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Shift left security means integrating security into your development process as early as possible. 

In the last blog post, we discussed the many benefits of infrastructure as code (IaC) and how it can accelerate your infrastructure automation initiative. In this post, we will discuss how adopting shift left security will enable you to accelerate your infrastructure automation initiative.

Adopting new technology always presents a new set of challenges to organizations. Infrastructure as code enables organizations to provision infrastructure at the rate demanded by the businesses but organizations struggle to meet security and compliance requirements. According to Gartner, “nearly all successful attacks on cloud services are the result of customer misconfiguration, mismanagement and mistakes. Security and risk management leaders should invest in cloud security posture management processes and tools to proactively identify and remediate these risks.” 

Challenges with Cloud Security Posture Management tools  

Today, the perception is that security is slowing down application releases in enterprises because it is “bolted on” after the fact, with Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) tools. These tools identify security risks after the infrastructure is deployed.

Cloud Security Posture Management tools typically sit between “Deploy” and “Release”. In the event a security violation is detected by a Cloud Security Posture Management tool, a release has to be interrupted, ultimately slowing down delivery.  

A better way is to take a shift left security approach where security is integrated into the workflow and evaluated before the “Build’ stage. Think of the shift left security approach as testing infrastructure as code continuously but in this case, you are running tests to evaluate the security impact. Catching security violations this early in the development cycle prevents insecure infrastructure from being deployed. 

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Manually reviewing IaC does not scale

If you are adopting IaC to accelerate your infrastructure automation project and yet you are manually reviewing IaC, it seems counterintuitive. In reality, cloud security engineers struggle to keep up with the demand. The problem is exacerbated by the cloud security expertise shortage which is a real challenge to many organizations that should not be underestimated. 

How does Cloudrail help accelerate your infrastructure automation initiative? 

We recently released an early adoption version of Cloudrail, a cloud automation tool for infrastructure compliance and security. Cloudrail is designed to address the shift left security challenges that are not necessarily the focus of the Cloud Security Posture Management tools. With Cloudrail, you can enforce security requirements early in the development cycle, before violations make it to your production environment. Cloudrail evaluates your infrastructure as code files in conjunction with your live cloud environment.  

Our goal is to integrate Cloudrail into your DevOps toolchains to ensure security is actually followed without slowing down delivery. Cloudrail automates enforcement of security policies replacing the manual process of evaluating IaC against your organization’s security requirements. 

To see Cloudrail in action, watch this video. You can also learn more about Cloudrail in this blog post.

Summary

Cloud automation is essential to your cloud journey. As you adopt Infrastructure as code to scale your cloud deployments, don’t let security and compliance tools slow you down. Use the shift left security approach with your infrastructure as code tools to build secure cloud environments.