Agentless Cloud Security | SentinelOne

What is Agentless Cloud Security?: Easy Guide 101

Risk detection in the early days needed a tool or an agent to be introduced into the environment for the security team to understand their on-prem infrastructure and secure it thoroughly. With the growing use of the cloud nowadays, agentless cloud security is becoming more and more realistic.

In this blog, you will learn all about Agentless Cloud Security. To assist you in choosing what’s best for your company, we’ll compare agentless cloud security vs. agent-based cloud vulnerability management options in this post. 

What is Agentless Cloud Security?

Agentless Security is a method of resource protection that avoids placing agents on every resource. Agentless security solutions often monitor and scan endpoints from the “outside” instead of directly running utilities on them. They can do this by reviewing network-available data and analyzing the configuration information that controls resources. Additionally, some agentless solutions interface with the APIs of cloud providers to acquire more information about workloads without deploying agents alongside those workloads.

Key Features:

  • Agentless scanning works across all platforms: There are no OS compatibility demands or issues when using agentless cloud security to locate and scan assets. This allows it to scan switches, routers, and other linked IoT devices without interfering with their functionality.
  • Reduces administrative costs: Systems for agentless cloud security can be quickly and readily installed on workloads due to their portability. Because it lowers management overheads, this is hugely advantageous for enterprises managing hundreds of thousands of virtual computers.
  • Scalability: Agentless cloud security can be scaled easily from a single server to a big data center. For essential settings, it typically uses scalable, lightweight protocols that aid in establishing network connections with cloud assets for thorough agentless cloud security.
  • The environment is not negatively impacted: In contrast to an agent-based strategy, agentless scans take a snapshot of the resources with each scan, which means that the resources aren’t changed. The environment won’t be affected by any changes made to the agentless scanner because security teams won’t have to maintain resources. The volume snapshot technique agentless deep scanning uses ensures your system’s performance won’t be harmed. This is because, rather than utilizing the computing capacity of the cloud system, the connectors merely read data through APIs and do scanning independently.
  • Coverage of Network Scanning: While protecting many endpoints, agentless cloud security offers total insight into the cloud network. This makes it possible to accurately scan all host assets, connected devices, running apps, and their dependencies for vulnerabilities. As a result, continuously updated and automatically updated asset identification and scanning have no blind spots.

Agent-based Vs. Agentless Cloud Security

Agent-Based Security uses the pull communication approach. In systems based on agents, the client acts as the central server, requesting data from the agents as needed. After an automated process, agents typically need to be deployed on each system. Once the agents are set up, the central server can send queries to them for status updates and the outcomes of security-related activities.

Push-based communication is the foundation of agentless cloud security. The connected software in agentless systems periodically sends data to a remote system. Agentless cloud security solutions perform well for baseline security monitoring because of the adaptability of this configuration. You can set them up to scan the entire infrastructure without installing them on every subsystem. However, in order to organize scanning and patch release, a central system must be accessible.

Since agent-based and agentless cloud security is now in use, you might be unsure which one to pick. If you want complete security, you should utilize both. Even so, knowing their advantages and disadvantages can help you decide when to employ each one.

To sum up, agentless cloud security has a variety of enticing qualities, such as:

  • Quicker setup and deployment: Security scans can be run without direct access to every host.
  • Reducing expenses on maintenance.
  • Higher scalability and more initial visibility.
  • Ideally suited for networks with lots of bandwidth.
  • Need for a center host to carry out actions.

The following advantages of agent-based systems over agentless cloud security:

  • Enable thorough host scanning and monitoring: Agents can carry out more sophisticated host component and service scanning.
  • It can act as a firewall since it can restrict network connections according to filtering criteria.
  • Provides runtime protection
  • Offers security safeguards, such as being able to block assaults and patch live systems.
  • Ideal for DMZ areas, networks with low bandwidth, or laptops that may be unable to access the network. The agent can be installed on computers without network connectivity.

Now that you have read about the pros and cons of agent-based and agentless cloud security, you can decide how to protect your infrastructure. 

What are the Benefits of Agentless Cloud Security?

Agent use raises friction issues, which agentless cloud security eliminates. Simply put, agentless scanning brings your data to the scanner rather than the scanner coming to you. It requires minimal upkeep and manual labor. It also causes lesser environmental disruption. Since agents use computational resources, less incursion equals less burden or application disturbance. 

Another big advantage of agentless cloud security is expanded coverage. The method is better suited to cloud requirements like halted machines or fleeting workloads that operate briefly. Agentless solutions regularly inspect these assets. Other benefits of agentless security solutions include more flexibility, a streamlined and central interface, and cost savings.

Why SentinelOne?

Singularity™ Cloud Security combines agentless and agent-based cloud-native protection to deliver insights, threat visibility, and analytics in real-time. Its AI-powered comprehensive CNAPP evolves cloud security with a unique Offensive Security Engine™ and runtime solutions that mitigate threats as they arise in environments. SentinelOne Singularity™ Data Lake consolidates native and third-party security data for AI-powered insights and effective incident response. Singularity Cloud Security provides multi-layer protection against file-born malware and zero-day attacks. SentinelOne easily takes complete inventory of cloud storage and applies policy-based protection. Developers can protect hybrid multi-cloud environments, gain centralized visibility, and effortlessly integrate AWS, GCP, Azure, and DigitalOcean platforms, including Private Clouds.

SentinelOne achieves auto-scalable and performance-driven protection by scanning in milliseconds per file and it also centralizes protection, detection, and response for cloud VMs, servers, containers, and Kubernetes clusters by using the same console. Users can combine static and behavioral detections to neutralize unknown threats against public and private cloud attack surfaces. SentinelOne operates entirely in the user space and is built on an eBPF architecture, providing support for over 14 Linux distributions, 20 years of Windows servers, 3 container runtimes, and Kubernetes. 

Other features offered by SentinelOne are:

  • Automated Storyline™ attack visualization and mapping to MITRE ATT&CK TTPs.
  • Scalable forensic artifact collection
  • Build-time contextual analysis, cloud metadata, and Singularity marketplace integrations
  • Secret scanning and multi-cloud compliance support for regulations such as HIPAA, CIS, NIST, ISO 27001, and many more
  • DevOps-friendly IaC provisioning and auto-deployment of CWPP agents to cloud compute instances in Azure, Google Cloud, and AWS
  • Snyk integration


Applying agentless cloud-native security is one of the best ways to prevent data breaches, scope for vulnerabilities, and address unknown misconfigurations. Without agent-based systems, there is no need to manage multiple components or install agents on new devices. Agentless cloud security can inspect and review security scans and vulnerabilities on remote machines without needing to install agents. Agentless cloud security solutions use APIs to enhance cloud estate visibility and check for vulnerabilities across cloud workloads without sacrificing performance. They are ideal for large network bandwidths, centralized hosts, and require lower provisioning and maintenance costs as well.