The usage of containers in Kubernetes or other open-source platforms has become an inevitable part in terms of creating Docker images. Whatever you want to do on your preferred orchestration platform, you’re supposed to use containers to smoothen your experience. Naturally, the security of your containers should be your point of concern. In the early days of dockers and containers, the security of these orchestration units used to be somewhat overlooked. The present scenario is completely different and container security is one of the prior tasks to be done by users.
Anyway, not every Docker user is familiar with the concept of container security. But that’s not expected when you’re creating Docker images for your business promotions or other financial aspects. You can’t have your data compromised when your containers are directly associated with your brand’s reputation. So, having proper knowledge about container security is needed for you as a beginner Docker user. In this article, we are going to explain everything you need to know about container security. Keep on reading to make your containers securer.
What is Container Security?
The general meaning of the term ‘Container security’ is unclear for most beginner Docker users. If you’re new to Kubernetes or a similar orchestration platform, the foundation of container security may seem vague to you. So, you’re supposed to know what container security is before moving to the main process.
Ensuring container security is all about utilizing specialized security tools and protective policies to safeguard a container. Generally, a container security tool defends the system tools, system libraries, infrastructure, supply chain, and runtime associated with a container. In simple words, everything related to a container’s application and performance gets protected from potential cyber threats when you activate the container security protocol.
What Makes Container Security More Difficult for Container Security Tools?
First of all, containers aren’t deployed once at a time. In most cases, you deploy containers under a specific architecture to complete a particular project. When you do so, the containers in your orchestration system need to collaborate with external servers and serverless components that may contain unwanted security threats. So, you don’t get the chance to safeguard your containers separately. You need to use a container security tool to protect your containers within the enterprise architecture you have deployed them in. Naturally, the task becomes pretty complicated for the container security tool you’ve activated.
There’s no generalized lifespan of a container. Most containers are deployed for a few seconds while some container variables’ lifespans last for weeks. Tracking down container variables with different lifespans and protecting them from cyber threats is challenging for a container security tool.
Usually, developers decide the workloads of specific containers, and not all containers get deployed with equal workloads. Alongside, the in-built security systems of containers differ from each other too. Hence, it becomes hazardous for container security tools to determine every container’s security requirements individually.
Though container security tools are doing pretty well in terms of overcoming these challenges, there’s a long way to go. Hopefully, container security tools will keep upgrading to better versions with additional security features.
Ways to Secure a Container
It’s advisable to use a container security tool to protect containers. But what are the alternative ways to secure a container? Well, the following points will highlight some tips to secure a container.
Security of the container host should be your priority
Hosting containers in a container-focused OS has to be your primary approach to keeping your containers safe and secure. You will be able to keep your container secure as you eliminate unnecessary tools from your orchestration OS. Ideally, you need to eliminate tools that aren’t necessary for hosting your containers. An excess number of unnecessary hosting tools may result in the malfunctioning of the orchestration OS.
You need to ensure the presence of monitoring tools in your container security system package so that the container’s status becomes visible.
Compatible host security controls are mandatory for keeping your container secure from cyber threats and data leakage.
The security of your networking environment also matters
You are supposed to focus on the networking environment where your containers reside. IPS or intrusion prevention system is an efficient tool that offers web-filtering services. As you get a container security system with a dedicated IPS, you stand lesser chances to get your containers compromised. Such an effective tool helps you keep your containers protected from malware attacks and other cyber threats.
Managing inter-container traffic becomes easier with a compact IPS. Keeping inter-container traffic in control is a crucial step towards keeping your container safe and supervised.
The foundation of your containers need to be completely secure
While creating container images, you should take additional precautions about malware attacks and potential cyber threats. To do so, you have to use a container image scanner to scan Docker images. If your Docker images get corrupted while being created, the risk factors increase for your overall orchestration cluster or network. Therefore, don’t forget to scan your Docker images for potential malware infections and other security compromisation while creating them. That’s a vital step you need to take to keep your containers safe and secure.
Never compromise with your codes
Emphasize the quality of the codes while creating your application. Poor coding performance often leads your application’s security to get compromised. Also, improper application design and framework cause security compromises. You need to put your best efforts into creating impactful codes for building top-notch security features for your containers. On top of that, subscribing to a reputed container security tool enhances the security of your containers to some extent.
So you need to keep these things in mind while attempting to safeguard your containers. As you utilize these techniques, you will be able to improve the security patches of your containers. Besides performing these, you need to select the best container security tool to protect your containers completely.