Container security is something that organizations should consider well before opting for application containerization at scale. The process comes with many potential benefits, and hence it is essential to be aware of the unique challenges it presents. These challenges can be addressed in the design phase by incorporating certain best practices from the get-go. Here is a look at eight best practices that will help your team in deploying containerized applications faster and efficiently.
#1 - Reducing Potential Attack Surface
A crucial element in container security. One way to limit the attack surface is to prevent vulnerable code from getting into production environments. Since users with access to the root kernel account can view and access environments, measures should be taken to harden kernel and manage access controls.
#2 - Validating Authenticity of Images
Containerized application images rely on the kernel's specific OS type. Unlike VMs, there different OS's can't run on the same VM here. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure the credibility of images and check whether they are from trusted registries.
#3 - Central Management of Access Controls
Enabling centrally managed access controls will let you keep track of who made the changes in settings and configurations and assign restrictions if needed. This step will also reduce the scope of potential attacks.
#4 - Security of Containers Supporting Microservices-based Architecture
Containers largely support microservices-based architectures. Since these services can be exposed to networks creating network interfaces, ensuring their security is paramount.
#5 - Set up Real-Time Threat Monitoring and Response Systems
Threat monitoring and response systems can be lifesavers for applications in case of breaches or bugs in the containerized environment. From behavioral baselines to personnel alerts, there are many ways of establishing a monitoring and response system.
#6 - Use Container Isolation Effectively
Container environments are known for their ability to isolate applications, data, users, and processes. To optimize and use the said ability effectively and smoothly, containers should run with minimum privileges.
#7 - Setting Up Effective Vulnerability Assessment
With containers, there are two components when it comes to patching and setting up effective vulnerability assessment - updating the base image and then rebuilding the application image.
#8 - Shared Responsibility
With image scanning included in the container pipeline, security integration can be done where it is needed. Implementing this is not a siloed activity, but a shared responsibility.
Ensuring Container Security
Container deployments are getting better in terms of security by adopting safe practices, strategies, and managed solutions. For example, VEXXHOST is Kubernetes certified and offers fully managed deployments with seamless integration, constant monitoring, and security. Additionally, our cloud services are based on OpenStack, making the environments free from licensing fees or vendor lock-ins. For many of our clients, private clouds are the preferred choice because of their highly scalable and secure nature.
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