7 Keys to Container Security and Microservices
Microservices and container security are a major concern in DevSecOps’ niche cybersecurity field. As in athletics, cybersecurity is no different. Building and maintaining great defense can lift an operation from constant “firefighting” mode to one that allows it to be proactive in growing the business. Great cybersecurity starts with great security planning. Benjamin Franklin said, “A failure of planning is a plan to fail.”
Traditional software development produced large, all inclusive applications. These are now called “monolithic” software. Their biggest problem is that if anything goes wrong, it could bring down the entire application, causing disruption until modifications can occur. It is often difficult for new programmers, or even the predecessors, to improve upon or understand what they wrote in their original code.
What are microservices in DevOps and how do they work?
Recent developments in code and the operators of the systems that run them have shown that it is possible to achieve more by aligning their tools, operations, and practices. DevOps was born.
Continuous improvement through continuous development (CI/CD) is one of the main goals of DevOps. This requires rapid code release, followed by immediate feedback gathering from the operators, who feedback to developers. The cycle continues as the developers deploy new code.
Keeping everything moving quickly is the key to DevOps’ success. Development, Deployment, Feedback, Repeat. Monolithic programming is not suited for rapid improvement. Microservices do.
Applications are created in this rapidly developing development environment as an assembly of microservices, each of which performs a particular function. Each microservice that performs that function is released in a container that contains all the libraries and other resources necessary for it to function. This modularity and completeness of packaging is ideal for cloud computing’s distributed processing nature.
Security of Microservices Containers
To ensure the security of containers as well as their microservice payloads, there are many vulnerabilities that must be addressed.
1. Secure the container host
To host your containers, choose a reliable and well-supported container-focused operating platform. This will reduce your attack surface by removing unnecessary services that aren’t necessary to host your container workloads. You can monitor the health of your hosts by adding monitoring tools. A managed container service offered by a trusted cloud service provider will take care of this for you. They will secure your host and you can simply run your containers.
2. Protect your network environment
Traffic moving to and fro the internet should use an Intrusion Prevention System, (IPS), and web filtering to prevent attacks and filter malicious content. A IPS should be installed to monitor traffic between containers.
3. Secure your management stack
You must ensure that your container registry is properly secured. Secure your Kubernetes installation, and use features such as Pod and network policies for security and development standards.
Secure foundation – Review and monitor communications from project teams regarding dependencies in applications. You’ll need to incorporate the changes made by them when they patch their software to reduce risk to your application.
To verify that your containers are free of malware (top 48 attacks on malware), or other vulnerabilities, use a container scanner. You can also sweep for custom indicators (IoCs) to ensure that they are clean. This allows you to reduce any risk before you develop further or deploy to production.
4. Secure your build pipeline
It is essential to have a consistent and thorough access control system. To protect your pipeline’s integrity, it is crucial to ensure that only authorized users have access to code repositories, integrate branches and trigger builds that are pushed to production.
5. Secure your application
To improve quality, code should follow best practices. Security container vulnerabilities are often caused by simple mistakes or poor design choices. Security dividends are always earned by focusing on code quality. Runtime self-protection controls can be used to identify security flaws and issues in particular lines of code. This closes the gap in root cause analysis and leads for better security outcomes.
6. Secure Your People
There are two types of personnel that you need to plan for: those who are responsible for cybersecurity and those who are not.
The main problem in cybersecurity personnel is the shortage of qualified candidates and the inability to implement cybersecurity training. Four out of five hiring managers express concern about finding qualified candidates. Many are looking for ways to train their staff.
The next challenge is to keep security personnel engaged after they’ve been hired. If they are successful, their job quickly becomes a routine to keep the things they have built running. This can quickly become tiresome so managers need to constantly be looking for new roles and projects to keep employees engaged and stimulated.
As we have seen, users are the most vulnerable part of any network. Their responses will be unpredictable and varied, unlike digital devices. They might miss something or make mistakes. The only solution is to continue reiterating training on the best practices.