Overview: Secrets Management
Cloud-dominated architectures are ubiquitous as more organizations are seeking to reap benefits from cloud-based technologies. Agility and flexibility are the critical elements offered by cloud-based technologies even as they offer developers the ability to run applications and tools quickly and dynamically, necessary to keep up with the pace of market requirements.
And in this pursuit of agility, dynamism and flexibility, organizations are creating large numbers of non-human identities that interact with high velocity cloud workloads such as DevOps pipelines, virtual machines, scripts, applications, containers, RPA tools to conduct day-to-day automated IT tasks.
But when organizations have high-velocity cloud workloads, spread sometimes in multi-cloud environments, and both human (console level access for DevOps users) and non-human identities get into action, at this point, it is extremely crucial to protect the passwords, API keys, SSH keys, certificates or OAuth tokens etc. to ensure that there is secure access to high-velocity cloud workloads. Secrets management enables cloud security teams to securely manage the cloud workload.
Just like human identities and their interaction with critical systems need to be brokered for secure access, secrets management is vital component for ensuring secure access to dynamic cloud workloads. Secrets management allows developers to securely rotate vault credentials such as passwords, keys, and tokens with strict access controls is known as secrets management.
What are the Challenges in Secrets Management
- Sprawling of Secrets: With the proliferation of multi-cloud services and microservices, there are hundreds of secrets that the developers use for accessing critical systems, cloud-native applications, or virtual machines. If these secrets are left unrevoked, the organization is left open to catastrophes.
- Fragmented Control of Secrets: In some organizations, different teams manage their secrets separately. Such decentralized platform can lead to security loopholes, some might abide by the policies, some might not. This bears risks of non-compliance as well.
- Cloud Services: While opting for different cloud service models such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure or GCP (Google Cloud Platform), organizations work with many virtual machines that require their own secrets. Some are default secrets while some are organization-made. There could be vulnerabilities of default secrets and if those are overlooked, there could be unprecedented incidents.
Automate Secrets Management with ARCON Digital Vault
ARCON is focused on developing cloud-native applications so that organizations cloud-first journey is successful. ARCON Digital Vault is a centralized engine that provides the capability to generate, vault, and randomize credentials for non-human identities and broker trust between two non-human identities, along with ensuring authorization and policy enforcement for the same. The powerful engine can support dynamic functions like secrets management for RPA, bots, etc. to control and mitigate the threat vector arising from large-scale process automation.
ARCON Digital Vault: Key Points
- Leverages native application attributes and role-based access controls to authenticate applications and containers
- Manages credentials/tokens used by applications, container platforms, automation tools, and other non-human identities
- Manages and securely pass credentials to validated containers and clusters as and when required
- Secures credentials, certificates, APIs, tokens, secrets in digital vaults and protects and monitors both non-human and human identities with CI/CD consoles
- Implements role-based access control policy to authenticate cloud applications and containers
- Controls both human and non-human access during continuous integrations (CI) and continuous deployments (CD)
Secrets management is not only critical for the security of passwords, keys, tokens, or certificates, but also systematic management of IT operations and resources. With this systematic approach, organizations can prevent unauthorized/ unknown access, credential misuse and subsequent catastrophic incidents on cloud environments.