Docker Security Roundup: News, Articles, Sessions

David Oro

Jul 29 2021

With the eyes of the security world converging on Black Hat USA next week, now is a good time to remember that building secure applications is paramount.

In the latest chapter in Docker’s security story, Docker CTO Justin Cormack last month provided an important update on software supply chain security. He blogged about the publication of a white paper, “Software Supply Chain Best Practices,” by the security technical advisory group of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

The long-awaited document is important because the software supply chain — that stage of the software development journey in which software is written, assembled, built or tested before production — has become a favored target of cyber criminals. Justin was one of the prime movers of the project and one of the CNCF reviewers who helped steer the 50-page document through multiple iterations to completion.

The paper aims to make secure supply chains easier and more widely adopted through four key principles, which Justin summarizes:

“In simpler language, this means that you need to be able to securely trace all the code you are using, which exact versions you are using, where they came from, and in an automated way so that there are no errors. Your build environments should be minimal, secure and well defined, i.e. containerized. And you should be making sure everything is authenticated securely.”

Contributing writer Robert Lemos quoted Justin’s blog in a Dark Reading article last week. The article, titled “What Does It Take to Secure Containers,” quotes Justin on why creating a trusted pipeline is so critical:

“Every time you use software that you didn’t write yourself, often open source software that you use in your applications, you are trusting both that the software you added is what you thought it is, and that it is trustworthy not hostile. Usually both these things are true, but when they go wrong, like when hundreds of people installed updates from SolarWinds that turned out to contain code to attack their infrastructure, the consequences are serious.”

Security at DockerCon

Several other facets of our security story were on the menu at DockerCon in May.

Alvaro Muro, an integrations engineer at Sysdig, led a webinar on Top Dockerfile Security Best Practices showing how these practices for image builds help you prevent security issues and optimize containerized applications. And he shared ways to avoid unnecessary privileges, reduce the attack surface with multistage builds, prevent confidential data leaks, detect bad practices and more.

In their talk, An Ounce of Prevention: Curing Insecure Container Images, Red Ventures’ Seyfat Khamidov and Eric Smalling of Snyk shared keys to catching vulnerabilities in your Docker containers before they go to production, such as scanning individual containers and incorporating container security scanning into your continuous integration build jobs. They also covered what Red Ventures is doing to scan container images at scale, and the new integration between Docker and Snyk for scanning container images for security vulnerabilities.

You know that feeling of panic when you scan a container and find a long list of vulnerabilities? Yeah, that one. In his DockerCon presentation, My Container Image Has 500 Vulnerabilities, Now What?, Snyk’s Matt Jarvis talks you off the ledge. How do you assess and prioritize security risk? How do you start to remediate? He lays out what you need to consider and how to get started.

Speaking of the SolarWinds breach, GitLab’s Brendan O’Leary dissected that and a number of other supply chain attacks in his talk, As Strong as the Weakest Link: Securing the Software Supply Chain. He delved into the simple, practical security measures that were missed, allowing the attacks to get a foothold in the first place.

Finally, in a session titled Secure Container Workloads for K8s in Containerd, Om Moolchandani, CISO and CTO at Accurics, spells out how security can be easily embedded into Docker development workflows and Kubernetes deployments to increase resiliency while practically eliminating the effort required to “be secure.” He also highlights open source tools that enable you to establish security guardrails, ensuring you build in security from the start, with programmatic enforcement in development pipelines, and stay secure with automated enforcement in the K8s runtime.

At Docker, security is more than a watchword — it’s an obsession. To learn more, read Justin’s blog and watch the recorded sessions listed above. They’re still available and still free.

Join the Next Community All Hands on September 16th!

We’re excited to announce that our next Community All Hands will be in exactly 2 months,  on Thursday September 16th 2021 @ 8am PST/5pm CET. The event is a unique opportunity for Docker staff, Captains, Community Leaders and the broader Docker community to come together for live company updates, product updates, demos, community updates, contributor shout-outs and of course, a live Q&A. Make sure to register for the event here!