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 our need grows exponentially when we begin orchestrating the entire application build and deployment process. We need to automate distribution and management of secrets to ensure secure application delivery.

This research paper covers the basic use cases for secrets management, and then dives into different technologies that address this need. Many of the technologies assume a specific application deployment model so we also discuss pros and cons of the different approaches. We close with recommendations on product selection and decision criteria.

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You can go directly to the full paper: Securosis_Secrets_Management_JAN2018_FINAL.pdf

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