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CI/CD / Containers / DevOps / Security

Top 5 Considerations for Better Security in Your CI/CD Pipeline

These factors can help DevOps teams make sure their container strategy isn't jeopardizing security.
Jan 20th, 2023 8:52am by
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More application teams are adopting continuous integration/continuous Delivery (CI/CD) workflows to facilitate application development, which means their organization needs to deploy automated and integrated security to defend these workflows.

Organizations trying to accelerate innovation of their cloud applications and services place CI/CD pipelines at the heart of everyday operations. When configured correctly, they provide visibility into how software is being developed and automate manual operations to guarantee consistency across delivery processes. A network’s infrastructure has access to a variety of resources, such as analytics keys and code signing credentials, through these pipelines.

DevOps teams have used containers and container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes to build and deploy their applications because the majority of contemporary apps are built using a microservice architecture. Consequently, any solution that aims to safeguard CI/CD workflows must include container security as a key component. The five factors listed below can help DevOps teams make sure their container strategy isn’t jeopardizing security.

  1. Automatically Scan Source Code

To get a precise assessment of your application’s vulnerability, do thorough and in-depth scans. Embedding continuous application security testing into the process of creating and delivering apps in the main DevOps CI/CD environments will help you assess and identify security flaws that you can patch or eliminate during the software development life cycle (SDLC).

  1. Set up Continuous Runtime Security 

Securing running microservices is just as crucial to an effective CI/CD security solution as is preventing application breaches by moving security to the pipeline’s earlier stages. The context necessary to comprehend Kubernetes structures — such as namespace, pods and labels — is not provided by conventional next-generation firewalls (NGFW). Once the perimeter has been compromised, the risk of implicit trust and flat networks on thwarting external attacks provides attackers a great deal of surface. As a result, it’s important to leverage a platform that enables continuous security and centralized policy and visibility for efficient and effective continuous runtime security.

  1. Seamlessly Plug Security into the CI/CD Workflow

The majority of application teams automate their build process using build tools like Jenkins. Security solutions must be included in popular build frameworks to bring security to a build pipeline. Such integration enables teams to pick up new skills quickly and pass or fail builds depending on the requirements of their organization. For instance, a policy needs to be set up to fail builds when a critical vulnerability is discovered in an image if an enterprise has a security requirement that forbids the deployment of an application with critical vulnerabilities.

  1. Build Images with Security in Mind

Third-party libraries and source codes are frequently used in images. It is essential to parse libraries and packages before creating an image to produce a complete report of all vulnerabilities (CVEs) and the libraries/packages where vulnerabilities are found. If particular libraries might create a security risk, they should also be excluded. A vulnerability report might also be able to reveal whether an image contains credentials or other sensitive information.

  1. Use CIS Benchmarks to Run Compliance Checks

Running static tests to find potential vulnerabilities in systems using container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes is now essential as those platforms become more widely used. It’s a good idea to follow the recommendations for Kubernetes’ best security practices made by the Center for Internet Security (CIS). This provides suggestions for setting up Kubernetes to maintain a robust security stance, such as blocking anonymous API server queries and only allowing non-root users to run containers.

Better and more effective DevSecOps

Broad, comprehensive cloud security solutions that are natively integrated across major cloud platforms, along with a security fabric approach, are key to securing digital acceleration of teams’ application journeys. Solutions like the Fortinet Cloud Security portfolio (example shown above) empower organizations to achieve reduced operational complexity, greater visibility and robust security effectiveness with consistent policies across all hybrid and multiclouds, centralized management, deep visibility across applications and workloads.

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TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in: Pragma.
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