Demystifying Code to Cloud: What You Need to Know

6 min.

February 27, 2024

As modern application development evolves, it is crucial to reassess and realign security solutions. Adopting a code to cloud AppSec approach not only enhances scalability and flexibility but also positions your enterprise for business success.  

Cloud-native applications have gained popularity over traditional monolithic applications in recent years due to their scalability, flexibility, and efficiency. In contrast to monolithic applications, cloud-native applications use microservices architecture and containers and are specifically designed to be modular, lightweight, and highly adaptable. Cloud-native applications enable organizations to adapt seamlessly to evolving business needs, facilitating faster time-to-market.

While this offers unparalleled opportunities for business growth and innovation, it also poses a major security challenge. The dynamic nature of the cloud-native paradigm widens the attack surface, leaving organizations vulnerable. Traditional application security tools can’t properly secure the borderless landscape of cloud-native architecture. 

So, what is the most effective way to secure cloud-native development?

Shift From Monolithic to Cloud-Native 

Originally considered the technological cornerstone for enterprises, monolithic applications feature tightly integrated components that operate on dedicated servers, with their entire codebase residing in one place. Since monolithic applications are so contained, their attack surface is much smaller and straightforward to secure.

While initially fostering business success, the technological inflexibility and complicated scalability of monolithic applications began stifling business development and growth. Each feature change or update required extensive architectural overhauls, demanding coordination across all teams. A single point of failure could lead to a system-wide crash.

Organizations became increasingly frustrated with these limitations, and the need for a better alternative became evident. 

Enter cloud-native applications.

Cloud-Native Applications

Triggered by these shortcomings, organizations began shifting to cloud-native environments. 

When we talk about “cloud-native” we are referring to applications, or services, that run on cloud environments from the ground up. These applications take full advantage of cloud computing frameworks.

The shift to cloud-native development revolutionized how applications are created. These new capabilities help facilitate more agile software that could adapt to shifting demands, enabling faster innovation, smoother deployments, and better communication.

However, this model has its drawbacks, including shared responsibility model, openness of default settings, lack of visibility, and availability over security focused.

The dynamic nature of cloud-native environments demands a more comprehensive security solution. 

Protecting Cloud-Native Applications

The traditional security methods simply cannot keep up with the dynamic nature of cloud-native development, leading to gaping holes in their application protection. 

The flexibility of cloud-native development fosters innovation but can make it difficult for traditional AppSec solutions to provide a comprehensive view of vulnerabilities. As a result, organizations are faced with either prioritizing infrastructure security or maintaining a balanced security approach, potentially leaving vulnerabilities unaddressed. In addition, there is very little communication between AppSec and developers, leading to solution silos.

Protecting cloud-native applications demands a holistic security approach that fosters communication between all stakeholders to ensure that every part of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) is protected, from code to cloud. 

How can this be achieved?

What About The “Shift Left” Approach?

Let’s first take a step back.

To combat the speed and agility of cloud-native development, many initially called for “shifting left” in application security. This approach emphasized integrating security testing earlier in the development cycle, literally moving security testing from the right (deployment) to the left (development) of the SDLC. The idea here was to proactively catch vulnerabilities and misconfigurations at the beginning of the development process to prevent them from persisting into later stages. 

This aimed to shorten feedback loops and foster a proactive security mindset. 

And it helped – in the beginning. While effective in catching issues earlier in the pipeline, the overemphasis on early-stage protection may have given a false sense of security leaving crucial applications vulnerable. 

This gap highlighted the need for a balanced and holistic AppSec approach: code to cloud.

Code to Cloud Protection

Shifting left isn’t enough anymore. Prioritizing security measures at every phase of the SLDC – and not just the beginning – has become crucial. According to Aqua Nautilus research, in the past year alone there was a 300% surge in attacks targeting the code, infrastructure, and development tools. This emphasizes the need for balanced and comprehensive security measures across the SDLC. To protect from code to cloud, instead of just shifting.

What Does “Securing From Code” to Cloud Actually Mean?

Securing applications from code to cloud means applying security controls in every stage of the SLDC, including during: 

  • Training: Initiate security with developer education on secure coding best practices. 
  • Coding: Adopt tools like Static Application Security Testing (SAST) and API security during code creation to help pinpoint potential risks within the codebase before deployment.  
  • Building: Utilize testing tools such as Continuous Integration (CI), Software Composition Analysis (SCA), and Software Supply Chain Security (SSCS) for seamless development workflows, third-party vulnerability detection, and visibility into the application components.
  • Testing: Use Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) to simulate real-world cyber threats, ensuring a comprehensive security assessment. 
  • Deploying: Implement Infrastructure as Code (IaC) security to narrow down potential attack points and ensure a safe application rollout. 
  • Go-live: Implement real-time monitoring and dynamic threat detection during the runtime phase. 

Only a comprehensive code to cloud AppSec approach can secure the entire SDLC, create a resilient business environment, and reduce costs in the face of evolving cyber threats.

Checkmarx’ Code to Cloud Approach

So, does such a comprehensive code to cloud solution exist? It does!

Checkmarx takes a unique approach to securing applications from code to cloud. While most solutions approach cloud security from an infrastructure, network, or workload perspective and then shift left, Checkmarx starts securing from the very first line of code. Our industry leading Checkmarx One platform offers a full breadth of security capabilities to protect every stage of the SDLC, correlate security findings, and prioritize remediations so you can make the biggest impact on reducing risk.

Here are some of the Checkmarx One benefits: 

Unified AppSec platform 

Correlates all security data to prioritize remediation and identify risk across your entire footprint – including cloud-native and traditional non-cloud applications. 

Comprehensive AppSec capabilities 

Provides the full suite of capabilities required to secure cloud-native applications all on a unified, consolidated application security platform. 

Seamless integration across the SDLC  

Offers the broadest set of SDLC integrations, including IDEs, SCM tools, CI/CD tools, and feedback tools. This enables automatic security scans as applications progress from code to build to deploy in the cloud.

Visibility from code to cloud 

Correlates security data across every stage in the SDLC – including runtime insights – to provide true visibility into the vulnerability lifecycle from code to cloud.

If you’re interested in how Checkmarx One can secure your organization from code to cloud, feel free to schedule a personal demo here.


The evolution from monolithic to cloud-native applications presents opportunities and challenges. While cloud-native applications offer more scalability and flexibility, they also bring new security complexities. The need for a comprehensive AppSec solution that protects from code to cloud is imperative, especially considering the gaps in the shift left security.

Checkmarx One was created to protect your applications from code to cloud, so that they are secured throughout the entire SDLC. 

Don’t leave even one line of code exposed – make sure your applications are secured from code to cloud today!