The benefits of adopting a DevOps approach to development are hard to ignore: cost reduction, increase efficiencies, and most importantly, the acceleration of innovation. But the question most organizations struggle with is: How do you leverage the agility of DevOps without increasing your risk of exposure or creating security blind spots?
DevOps is built on the principle that removing error-prone manual efforts around deployment, and the provisioning, cloning, and sharing of environments, frees up countless hours of work. Under the premise of “automate everything”, DevOps teams leverage myriad tools, many that are open source, to automate these manual efforts and accelerate time-to-market with new features and products.
As with any other area of your organization, the foundation for DevOps systems access are credentials or secrets. For these new tools, repositories, containers and applications to work together, they need to establish communication and access to each other. They do this with secrets, such as application passwords, container credentials, SSH Keys, database username/passwords, TLS Certificates, LDAP passwords, as well as third-party vendor accounts, and more.
While security in DevOps—more specifically, around the security of secrets and credentials—must evolve at the same pace that DevOps technologies and environments are changing, that’s no small task.
To be fair, organizations and DevOps teams do not want to be vulnerable to credential theft, so they have adopted the capabilities of their DevOps tools to store credentials and secrets. The problem is these tools are built for other DevOps processes, not security. Another consequence is that secrets are now sprawled throughout their tools, environments, and other places (GitHub, etc.) without oversight. In a way, these tools have only exacerbated the problem while, at the same time, providing a false sense of security.
Privileged Access Management (PAM) vendors have been solving privileged credential-related challenges for over two decades. As new types of containers, microservices, and DevOps toolsets emerge, PAM vendors may draw from this expertise in solving credential issues to address these new security challenges.
Unify Secrets Management, & Realize a Multitude of Security & Productivity Benefits
BeyondTrust DevOps Secrets Safe is a solution that provides secure, centralized management and auditing of secrets and other privileged credentials used by applications, tools, and non-human identities. The solution is specifically designed to meet the demands of the high-volume and high-change workloads found in DevOps environments.
With DevOps Secrets Safe in place, your teams can seamlessly leverage their tools and applications, while your IT organization can be confident that security best practices around secrets management are being consistently and universally applied.
The DevOps Secrets Safe architecture and deployment model help organizations to reduce the security and compliance risks associated with secrets sprawl, while enabling the peak agility and performance needs of DevOps.
Here are 6 capabilities DevOps Secrets Safe customers benefit from:
1. Securely Create, Store & Retrieve Secrets
DevOps Secrets Safe automates the secure storage and access of secrets of any kind: API Keys, passwords, certificates, etc., used by applications, tools, and other non-human identities, in a centralized safe. The secure, central repository means you can eliminate the need for multiple secrets management approaches using separate tools. The solution also enables organizations to control access to applications and systems with the same granularity expected of a human user. This centralized, holistic approach to DevOps secrets management also enables the uniform application of policies and the reduction of management effort, helping enhance both security and productivity.
As infrastructure is deployed to support a DevOps workflow, another important factor is the need to create either default or specific application accounts. It’s important to initialize these accounts with unique, secure credentials—even during a fully automated build process. DevOps Secrets Safe can generate policy-based secrets that comply with strict security requirements as part of your automated build pipeline. Generating a password or credential for these newly created accounts helps to mitigate the practice of embedding static credentials in applications, tools, or even code. The solution generates a secret that can be dynamic and managed within the DevOps Secrets Safe solution.
DevOps Secrets Safe securely and consistently manages the entire lifecycle of DevOps secrets within enterprises, including authentication, authorization, and comprehensive auditing.
2. Treat Applications as Identities
In the context of secrets management, applications and machines are nonhuman consumers of secrets. Applications assume privileged access in automated workflows, so it is critical that they are identified, authorized, and audited. DevOps Secrets Safe enables the automated administration of applications as identities, and the audit of secrets access.
3. Implement a Highly Available Solution
Organizations must meet security standards around privileged access management in all areas, including traditional IT and DevOps environments. As an enterprise-class solution, DevOps Secrets Safe offers uncompromising security and stability, while enabling the speed and agility required by DevOps workflows. The solution’s architecture and deployment model (based on microservices built on Docker containers and targeting Kubernetes as a deployment platform) help organizations to meet these stringent resiliency, scalability, and performance requirements, out-of-the-box.
4. Leverage a Comprehensive Audit Trail and Recordkeeping
Just like other areas in your organization, DevOps processes must meet compliance requirements around privileged access. This could prove troublesome when you have several tools with varying capabilities of secret storage. DevOps Secrets Safe offers a complete, readily accessible audit trail generated for log aggregation of all secrets and credential operations. This approach leverages the enterprise aggregator tools and helps to demonstrate compliance with security policies and regulations. Customers can alsoaudit the entire secrets lifecycle for maximum visibility.
5. Natively Integrate with DevOps Toolchain
An effective secrets management solution that truly enables DevOps agility leverages native integrations with common DevOps tools. DevOps Secrets Safe supports integrations with a number of tools, such as Ansible, Jenkins, Puppet, Azure DevOps, and more and has a simple REST interface for broad integration support.
6. Enable Peak DevOps Agility & DevSecOps
Developers continuously strive to deliver code faster. The last thing you want to do is saddle them with a security tool that works counter to their practices, slowing down productivity. DevOps Secrets Safe is designed to enable the agility sought by DevOps teams. DevOps Secrets Safe offers a REST API-first approach that enables DevOps workflows with full application coverage for peak agility. As the preferred UX for developers, providing a CLI tool for administration and easy API integration enables faster solution deployment and adoption. This increases velocity and agility in the DevOps pipeline.
Learn more about DevOps Secrets Safe
DevOps Secrets Safe was built from the ground up to address the unique agility and scalability challenges associated with authenticating, authorizing, and auditing human and non-human identities in cloud and DevOps environments. The solution helps organizations to reduce the security and compliance risks associated with secrets sprawl, while improving productivity.
Read more about DevOps Secrets Safe and watch the explainer video here.
Alex Leemon, Sr. Product Marketing Manager
Alex Leemon is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager at BeyondTrust, focusing on Privileged Password & Session Management and PAM for Cloud security solutions. She has over fifteen years of experience working with enterprise-level and Critical Infrastructure organizations solving safety and security challenges. Before joining BeyondTrust, Alex served in various roles related to the development of operational technology (OT) products and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).