What does "democratizing cloud security" mean?

Due to the unprecedented growth of cloud technology, the democratization of cloud security -- making everyone in an organization a stakeholder in security practices -- has become a necessity. But how do organizations undertake this mission?

4 minutes read

Every company in the world is becoming a technology company. Cloud and AI are tremendous enablers that allow teams to quickly transform everything from business models to operations. Developers can quickly build applications to delight customers by using open-source components and innovative services from cloud providers and run them at scale by spinning up ephemeral cloud infrastructure on demand. Developers want to build products that are secure, but it can be overwhelming to keep up with the potential attack surface introduced by new technologies, multiple cloud providers, and different cloud architectures. Enter the concept of democratizing security. 

Traditional security models face new challenges 

In the traditional model, security was the sole domain of a dedicated InfoSec team. These specialists were tasked with safeguarding an organization's digital assets from all potential threats. However, the complexity of the cloud has expanded greatly. More important, the ownership over cloud infrastructure and all the technologies running on it has shifted directly to application and DevOps teams. Even if a member of the security team finds a vulnerability they want to remove, they’re dependent on the development team to remove that vulnerability from within the application and code repository where it was introduced. Tasking a single InfoSec team that may not be up to speed on the latest in cloud and AI development is simply untenable.  

In the new cloud operating model, cloud security is not just the responsibility of a specialized InfoSec team; it’s everyone’s job. Democratizing security means that every person across the organization becomes a stakeholder in the cybersecurity program and feels empowered to manage risk in their respective environments. This approach has given rise to the Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP) category, which includes solutions like Wiz. CNAPPs consolidate security tooling and give security teams and developers (and other collaborating teams) full visibility to their organization’s cloud environment.  

The Gartner Market Guide also reinforces the importance of this shift: “Because security is often viewed as an obstacle to developers, it is absolutely critical to prioritize risks identified and provide sufficient context for the developer to remediate it.” To scale security at the pace of cloud development, you need to “collaboratively put the developer at the core of the application risk responsibility.” 

The solution: democratizing security 

The new cloud operating model democratizes security by incorporating it seamlessly into everyone's roles. This enables security teams with unconditional visibility and risk assessment across their ever-changing cloud environment. If a DevOps team spins up a new Kubernetes cluster or if a developer starts experimenting with the latest AI service, security automatically knows and can view any risks associated with it. Then, if any risks create attack paths to an organization’s crown jewels or don’t meet security’s risk and compliance baselines, the development team responsible for it will be automatically alerted about the risk and given context on why it’s critical and how to fix it. This maximizes both teams’ impact without adding headcount, and it ensures that security doesn't become an afterthought in the software development process. This has become even more important with the advent of GenAI as security and development are evolving their understanding of the technology and risks rapidly together.  

Platforms like Wiz can provide essential support for democratizing security. They provide comprehensive visibility into potential security risks and deliver a prioritized list of critical fixes directly to the relevant teams. These teams can then remove risk in their own workflows. This makes the golden path the easiest path, bridging the traditional gap between developers and security teams. 

Real-world examples 

Wiz customers across various sectors have found value in democratizing security to operationalize a modern cloud security operating model.  


By giving Wiz access to additional teams, such as operations and development, everyone involved in the security process can generate their own reports, identify issues related to their own projects, and remediate them without the security team having to assign a task. 


Achieved "zero-critical" status by effectively remediating risk and eradicating security vulnerabilities early in the software development cycle. 


The firm’s global cloud assets are automatically scanned, generating risk remediation recommendations. Developers, in many cases, can fix risks themselves. 


Wiz empowers developers to fix security problems in their own environments, arming over 150 team members with tools to embed security into their day-to-day processes while respecting fast-paced workflows. 

The future of cloud security is democratized 

With more than 50% of Wiz users sitting outside the security function, it’s clear that democratizing security is not just a trend — it’s the primary strategy for operating at the speed of the cloud.  

It's important to note that democratizing security is as much about a change in mindset as it is about technology. Evangelizing for the distribution of security work across teams requires strong leadership commitment, continuous education among employees who may be new to security practices, and careful tracking of the impact of the new model. However, the benefits of democratizing security to ensure organizations reach and stay at zero critical issues make the effort worthwhile. At Wiz, we’re proud that over 30% of our customers have joined the Zero critical club, which frees teams to focus on best practices and enabling progress, vs. putting out a never-ending series of fires. 

Incorporating different personas, like AI engineers and data scientists, into the new security operating model is also vital. The discovery of a 38TB data leak by our research team serves as a reminder of the critical role these professionals play in maintaining robust security.  

Wiz can help you empower your teams 

Our acquisition of Raftt and our introduction of cloud security capabilities for developers highlight our dedication to pioneering in this area. Our solutions empower not just developers, but also cross-functional teams with automated workflows and self-service access to remediation guidance. This collaborative approach drives efficiency, improves collaboration, and helps eliminate cloud debt by securing the development environment and preventing issues from ever reaching production. 

Whether you're part of a SOC team or a developer, our goal at Wiz is to help you meet your security success criteria. We’re dedicated to helping you ensure that you have the tools and insights necessary to stay secure as you innovate and grow in the cloud. 

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“Best User Experience I have ever seen, provides full visibility to cloud workloads.”
David EstlickCISO
“Wiz provides a single pane of glass to see what is going on in our cloud environments.”
Adam FletcherChief Security Officer
“We know that if Wiz identifies something as critical, it actually is.”
Greg PoniatowskiHead of Threat and Vulnerability Management