Container Security 2018: Runtime Security Controls

By Adrian Lane
After the focus on tools and processes in previous sections, we can now focus on containers in production systems. This includes which images are moved into production repositories, selecting and running containers, and the security of underlying host systems. Runtime Security The Control Plane: Our first order of business is ensuring the security of the control plane: tools for managing host operating systems, the scheduler, the container client, engine(s), the repository, and any additional deployment tools. As we advised for container build environment security, we recommend limiting access to specific administrative accounts: one with responsibility for operating and orchestrating

Container Security 2018: Securing Container Contents

By Adrian Lane
Testing the code and supplementary components which will execute within containers, and verifying that everything conforms to security and operational practices, is core to any container security effort. One of the major advances over the last year or so is the introduction of security features for the software supply chain, from container engine providers including Docker, Rocket, OpenShift and so on. We also see a number of third-party vendors helping to validate container content, both before and after deployment. Each solution focuses on slightly different threats to container construction – Docker, for example, offers tools to certify that a container has

The Future of Security Operations: Embracing the Machines

By Mike Rothman
To state the obvious, traditional security operations is broken. Every organization faces more sophisticated attacks, the possibility of targeted adversaries, and far more complicated infrastructure; compounding the problem, we have fewer skilled resources to execute on security programs. Obviously it’s time to evolve security operations by leveraging technology to both accelerate human work and take care of rote, tedious tasks which don’t add value. So security orchestration and automation are terms you will hear pretty consistently from here on out. Some security practitioners resist the idea of automation, mostly because if done incorrectly the ramifications are severe and

Container Security 2018: Build Pipeline Security

By Adrian Lane
Most people fail to consider the build environment when thinking about container security, but it is critical. The build environment is traditionally the domain of developers, who don’t share much detail with outsiders (meaning security teams). But with Continuous Integration (CI) or full Continuous Deployment (CD), we’re shooting new code into production… potentially several times a day. An easy way for an attacker to hack an application is get into its development or build environment – usually far less secure than production – and alter code or add new code to containers. The risk is aggravated by DevOps rapidly breaking

Container Security 2018: Threats and Concerns

By Adrian Lane
To better understand which container security areas you should focus on, and why we recommend particular controls, it helps to understand which threats need to be addressed and which areas containers affect most. Some threats and issues are well-known, some are purely lab proofs of concept, and others are threat vectors which attackers have yet to exploit – typically because there is so much low-hanging fruit elsewhere. So what are the primary threats to container environments? Threats to the Build Environment The first area which needs protection is the build environment. It’s not first on most people’s lists for

Building a Container Security Program 2018: Introduction

By Adrian Lane
The explosive growth of containers is not surprising – these technologies, such as Docker, alleviate several problems for developers deploying applications. Developers need simple packaging, rapid deployment, reduced environmental dependencies, support for microservices, generalized management, and horizontal scalability – all of which containers help provide. When a single technology enables us to address several technical problems at once, it’s very compelling. But this generic model of packaged services, where the environment is designed to treat each container as a “unit of service”, sharply reduces transparency and auditability (by design), and gives security pros nightmares. We run more code and faster, but

How Cloud Security Managers Should Respond to Meltdown and Spectre

By Rich
I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays… just in time to return to work, catch up on email, and watch the entire Internet burn down thanks to a cluster of hardware vulnerabilities built into pretty much every computing platform available. I won’t go into details or background on Meltdown and Spectre (note: if I ever discover a vulnerability, I want it named “CutYourF-ingHeartOutWithSpoon”). Instead I want to talk about them in the context of the cloud, short-term and long-term implications, and some response strategies. These are incredibly serious vulnerabilities – not only due to their immediate implications, but also because they

New Paper: Understanding Secrets Management

By Adrian Lane
Traditional application security concerns are shifting, responding to disruptive technologies and development frameworks. Cloud services, containerization, orchestration platforms, and automated build pipelines – to name just a few – all change the way we build and deploy applications. Each effects security a different way. One of the new application security challenges is to provision machines, applications, and services with the credentials they need at runtime. When you remove humans from the process things move much faster – but knowing how and when to automatically provide passwords, authentication tokens, and certificates is not an easy problem. This secrets management problem is not new, but

Firestarter: An Explicit End of Year Roundup

By Rich
The gang almost makes it through half the episode before dropping some inappropriate language as they summarize 2017. Rather than focusing on the big news, we spend time reflecting on the big trends and how little has changed, other than the pace of change. How the biggest breaches of the year stemmed from the oldest of old issues, to the newest of new. And last we want to thank all of you for all your amazing support over the years. Securosis has been running as a company for a decade now, which likely scares all of you even more than us.

Firestarter: Breacheriffic EquiFail

By Rich
This week Mike and Rich address the recent spate of operational fails leading to massive security breaches. This isn’t yet another blame the victim rant, but a frank discussion of why these issues are so persistent and so difficult to actually manage. We also discuss the rising role of automation and its potential to reduce these all-too-human errors. Watch or listen:
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