With container adoption on the rise, having a reliable container security solution is more important than ever. Gartner analysts predict that “90% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production by 2026—up from 40% in 2021.”
The increase in container usage is accompanied by a concern of growing security threats targeting container services. Threat vectors aimed at services like Docker, Kubernetes, and Amazon Web Services surely will increase as more businesses adopt containers or expand their existing container networks.
If you’re completely new to containers, you might be wondering, What is container security, and how does it work?
This blog will help you gain insight into the methods security services use to safeguard containers.
What Are Containers?
Containers are often compared to virtual machines because they enable users to create virtual platforms. But unlike virtual machines, they aren’t meant to emulate a physical computer. Instead, each one virtualizes everything needed to run an application.
Rather than virtualizing an entire computer, containers package code, dependencies, an abstract operating system, and anything else needed for them to run desired applications virtually anywhere.
Containers offer many benefits, especially when compared to virtual machines. They’re lightweight, more agile, and require fewer resources. They also give an added layer of security over virtual machines because they isolate applications.
Containers also provide greater portability and reduce downtimes during continuous operations, making them an attractive choice for DevOps teams. But getting the most out of containers requires an effective security strategy and assistance from security teams and security architects. Otherwise, you could be leaving your network wide open to cyberattacks.
[Related Reading: AWS Fargate Security Best Practices]
How Does Container Security Work?
Container security is the process of using security tools to ensure your containers are working as intended. Without effective security protecting your containers, you could fall victim to several threats, such as:
- Access control exploits
- Container privilege escalations
- Malware spreading across multiple containers over a network
More recently, malicious agents have been exploiting container image vulnerabilities to mine cryptocurrency using companies’ cloud resources.
Container security platforms all have one goal in mind –– to prevent malicious activities within your container environment. Effective cloud security solutions draw upon a wide range of features when protecting containers from malicious agents. Common features include:
- Image scanning: Images are scanned for vulnerabilities before launching the container and additional scans once new software has been introduced. This feature is important for identifying potential threats that arise as you continue to develop containers and containerized applications.
- A strong access control strategy: Users should only be given enough access privilege needed to complete their tasks, and those accesses should be routinely audited.
- Process monitoring: Detecting malicious or invalid processes, such as those coming from modified binaries, processes used for lateral movement, and cryptocurrency miners.
- Log collection: Monitoring log files generated by deployed containers for irregularities and malicious activity.
The features above are common with many container security platforms on the market. They allow cybersecurity teams to gain visibility into containers, helping them better understand what’s happening within containerized applications. This makes it easier for security experts to identify and stop threats quicker, before they can wreak havoc.
How Alert Logic Approaches Container Security
Alert Logic has always offered a broad range of security services, like log collection, vulnerability scanning, and intrusion detection. So, when we developed a security solution for containers, we went to great lengths to create a solution that aligned with our model.
The result was a service that does not clash with other platforms, but rather, complements them. That’s because Alert Logic’s container security solution focuses on another important area that is overlooked by other security platforms –– container traffic.
Our service is the first solution that analyzes traffic inside a container. Not only does this help security teams find and eliminate container threats in real-time, but it also gives security professionals a different level of visibility than other container security services.
Best of all, organizations can combine our platform with other container security solutions with features like image scanning and process monitoring. This helps paint a complete picture of the security strategy across your container security network, helping to minimize risks and correct vulnerabilities before they turn into incidents.
Interested in learning more? Schedule a demo today!