Containers are making life easy by packaging the application and its dependencies together in a single image through development, test, and production cycle. Regardless of the environments, containers do provide consistency in deployments. This reduces the effort in developing and managing the application. Enterprises are moving to a more agile process for software development and hence transforming their processes with containers as a preferred technology.
Compared to VMs containers in combination with cloud technology shortens the application development time and consumes comparatively less compute and storage resources. Containers are extremely portable and can work in a multicloud environment. This is making container technology popular with enterprises. According to Gartner, by 2022 more than 75% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production.
Agility in the software development process for sure provides business value, but enterprises also require strong security. Does a question arise if containers are secure? Container security doesn’t just secure the process but involves other elements like underlying infrastructure, application, network, storage, and the APIs integrating all this. Nevertheless, there are few vulnerabilities experienced by the professionals typically generated through the development stage than the runtime. Let’s further dissect the container vulnerabilities almost analogous to operating system and application vulnerabilities in the monolithic architecture:
Misconfigurations through access and authorization
Developers need to pay special attention while configuring and securing accesses and authorization in the operating system and application. Any configuration failures can lead to unauthorized access exposing crucial information.
API server access
The essential gateway for the intruders is the API server which can expose the containers. It is important to protect and secure all the access to the API server to avoid any breaches and attacks.
Images play an important role in the containers as it possesses all the crucial information of the application. Image registries, databases of all stored images, can be corrupted if hacked. It is important to follow practices to detect the contaminated images, one way is to include sign in images.
If any of the containers in the network are compromised it communicates with other containers in the network through encrypted APIs, the malware in one container can spread to others. The encryption will hide this malware making it undetected. One solution to this issue can be using an overlay network.
There can be many other vulnerabilities in the containers, the best way is to secure the container layer by layer placing the process to monitor and detect the vulnerabilities. Container security can be managed by following a few of the best practices. You can check the best practices in this HawkEye – research article. Regardless of a few vulnerabilities, containers are gravitating to its adopters not just for its speed, efficiency, and scalability but also for its self-contained security model.