Neatly packaged code in a unit of software, known as a “container”, has been a useful tool for many app developers.
It takes up less space compared to virtualization.
The technology enables the applications to run quickly.
What’s more, container technology facilitates the shift from one environment to another — allowing effortless transitions of your existing system to the cloud.
Considering that it’s lightweight and fast, your wait time for deployment of one software to another decreases significantly.
Reliable transfer to cloud computing solutions is what draws most professionals to this simpler solution.
However, if you’re like most app developers that have replaced virtualization technology in favor of a container, you worry about potential cybersecurity issues.
How can you get the most out of container technology and secure the apps that depend on it?
We’ll discuss its weakest points, what container security should cover, and some unique challenges you might encounter when protecting your software.
Common Vulnerabilities for Containers:
Likely flaws that you might experience if you adopted this technology include:
- Lack of overview — keeping up with the number of containers
- Frequent updates
You’ll never have a neat list of all the containers that you possess. They shift and change with every update, and they’re difficult to keep up with.
The good news is — since they’re replaced often, it’s easier to patch up flaws as they appear. The challenge is that many new containers are created daily, and security has to cover many of them.
Considering that they’re updated often, it can be difficult to secure them because every new update can result in weaknesses that can be exploited by hackers.
As you might have noticed, some vulnerabilities of this technology overlap with its benefits. Advantages that make its wide use and application in various environments approachable can also turn into flaws if not protected.
Common Security Mistakes:
Common errors in securing the container include:
- Failing to adjust the existing security for your context
- Securing them too late
- Not testing the tools you have
The thing is — the container often does involve some level of security. The main mistake that IT teams make is that they deploy it as it is — without adjusting it for organizations.
All businesses have a unique infrastructure they work with — different devices, systems, and technologies they rely on as well as different security tools. With cybersecurity, it’s important to configure the tools for your company.
Security measures must be adopted on time — meaning during all phases of the app development.
You might not know if the protection you have even works until you get hacked — and then it might be too late. Test your security regularly with automated solutions to discover any flaws early.
Securing the Container App
How can you secure the container and avoid common flaws from turning into incidents that breach your organization and leak data to the public?
To guard this technology, you have to ensure that you’ve protected images, the container itself, the platform on which it runs, hosts, and more.
Employ the measurements that protect container applications specifically. With this, you don’t secure only the containers, but also the entire system that is linked to it.
The Role of Holistic Cybersecurity and Traditional Tools
Even though containers do have some very specific vulnerabilities, it’s good to protect them with a holistic view of security. This means securing not only the containers themselves, but also all the devices that you use for work and the people who use them.
Can some of the cybersecurity tools that you use to protect other systems work here as well?
Techniques that you can borrow from the way you’ve been protecting traditional software include maintaining basic cybersecurity hygiene. This can mean scanning the system for possible flaws and continually patching up the vulnerabilities within the system.
The fundamentals of security hygiene that can help you secure containers such as regularly discovering the weak spots in your security and mitigating them before they cause a major breach is also important here.
Avoid abandoning all the good cybersecurity practices that you’ve been relying on to protect your systems before adopting this technology, as it can be a costly mistake.
You should keep investing in effective anti-malware, and firewalls, and include all your employees in basic cybersecurity training.
With that being said, you might need some additional tools to target the security issues that are unique to containers.
To protect your containers, make sure that you have the tools that can guard files packaged in the software and employ cybersecurity solutions that target the unique vulnerabilities of this technology.
After you form strong security foundations, all there is left to do is maintain the system. Regularly check the containers for weakness, mitigate the flaws, improve your security, rinse and repeat.
Unsecure containers can lead to cyber breaches. As a result, this technology can be connected with cyber breaches and be perceived as innately vulnerable.
Similar things have happened with cloud environments. The rapid adoption of this technology to adjust to remote work at the start of the pandemic has been accompanied by multiple breaches. As a result, companies have lost their capital as well as their reputation.
Businesses have been adjusting to the technology for which they had no protection. Some also may not even know how to use it without accidentally causing errors that lead to vulnerabilities such as misconfigurations.
As with any new technology, to get the most out of a container tech, it has to be used properly and protected on all levels. This can be challenging when you’re implementing a new solution, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run if you start on time.