Cloud

11/14/2018
04:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Security Teams Struggle with Container Security Strategy

Fewer than 30% of firms have more than a basic container security plan in place.

A study out today shows that the security community is still coming to grips with the new realities introduced by containerization to aid DevOps and agile development teams in their mission for faster deployments in the enterprise.

Some experts say the rise of containers offers an opportunity for security teams to embed themselves more thoroughly in the continuous delivery workflow. But according to "The State of Container Security" report from StackRox, about seven in 10 organizations today either don't have a container security strategy or are at the most rudimentary stages of establishing that strategy. Among those with an existing strategy, about 35% say it doesn't invest enough to adequately secure containers, and 25% say it isn't detailed enough. 

Digging into the details of where IT professionals believe the biggest risks lie in the use of containers, misconfigurations led the pack by far, above vulnerabilities and attacks. This is not surprising given high-profile breaches like the Tesla cryptomining attack that was disclosed earlier this year, which was made possible by a poorly configured Kubernetes deployment on AWS.

Interestingly, even though the survey shows that most organizations are not yet running containers in production, securing containers in runtime has IT pros more worried than in build or deployment phases.

The concern for runtime is logical given the heavy emphasis that early container strategies have put on pre-production vulnerability scanning, according to Mark Bouchard, vice president of research for analyst firm CyberEdge, who provided analysis for the report.

"That's where their early investments have been, and now their apps are going into production and they realize, 'Yes, I've got to continue to do vulnerability scanning, but the bad guys operate not just against software flaws but on any weaknesses they can find,'" he says "So they recognize they need to do some monitoring of the container environment in runtime to look for that malicious activity."

Ultimately, Bouchard says, containers aren't necessarily any different than any other asset enterprises must protect. 

"We're not talking about reinventing security," he says, explaining that all the basic principles, such as the rule of least privilege, threat monitoring, and vulnerability scanning, all still apply. However, security professionals need to adjust to a couple of new variables that container environments introduced. First and foremost is the speed at which security teams need to work to protect constantly changing container environments. 

"What we're doing with microservices, containers, and DevOps is speeding everything up," Bouchard says. "So we're talking about applying the same security principles on a much faster cycle."

Secondly, he explains that security people need to familiarize themselves better with the architecture and with how containers, nodes, registries, orchestrators, and the like really work.

"Unless you understand what it is you are trying to protect, how can you do a good job protecting it?" Bouchard says. As he explains, many security practitioners came up from the network security world, and application delivery can sometimes be a challenge to wrap their arms around, but it is crucial.

"We're shifting the issue now onto the workload, and that's true for application security in general and most definitely for this world of microservices and containers," Bouchard adds.

Related Content:

 

Black Hat Europe returns to London Dec 3-6 2018  with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Devastating Cyberattack on Email Provider Destroys 18 Years of Data
Jai Vijayan, Freelance writer,  2/12/2019
Up to 100,000 Reported Affected in Landmark White Data Breach
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/12/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Data breach fears and the need to comply with regulations such as GDPR are two major drivers increased spending on security products and technologies. But other factors are contributing to the trend as well. Find out more about how enterprises are attacking the cybersecurity problem by reading our report today.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-1695
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-15
IBM QRadar SIEM 7.2 and 7.3 uses weaker than expected cryptographic algorithms that could allow an attacker to decrypt highly sensitive information. IBM X-Force ID: 134177.
CVE-2018-1701
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-15
IBM InfoSphere Information Server 11.7 could allow an authenciated user under specialized conditions to inject commands into the installation process that would execute on the WebSphere Application Server. IBM X-Force ID: 145970.
CVE-2018-1727
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-15
IBM InfoSphere Information Server 9.1, 11.3, 11.5, and 11.7 is vulnerable to a XML External Entity Injection (XXE) attack when processing XML data. A remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to expose sensitive information or consume memory resources. IBM X-Force ID: 147630.
CVE-2018-1895
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-15
IBM InfoSphere Information Server 11.3, 11.5, and 11.7 is vulnerable to cross-site scripting. This vulnerability allows users to embed arbitrary JavaScript code in the Web UI thus altering the intended functionality potentially leading to credentials disclosure within a trusted session. IBM X-Force ...
CVE-2019-4059
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-15
IBM Rational ClearCase 1.0.0.0 GIT connector does not sufficiently protect the document database password. An attacker could obtain the password and gain unauthorized access to the document database. IBM X-Force ID: 156583.