From Code to Cloud: Building a Bridge of Unbreakable Security while maintaining speed

From Code to Cloud: Building a Bridge of Unbreakable Security while maintaining speed

By Contributing Writer
Vishakha Sadhwani
  |  June 05, 2024

Imagine your organization has made the key business decision to accelerate digital transformation and get the best out of the cloud by using managed platform offerings. Eager to leverage scalability and agility, you begin the migration. The transition goes smoothly, and you've successfully launched your cloud journey, running production apps and serving traffic at scale. But weeks later, disaster strikes, and a security vulnerability in your code is exploited, compromising sensitive user data and halting your application. This nightmare isn't just hypothetical; it's a harsh reality for organizations that prioritize speed over security during cloud migration.

So, how can organizations pursue agility and velocity to market without compromising security?

Adopting cloud-native environments can be the way to go, but the above scenario can still occur if proper security measures aren't taken. Cloud systems are much more than standards, policies, remote providers, and services. Since the infrastructure itself is dynamic, managing it alongside security and infrastructure governance is complex.

This is where the "code to cloud" approach comes in. But, what does it really mean?

In essence, it's a roadmap for your application's journey, from its inception as lines of code to its final destination in the cloud. But there's more to it than just that.

Let's dive deeper: It is a holistic strategy for protecting cloud-native applications throughout their entire lifecycle. From the moment the first line of code is written to when your application is up and running in the cloud, security is the guiding principle. This approach weaves security practices and tools into every step of development, making security an integral part of the process, not just an afterthought.

But wait, isn't this similar to DevSecOps? Yes, there are similarities, but also key differences. Let's explore those next.

Think of DevSecOps as a collaborative spirit that brings together developers, operations folks, and security experts to build security into every phase of the application's life. It's about breaking down silos and fostering a shared responsibility for security.

So, while both Code to Cloud and DevSecOps prioritize security, their focus differs slightly. Code to Cloud casts a wider net, encompassing the entire lifecycle of applications specifically designed for the cloud environment. DevSecOps, on the other hand, is more about the cultural shift and collaboration needed to integrate security seamlessly into how teams work.

You could say that Code to Cloud is the "what" – the strategic approach, while DevSecOps is the "how" – the collaborative practices that make it happen.

So, now that we understand the meaning and the difference, the next question is: how do you apply the code-to-cloud approach to your organization's application lifecycle? Or what if you're already practicing it?

In a nutshell, the approach is broken into multiple sub-steps that need to be underscored to apply or practice it appropriately. So let's break down this code-to-cloud engine step-by-step, like a well-oiled machine:

Shift Left Security: Imagine building a house. Instead of waiting for the walls to crack to fix them, wouldn't it be smarter to reinforce them from the start? That's "shift left" in a nutshell. Developers use tools like code scanners and threat modeling to find and fix vulnerabilities early on, making your software more resilient from day one. It's a proactive approach, unlike the old "wait and see" (or "shift right") method of reacting to security issues after they arise.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Think of this as building your cloud environment with a blueprint. Every server, network, and configuration is defined in code, making it consistent, version-controlled, and easier to manage. It's like having an instruction manual that ensures everything is built to spec and can be easily replicated.

Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD): This is the assembly line of your software. Automated pipelines continuously test and deploy your code, ensuring it's always in a releasable state. This not only speeds up delivery but also catches issues before they reach production.

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM): This is like having a security guard for your cloud. It continuously monitors your cloud environment for misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, and compliance issues. It's the watchdog that alerts you to potential breaches before they happen.

Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP): This is your application's personal bodyguard. It protects your workloads (containers, virtual machines, etc.) running in the cloud from attacks and threats. It's the last line of defense that keeps your applications safe.

DORA Framework: Think of the DORA framework as a fitness tracker for your software development process. Just like a fitness tracker monitors your steps and heart rate to help you reach your fitness goals, DORA tracks key metrics like deployment frequency and lead time for changes to help you optimize your software delivery.

Now, how does Dora specifically tie into Code to Cloud? Well, the Code to Cloud approach aims to streamline the journey of your applications from development to the cloud, with a strong focus on security. But what good is a secure application if it takes forever to get it into the hands of your users?

This is where DORA comes in. By identifying bottlenecks and areas for improvement in your delivery process, this framework helps you accelerate your time to market. This means you can release new features and updates faster, without sacrificing security. It's like having a personal trainer who helps you build muscle (speed) without compromising your form (security).

Now, as the old adage goes, though, the pendulum swings both ways. If you address security early and continuously throughout the development process, the risk of vulnerabilities and attacks is significantly reduced. Automating security steps from the very start doesn’t really incur any trade-off with speed, and eventually, you have well-defined guardrails to ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations.

Call to action: Start by assessing your current security posture. Are you doing everything you can to shift left? Is your infrastructure built like a fortress? Are your pipelines humming along smoothly? If not, research the market for existing solutions that best fit your platform.

Disclaimer : The views expressed in this article are solely the author's and do not represent those of their employer.

About the Author

Vishakha is an engineer with a passion for tech content writing and speaking. Currently, she's a dedicated technical Cloud Architect at Google (News - Alert), crafting large-scale cloud solutions for digital-native customers. With over eight years of experience with various open-source tools and platforms, she's a cloud security enthusiast who has worked across multiple cloud platforms. Vishakha also enjoys mentoring those new to the cloud technology scene. To learn more about her work and connect, visit her LinkedIn (News - Alert) profile at

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