Posts under Containers
Since day one at StackRox, three years ago, we’ve made it a point to meet regularly with CISOs from top banks and other global 2000 companies. The focus of these discussions was on how we might expedite the adoption of containers, and improve the process of maintaining better security and regulatory compliance. Over the course of these many conversations, I’ve found that there are some important ideas worth sharing broadly, though they’re likely most interesting to IT and security leaders in the financial world, where both competitive and regulatory pressures are very high.
Four and a half years since it was first introduced, Docker continues to have a profound impact on reshaping how developers build, ship, and run software applications. Few could have anticipated the speed of Docker adoption that we have observed to date with more than 21 million hosts now running Docker, over 24 billion Docker container downloads, and a vibrant ecosystem of 100,000+ third-party projects that incorporate Docker. As the de facto standard for the container runtime and image format, Docker has democratized the ability for anyone to take advantage of container technologies that could previously only be utilized by a handful of the world’s largest, cloud-native companies.
It should come as no surprise that behind the rapid adoption of Docker containers are a set of slam-dunk cost and operational benefits. According to Docker, enterprise IT budgets are heavily consumed by maintenance and upkeep of legacy applications on the order of 80%. Containers drastically change that equation, and the customers that leverage them are realizing massive improvements in resource utilization, resulting in a 50%-60% drop in virtual machines (VMs)– and ultimately, hypervisor licenses– required to run the refactored application.
Container technology is fundamentally changing the way incident response (IR) is handled within the enterprise, and it is putting agile organizations back in a position of strength against their attackers. Microservices and containers comprise an infrastructure that can be leveraged as a security orchestrator and responder, which allows for radical improvements in both the scale and speed of threat detection, response, and prevention. IR in a traditional environment Today’s systems have become too distributed, integrate too many programs, and present too many attack surfaces for security analysts to thwart attacks effectively.
By now, details of the massive Equifax breach that saw 143 million personal records compromised has made its way around the global news, as well as the broader security and enterprise IT communities. Within these circles, you can bet that anyone responsible for resolving application vulnerabilities is worried about becoming the next headline. There’s little argument that patching applications is a big deal; both in terms of criticality to the organization’s security posture, and in terms of the onerous process it can be when performed in traditional application environments.