Cloud-native refers to a set of technologies and processes that allow for the development and management of cloud applications and services. Cloud-native development facilitates the shift from monolithic applications to dynamic containerized apps that can operate on public, private, or hybrid clouds. The adoption of cloud-native technologies speeds up the development of software, makes it quicker to deploy, and makes it more dependable to host. As a consequence, developers have more time to focus on coding and scaling, and their solutions are more flexible.
While cloud-native architectures make it simpler for businesses to bring new digital solutions to market relatively faster, those apps have to be reliable and secure. However, cloud-native development security is a tricky problem, and there are several additional significant security factors that developers should be aware of and take into account. Here are a few such critical factors to bear in mind:
Choosing the right resource
Cloud-native developers have a plethora of resources at their disposal to help them create their apps. Knowing which resources to use and which to avoid is also a significant security concern. It’s critical to consider what content developers can trust and for how long, whether it’s for OCI (Open Container Images) images on Docker Hub and elsewhere, Python packages on PyPI, Node.js packages on NPM, and so on.
Is there any security flaws or, worse, harmful virus code in it? Is it kept up to date and updated regularly? Developers must exercise tremendous caution while choosing their service provider with caution now more than ever before.
Choosing Base Images that are Secure and Stable.
The choice of a base image has a major impact on the software in container images. Base images offer the required foundation for applications to work, including shared libraries such as SSL and libc, allowing developers to concentrate on their applications rather than the container as a whole. Base images frequently include far more software than the applications that are installed on top of them. And with more software comes greater security risk. Enterprises should take great care while selecting a safe and robust basic image.
Is the base image backed by a vast software ecosystem, allowing you to quickly build on top of it with equally secured applications? Or will you need to bolster the base image with images from less-trustworthy sources? Is it kept up to date? Is the software it includes frequently tested for security flaws, or is it made up of rarely-used libraries? These are a few questions you must keep in mind.
It’s possible that software that goes into production with no known vulnerabilities may be discovered later. To avoid security breaches, all operating software must be maintained up to date. Updates must be delivered on schedule, and their deployment must be as easy and inconspicuous as feasible. This is well recognized in the context of operating systems, and it is equally true in the context of containers.
As a result, organizations should constantly ensure that containers are updated with the most recent security upgrades. The same is true for the container’s runtimes and underlying hosts: Hard-to-move software components, such as the kernel, must be updated via methods such as live patching, which reduces unexpected downtime and allows production-critical security updates to be sent out effortlessly and without disturbance.
The more and more difficult it is to patch software, the less frequently it happens. And, once a vulnerability has been detected, the solution must be deployed out quickly, safely, just about everywhere, which necessitates extensive automation of the distribution process. As an industry, we have made enormous progress in automating the way we develop software, the continuous integration (CI) element of CI/CD. However, due to gaps in automation, continuous delivery (CD) is not always as continuous, which affects the time it takes to push out security fixes to our apps.
As more businesses migrate to cloud-native development, avoiding security risks becomes increasingly crucial. Adopting cloud-native technologies may appear intimidating, but keep in mind that starting with a single technology can already deliver significant benefits. Following these five actions can go a long way toward assisting businesses in addressing a few such challenges.