Scaling out the security attack surface when using Docker – A timely reminder

With all the excitement over Docker some folks seem to forget that it’s more than just making life easy for developers. This stuff will need to be exposed to the big wide scary world and exploits such as the Bash vulnerability will be dispersed over a wider landscape than just the hosts themselves!

Yes you might point out that containers are being managed at scale by the likes of Google but they do have the resources to look after the infra so you don’t have to!

Remember the tools and processes you use today to manage patches will need to be applied up the stack as well and that means look to your docker images and containers too.

If you really are running immutable infrastructure and can afford to tear everything down and throw updated Docker images out there then that is an alternative path although you still need to worry about the underlying hosts even in that scenario.

Daniel Walsh from RedHat has a great series he is writing on Docker security and how RedHat are dealing with the issues. This is a great read and brings a little sobering realism to the areas that still need to be thought about when deploying Docker based solutions

From Daniel’s posts I want to reiterate this list of good practise as a timely reminder

  • Only run applications from a trusted source
  • Run applications on a enterprise quality host
  • Install updates regularly
  • Drop privileges as quickly as possible
  • Run as non-root whenever possible
  • Watch your logs
  • setenforce
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