Container security was named by Gartner as one of the main concerns for the current year, which is why it is time for organizations to look at different ways to improve it now. There is a need to have a solid plan for security implementation, especially as more businesses look towards containers for storing data. Even though containers aren’t new and have been around for more than a decade, they are having their moment in the sun and are gaining increasing popularity as time passes.
That’s because there are tons of exciting features about containers, including reusable and lightweight code, lower development costs, and flexible features. However, the time has come for organizations to start using different tools if they want to ensure that container security becomes a foolproof plan for them and not an afterthought.
Therefore, we will be sharing some of the main ways you can implement container security, including ways to improve it. Here is everything that you should know about container security and ways to improve it:
1. Look at the Offerings of Your Cloud Provider
The first step you should take towards improving container security is familiarizing yourself with the built-in security offerings that are offered by your cloud provider. There will be numerous tools that you will have to look at, which will include Google Kubernetes Engine, Azure Security Center, Amazon Inspector, and Google Cloud Security Command Center. Some tools like the Azure Security Center are security tools that are general-purpose, which means that they aren’t designed for securing containers.
2. Check the Security Features Related to Native Docker
There are plenty of security features that you must oversee and check to ensure that your container security is at top-notch levels. This will include checking the security features that are related to native docker. That involves the use of policies for preventing abuse of resources, removing root access in places where it isn’t required, and setting up groups for access control.
3. Try Out Open-Source GitHub Projects
You can check out different projects like Bench Security, which is designed for checking your code for security best practices. There are also various tools that are Linux-native, like seccomp, which are meant to be affordable options for container security. In essence, there is plenty of software that you must get your head around and learn.
These involve the authentication and identity for all your applications that you are intent on building and your users. You must also look at how you are controlling this access. In the end, you want to be in a position from where you can audit and examine log files and how you can filter and view them so that you have information that is actionable for your security posture.
There is also the need to check the underlying infrastructure, which is meant to protect secrets like SSL certificates and API keys. These are meant to be stored in encrypted formats so that you have no threats from cyber-attacks or from cybercriminals.
This is just the beginning because we will soon be looking at the three main areas that you need to secure for protecting containers for your organization. These include the following:
1. Securing the Build Environment
As developers find containers to be so useful for them, it makes a lot of sense that you look into the arena for DevSecOps. It will add security, especially when you are building your container, instead of waiting until after the project has been coded. It’s known as a best practice to secure your applications and ensures that you don’t have to worry about the coding being wrong for your application.
Securing the build environment is the first step that you must take because it will compromise the entire project if it is left as it is. You need to ensure that you are taking the right steps at the beginning of the project to ensure container security, as that is when it is at its most vulnerable. Taking the right steps from the beginning is what most organizations overlook and that is why they end up paying the price.
2. Securing All the Underlying Hosts Housing the Containers
In general, this translates into running a version of Linux that is stripped-down and doesn’t have many running services because the potential surface of the attack can’t be compromised. Most of the tools have been engineered to help the host harden itself and protect it from unwanted attacks. You can use another method for this, which is by using the Docker control groups we have mentioned before.
You can also isolate the namespaces so that your containers are separate from one another and reflect a sturdy security policy that can’t be compromised. That will prevent the containers from being infected and will be part of a robust security policy. There are also several shops that are using virtual private connections offered by cloud providers that help them in isolating their containers.
A main part of the process is known for segregating the workloads and using various access levels along with different mechanisms. It will limit the amount of running containers for each host, and that’s the reason why so many shops are only running single containers for every host.
3. Securing Your Containers Content
Now we get to the final stage of improving container security, and here, you must look at the building blocks of the container. The main area of concern is ensuring that your container is built in a fashion that supports third-party security features. That way, you can ensure that you can add third-party hosts for additional security of your container.
That will ensure your container doesn’t get compromised and is safe from all sorts of threats and harms that it may come across. The main goal of this method is to ensure that all the content stored in your containers doesn’t get leaked or compromised in the least bit from outside attacks.
Container security is very important for businesses as that ensures their data and content is safe from harm and won’t be compromised by an attack. Organizations today are looking at newer methods to ensure that their containers aren’t at risk of cyber-attacks, and that means giving more preference to container security. Fortunately, the ways we have shared above will ensure that your containers are safe from all threats and harm as they will have enhanced security features.
Further blogs within this Secure Container Best Practices category.