A Watershed Moment for Threat Detection and Response

Cloud attackers are outpacing the capabilities of endpoint detection and response, so organizations must transition to more advanced cloud detection and response.

June 24, 2024

4 Min Read
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The scale and complexity of cloud environments is transforming cybersecurity requirements, demanding a swift and sophisticated response to emerging threats. Cloud attacks unfold with breathtaking speed — sometimes within minutes, marking the difference between containment and catastrophic damage. According to the Sysdig 2023 Global Cloud Threat Report, cloud attacks can execute fully in just 10 minutes. This rapid execution compels security teams to meet the 555 Benchmark for Cloud Detection and Response: five minutes for detection, five minutes for correlation and triage, and five minutes for response.

These high stakes reveal the inadequacy of traditional endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools, which fall short in the dynamic and fast-paced world of the cloud. The 555 Benchmark underscores the urgent need for cloud-native detection and response capabilities to effectively combat cloud threats. 

The Complexity of Securing the Cloud

The dynamic nature of cloud environments makes threat detection complicated. As new cloud resources spin up, the attack surface expands exponentially, creating a significant amount of data and alerts. This "noise" makes it difficult to identify genuine threats amid the constant flux of cloud activity. Traditional security measures, designed for more static environments, struggle to keep pace with the dynamic scale of cloud infrastructures. Moreover, correlating events to specific identities in the cloud is complex, as identities and permissions can change frequently, further complicating threat detection and response.

Compounding these difficulties, attackers are leveraging AI to craft intricate and highly adaptive threats that evolve at unprecedented speeds. Adversaries use automated scans to relentlessly probe for vulnerabilities and initial access points, as well as automated reconnaissance algorithms to map out cloud environments with precision and speed.

Why EDR Falls Short in the Cloud

Many organizations opted for a makeshift cloud security strategy by expanding their existing EDR solutions to cover their cloud environments. This approach is fundamentally flawed because EDR focuses on detecting threats at the host level and lacks the visibility required to fully grasp the cloud context. This creates significant gaps in detection and response capabilities.

Incidents in the cloud are complex and multidimensional, which makes it difficult for EDR to correlate and contextualize events across multiple domains. This forces security analysts to manually piece together disparate detections into coherent incidents, which is time-consuming and error-prone. EDR solutions can't deliver the visibility, context, and insight from cloud-native services that security teams need to stay ahead of attackers.

As a consequence, attempting to leverage EDR in the cloud has bottlenecked security operations across multiple lines of business. EDR solutions are too slow and inadequate to detect, correlate, and respond to threats in the cloud.

Cloud Detection and Response Paves the Way Forward

As cloud threats evolve at breakneck speed, the “good enough” approach of using EDR tools for cloud security has become obsolete. Attacker innovations have far outpaced the capabilities of EDR in the cloud, marking a watershed moment where organizations must transition to more advanced cloud detection and response (CDR) solutions.

CDR capabilities within a cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP) deliver advanced detection and response across a range of cloud technologies, such as containers, Kubernetes, serverless computing, cloud logs and trails, and Linux and Windows servers. To meet the 555 Benchmark, security teams cannot waste time switching between user interfaces (UIs) and tabs. A CNAPP provides a unified platform approach that offers comprehensive coverage, surpassing what traditional EDR solutions can provide.

True CDR delivers:

  • Continuous monitoring with real time detections of known and unknown threats.

  • Automated real-time correlation of events, vulnerabilities, and identities to provide deep cloud-native context.

  • Manual and automated response countermeasures to eradicate threats.

This approach gives security and platform teams immediate access to insights and context, enabling them to respond swiftly to threats and incidents without the fragmentation of workflows across environments. By embracing a CNAPP strategy, organizations can streamline their cloud security operations, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in safeguarding their cloud environments.

Empowering Teams With Proactive Cloud Security

With the rapid pace of digital transformation and the increasing sophistication of cyber threats, the need for robust and adaptable cloud security solutions has never been greater. CDR within CNAPP not only meets the challenges posed by cloud environments, but also supports organizational growth and innovation by enabling secure cloud adoption.

Adopting a CNAPP becomes not just a necessity but a strategic advantage. It empowers teams to proactively detect and respond to threats, optimize their workflows, and maintain a strong security posture in an ever-changing cloud landscape. By making the shift from EDR to purpose-built cloud security solutions, organizations can confidently embrace the benefits of the cloud while protecting the security and integrity of their data and applications.

By Ryan Davis, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Sysdig

About the Author


Ryan Davis is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Sysdig. He drives the go-to-market strategy for core cloud security initiatives and use cases. Previously, Ryan led cloud product marketing at ExtraHop.

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