Maximizing Your Efficiency as a Cloud Engineer: The Right Tools Make All the Difference

Becca Gomby
Monday, Feb 6th, 2023

For most cloud security engineers and DevOps teams, especially in fast-paced SaaS organizations, your main objective is to secure their organizations’ cloud environments as efficiently and effectively as possible. Your ability to easily integrate tools into your stack improves your ability to operate faster where you can rapidly introduce new features into production.  

Here are the top 3 things cloud security engineers should look for in cloud security tools, to ensure new tools in their security stack are not slowing them down.  

  1. An agentless approach

With an agentless approach, cloud security practitioners can easily connect to their cloud, and get started working almost immediately. Agentless (some vendors call it snapshot scanning) is a best practice in the cloud. The fast and simple deployment means less time you have to spend laboring over manual deployment to every endpoint in the organization, and coverage is ubiquitous across the organization. Cloud security engineers should also look for vendors who in conjunction with an agentless approach, will not require over-permissive roles during their integration process. Best-in-class solutions will only use security audit roles with read-only access – thereby only metadata will be collected. This type of interface will also simplify compliance with security policies and provides all the functionality required without increasing any unnecessary exposure of data. 

  1. Ability to adopt a shift-left perspective from the start

As cloud environments and services continue to evolve and expand, it is critical that security is incorporated into the pipeline from the earliest stages. “Shifting left” aims to improve quality and security by moving security elements such as testing, code reviews and analysis, validations, and assessments earlier in the DevOps process. To effectively and securely operate in the cloud and ensure that new features and products can get to market without being slowed down by bugs or patching, security management should be designed into the development process. DevSecOps and cloud engineers can work better if they are incorporating best practices of security from day 1 of their building and development of features.  

Not all cloud security tools are able to do this effectively, without interrupting the current flow of the development pipeline. Cloud security practitioners should be looking for tools that are developer-first minded and empower developers to build security into the earliest stages. This perspective requires that cloud tool vendors look at security as functional requirements and not just add-ons.  

  1. Consolidating multiple solutions to build provide context and bring focus to the most important findings 

There are many tools that cloud security engineers use daily, and often part of the problem is that they do not communicate easily with one another, and the tools often operate in silo. This typically results in an overabundance of non-critical alerts, or repeated findings, and provided with no context. To maximize manpower, given that cloud security engineers and DevOps personnel are finite resources, leveraging tools that consolidate multiple features and can provide better visibility into what information matters most, is invaluable.  

Cloud security practitioners should be looking for cloud security tools that are able to provide context by unifying multiple tools through one cohesive platform. Through a single platform that streamlines many cloud security tools, engineers and DevOps teams can work more efficiently and easily troubleshoot critical issues via one tool. A cloud native application protection platform (CNAPP) solution is now the common terminology used to refer to platforms that embody these capabilities – CNAPPs are integrated sets of security and compliance capabilities that protect and secure cloud environments from build to runtime.  

Best-in-class CNAPP solutions will be able to help bring focus to your cloud security engineers and DevOps teams, by providing simple and painless integrations to your cloud accounts and into your preexisting tech stack.

Ensuring you select the right tools for your organization 

What is the best way to ensure that you are operating with the best cloud security tool for your organization? Panoptica has created a CNAPP checklist that captures all the most critical considerations organizations should have as they assess cloud security platform options. 

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