There are a lot of moving parts in cloud-native apps that need to be secured before the scalability, agility and efficiency benefits of cloud-native environments can be fully realized. Unfortunately, traditional security solutions aren’t equipped to handle the complexity and rate of change that cloud-native apps introduce. It’s going to take a new approach – one that can operationalize a zero-trust security model to protect all your cloud-native apps, across all your environments, from containers and virtual machines (VMs) to public and private clouds.
The only way to see and protect everything is to be everywhere. To be effective, security needs to be integrated directly into each and every container or VM, so it can see and protect against vulnerabilities and attacks introduced by different users, connections, APIs, etc. within the cloud-native app.
One proven way to accomplish this is to use a Sidecar model with a proxy that runs natively, in the data plane, alongside the container. As long as the sidecar is technology agnostic, it should work wherever and however containers are deployed.
A zero-trust security architecture, where the concept “never trust, always verify” is applied, lays the foundation for a secure cloud-native environment. For cloud-native apps, the sidecar can add an identity to each container, so when one service talks to another, it can be authenticated and checked against a policy or inspected for malicious activity to ensure only authorized communications are allowed. Best practice is to rotate credentials regularly so, if a password or key is compromised, any potential damage will be limited. All traffic should also be automatically encrypted to safeguard its privacy.
Enforcing a zero-trust architecture for dynamic cloud-native apps can become unwieldly unless you can support policy management at scale. Some ways to operationalize zero-trust security enforcement is to use whitelists, attribute-based access control, and automation. The ability to continuously audit your actual traffic and quickly translate findings to policy helps ensure enforcement remains aligned with current conditions and least privilege is maintained at all times.
The Octarine application-level security platform follows these three design principles to ensure organizations can easily deploy and operationalize zero-trust security for cloud-native apps. With Octarine, security is tightly coupled with each and every container or VM, to deliver total visibility, regardless of where or how it’s deployed. Every service is authenticated, every communication is authorized, and all traffic is encrypted. In addition, Octarine’s unique adaptive policies make it easy to keep enforcement reflective of current conditions.