The use of containers has grown rapidly and for a good reason. The usage has already gone mainstream and moving into production environments. And the reason behind this rapid growth is that containers can push DevOps development a step ahead, and can also help in rolling out code quickly with minimal defects.
However, with this, security concerns are also increasing. Companies nowadays are worried and are seeking ways to secure containers. And the reason why this security concerned has emerged is the fact that a container includes different components and images and more the components there, more is the possibility of vulnerabilities available. Meaning, any hacker or attacker can find one of the vulnerabilities and exploit.
In order to maintain a certain level of security and control while enabling containers, we list down some of the best container security practices that you should consider.
Visibility is considered to be one of the most important aspects when it comes to cybersecurity. An organisation must have the right architecture to keep on their existing solution. For that, there are several tools available that provide a complete inventory of the container. So, it is always advised to make use of one such tool in order to have visibility.
Also, this provides you with the ability to pay attention to solutions that can monitor rogue containers by looking at signature and image drifts.
Have Control And Knowledge Of The Image Source
It’s again one of the most important things to keep in mind. Usually, images are either built by developers or downloaded from some third party. Also, there are cases when a developer prioritizes speed over security or quality and builds images from scratch with custom code. Meaning, there are chances that even the custom-built image is made on top of some other image (this could be from a third party also). This poses severe risks as not every third party is trustworthy.
So, in order to cope with this challenge, you can make a list of specific sources or publisher from where you import images. And make sure, if there is downloaded images, it is from one of the sources that the company has mentioned in the protocols.
Remove Local Debugging Tools
You must be wondering why it is suggested to remove something that debugs. The reason behind this is basically very simple; local debugging tools sometimes are typically privileged, and this is what attackers usually look for. One loophole or one-week security, and that same debugging tool could be used to hack or compromise containers. Therefore, it is considered to be a good practice to not to have any local debugging tool.
Further, you can always include a vulnerability scanning and keep an eye on all the containers as a regular part of the container creation and staging processes in the container registry.
As we have mentioned in the previous point that sometimes tools that debug are granted high privileges and that sometimes end up being a threat factor. So, if a company wants to stick to such tools and don’t want to remove them, what they can do is limit the privileges they are given. Limiting privileges would also reduce the risk of getting compromised to a significant extent.
Have Active Detection And Response
Last but not least, this is without a doubt one of the most important things to keep in mind. Having a threat detection system is obviously important, but what is more important is how and when you take action against the threat. The response time matters, and it matters to a great extent.
It is no surprise that there are threats that are unknown and could eventually enable intrusions or system compromises. So, it is imperative to be prepared for the worst case scenario — even after vulnerability scanning. If you want to ensure that your containers are safe, secure and sound, you have to have a strong policy where the response to a threat is given a significantly high priority.
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