s unified platform. It amalgamates various security components, ensuring that every stage of the CI/CD pipeline is covered. This not only reduces the overhead of managing multiple tools but also ensures a consistent security posture across the entire pipeline.


Agility and flexibility

In the fast-paced world of DevSecOps, agility is key. Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform offers are tailored to provide flexible solutions that adapt to the unique needs of each organization. Whether it's integrating with existing tools or scaling up as per the application demands, cloud-native application protection ensures that the CI/CD process remains agile without compromising on security.


Collaborative security culture

CNAPP reinforces the "shift left" approach of DevSecOps, encouraging developers, operations, and security teams to collaborate from the outset. By offering real-time insights and feedback, CNAPP helps foster a culture where security becomes an integral part of the development lifecycle, rather than an afterthought.


As organizations look to accelerate their application development without compromising on security, the integration of cloud-native protection into the DevSecOps and CI/CD processes becomes indispensable. CNAPP offers a proactive CSPM approach and seamless alignment with CI/CD pipelines, ensuring that businesses can operate at peak efficiency while maintaining a robust security posture in the cloud.


People are talking

Uptycs has already helped numerous businesses secure their cloud-native applications, with customers praising its ease of use, comprehensive security capabilities, and exceptional support. See for yourself what some of our satisfied customers have to say.


We're here for you

CNAPP is crucial for ensuring the security of your cloud-native applications. 

By choosing Uptycs as your CNAPP solution provider, you'll benefit from a unified platform that combines cloud-native security and XDR capabilities, simplifies management and visibility, and integrates seamlessly with your existing tools and infrastructure. With Uptycs, you can rest assured that your cloud-native applications are well protected against current and future threats.

Don't wait for a security incident to happen before taking action. Explore Uptycs as your go-to solution provider today. Our team of experts is ready to help you safeguard your applications, reduce risk, and ensure the continued success of your business in the cloud. 

Learn more about how Uptycs can empower your organization with cutting-edge solutions tailored to your needs.


Learn More



More CNAPP resources

To gain a deeper understanding of Uptycs and its comprehensive cloud-native application security capabilities, we offer a range of informative resources:



The Ultimate CNAPP Buyer's Guide

A valuable collection of advice and insights into choosing the right Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform for your organization. Learn about essential features, key considerations, and best practices to ensure your cloud-native applications are secure and resilient. 


Analyst Report:

2023 Gartner® Market Guide for Cloud-Native Application Protection Platforms

A great resource for understanding the evolving CNAPP landscape. This report offers valuable insights and recommendations to help organizations make informed decisions about their cloud-native application security.



6 Takeaways from CNAPP Gartner Market Guide 2023

Gain key insights from our blog post that highlights six important takeaways from the Gartner Market Guide for Cloud-Native Application Protection Platforms in 2023. 



Securing DevOps: Hackers' Access to Cloud Production Systems

Discover essential security practices to secure DevOps environments and protect cloud production systems. This blog explores the challenges and best practices for maintaining robust security in DevOps workflows.



Uptycs Live - The Golden Thread: From Laptop to Cloud

Watch this insightful webinar to understand the end-to-end security challenges faced by modern organizations, from securing laptops to protecting cloud environments. Gain valuable insights into building a strong security posture across your entire infrastructure.


Solution Brief:

Cloud-Native Applications

Dive into our solution brief that provides an overview of Uptycs' Cloud-Native Applications capabilities. Learn how Uptycs protects cloud applications and infrastructure by providing visibility, analytics, and threat detection capabilities within cloud environments. 



Why Not Both? Uptycs CWPP Combines Agent-Based & Agentless Scanning for Comprehensive Security

Discover the power of choice with Uptycs Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP), offering both agent-based and agentless scanning options. Learn how to measure risk, gain visibility, and safeguard your cloud environment seamlessly through both deployments.



Laptop to Cloud: 9 Ways to Secure Your Cloud App Dev Pipeline

Discover expert strategies to fortify your cloud app development pipeline in this Ebook by Lee Atchison, a renowned thought leader in cloud computing and application modernization. Gain insights to mitigating  the increasing security risks facing modern application development.