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

Blog Author
Laura Kenner

What is CNAPP?

A cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP) is a unified suite of security solutions designed specifically for cloud-native environments. It provides comprehensive protection across the entire lifecycle of cloud-native applications, from development to deployment and ongoing management. CNAPP combines various security disciplines into a cohesive platform, ensuring robust defense against a wide spectrum of threats.

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.


CNAPP features and capabilities

Understanding CNAPP requires a closer look at its core components, each designed to tackle specific aspects of cloud security:

CIEM (Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management)

Cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM) manages and controls access rights within cloud environments, focusing on enforcing the principle of least privilege. CIEM continuously monitors cloud infrastructures, identifying excessive or inappropriate access permissions and remediating them, thereby reducing the risk of data breaches due to insider threats or compromised credentials.

CWPP (Cloud Workload Protection Platform)

Cloud workload protection (CWPP) is designed to protect cloud workloads, including servers, virtual machines, containers, and serverless functions. CWPP offers real-time visibility and security for cloud workloads, ensuring they are protected against vulnerabilities, malware, and unauthorized changes.

CDR (Cloud Detection and Response)

Cloud detection and response (CDR) focuses on detecting and responding to threats within cloud environments, using advanced analytics and automated response mechanisms. CDR tools analyze vast amounts of cloud data to identify potential security incidents and automatically orchestrate responses to mitigate threats.

KSPM (Kubernetes Security Posture Management)

Kubernetes security posture management (KSPM) secures Kubernetes environments, a popular container orchestration platform. It ensures Kubernetes configurations are secure, compliance standards are met, and best practices are followed to prevent misconfigurations and vulnerabilities.

XDR (Extended Detection and Response)

Extended detection and response (XDR) consolidates security data from multiple sources across the network, cloud, endpoints, and other environments to provide advanced threat detection and response. XDR correlates and analyzes data from various security layers, offering an integrated and comprehensive response to complex, multi-stage threats.


The significance of CNAPP in today's cloud landscape

CNAPP's relevance in the current cloud ecosystem cannot be overstated. Its significance is highlighted by the following factors:

Evolving Cyber Threat Landscape 

As cyber threats become more sophisticated, CNAPP provides advanced protection mechanisms, keeping pace with evolving attack vectors.

Increased Cloud Adoption 

With more businesses moving to the cloud, CNAPP ensures a secure transition and operation in cloud environments.

Regulatory Compliance 

CNAPP aids in meeting stringent compliance requirements and industry standards, essential for businesses operating in regulated sectors.

DevSecOps Integration 

CNAPP integrates seamlessly with DevSecOps practices, embedding security into the software development lifecycle and facilitating secure application development.


Benefits of implementing CNAPP

Implementing CNAPP offers a range of benefits, making it an invaluable asset for businesses:

Comprehensive Cloud Security

CNAPP provides end-to-end security coverage, from securing infrastructure and workloads to protecting against advanced threats across the cloud ecosystem.

Enhanced Visibility and Control

With its integrated approach, CNAPP offers greater visibility into cloud environments, enabling more effective control and management of security risks.

Operational Efficiency

By consolidating multiple security tools into a unified platform, CNAPP reduces complexity and streamlines security operations.

Improved Compliance Management

CNAPP facilitates easier adherence to compliance standards, reducing the risk of non-compliance penalties.

Proactive Threat Detection and Response

Advanced analytics and automated response capabilities enable CNAPP to quickly identify and mitigate threats, minimizing potential damages.


By integrating various security functions, CNAPP can be more cost-effective compared to managing multiple standalone security solutions.


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.


CNAPP with Uptycs

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 presents the following advanced features to ensure robust cloud security:

  • Development artifact scanning: Identifies vulnerabilities in early application development stages.

  • Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM): Assesses, manages, and rectifies cloud security configurations, ensuring compliance.

  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC) Scanning: Validates security best practices in cloud setup and deployment.

  • Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM): Regulates access to cloud resources, ensuring least privilege and automating permissions.

  • Runtime Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP): Protects cloud workloads and provides continuous visibility and security.

More Than Just a CNAPP

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.
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. 


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.