Containerized environments have quickly altered the digital landscape. By allowing development teams to become more agile, this innovative technology is helping spur growth at an even more rapid pace. Even so, it is not without its challenges. In part two of our deep dive into containers, challenges related to security and compliance emerged as a top concern for developers. Why? Because containers are not security tools, they are DevOps mechanisms designed to deploy and manage apps at scale. That said, any stream of thought that suggests that containers are inherently more secure than hyper-scale or other on-prem solutions is a misconception that should be quickly dispelled.
Over the course of this year and well into next year, container utilization is expected to expand significantly. This will require organizations and industries to make securing these environments a priority. Failure to do so may place various applications and processes at risk. To avoid these container security pitfalls, organizations must consider a best practices approach that includes increased monitoring and the introduction of vulnerability management programs.
1. KNOW YOUR ECOSYSTEM
To protect your containerized environment from threats, you must be able to quickly identify anomalies and irregular activity. This will require developers to closely monitor their ecosystems for risky behavior. Employing the use of container security solutions is an effective way to monitor your containerized environments for risky and irregular activity across your container ecosystem. This increased level of monitoring will help identify breaches quickly and provide the visibility you need, no matter where your container strategy stands.
2. HARDEN YOUR HOST ENVIRONMENT
This step is sometimes overlooked but is a critical element in securing your container ecosystem. Taking the steps to secure individual containers is important but hardening the security of the systems on which your containers will run is equally important. As an example, you may choose to remove noncritical native services from the production host. Doing so forces users to access the host through the containers and centralizes control making it less likely for intruders to bypass container security controls.
3. ELIMINATE VULNERABILITIES BEFORE YOU DEPLOY
Vulnerability scanning is an integral part of your container security strategy. By their very nature containers can be vulnerable to malicious code which can be introduced via any of the layers added to the container's base image. A vulnerability scan adds an extra layer of protection by ensuring that each image is safe.
4. LIMIT THE LIFESPAN OF YOUR CONTAINERS
While many developers may use their containers like a server it is important to remember that this technology is touted as more secure because it is designed to be used briefly. Using a small number of large containers not only increases the attack surface for bad actors but weakens the overall security. Instead, minimize the number of files you store in individual containers and refresh active containers frequently.
Whether you’re a startup or an established enterprise, now is the time to take advantage of the increased agility of which containers provide. Whatever your organization’s containerization needs Cloud Carib offers the expertise that makes the process more efficient and infinitely less overwhelming. Through partnerships with companies like RedHat, we’re able to provide container management services that span the entire hybrid cloud infrastructure ensuring that your operation can focus on meeting its ultimate goals for growth now and into the future.