In the world of software development, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines are essential for getting code from developers’ laptops into production.
But what about security? How can we be sure that our pipelines are safe from attackers who want to steal or damage our code?
That’s where DevSecOps comes in to integrate security into every stage of the software development process, from writing code to deploying it. In addition to this, cyber asset management is also a healthy security measure that protects all elements of your software development process.
CI/CD is a part of DevOps, and we’ll explain how you can effectively secure your CI/CD pipeline.
1. Implement a Security Scanner in Your Pipeline
The first step to securing your pipeline is to add a security scanner that will check for vulnerabilities in your code. There are many open source and commercial options available, so choose the one that fits your needs.
For example, you might want to use a static analysis tool like SonarQube or a dynamic analysis tool like ZAP. Alternatively, you can also make use of a container scanning tool like Clair or a web application firewall like ModSecurity.
2. Use Encryption for Sensitive Data
If your pipeline handles sensitive data, you should consider encryption to protect it from being intercepted by attackers. Using SSL/TLS or IPSec are various ways to encrypt data in transit.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol that encrypts traffic between a server and a client. Any data that is exchanged between the server and client will be encrypted, making it more difficult for attackers to eavesdrop on the communication.
TLS (Transport Layer Security) is the successor to SSL. It uses stronger encryption algorithms and provides better security than SSL. TLS is the standard protocol for encrypting traffic on the internet today.
IPSec (Internet Protocol Security), on the other hand, encrypts IP traffic. It can be used to encrypt traffic between two hosts or between a host and a VPN gateway. IPSec uses the AH (Authentication Header) and ESP (Encapsulating Security Payload) protocols to provide encryption and authentication for data packets.
In addition to this, you should also encrypt data at rest, such as when it’s stored in a database or on a file system. When encrypting data at rest, you can use tools like GPG or PGP.
3. Store Secrets in a Secure Vault
Another way to protect sensitive data is to store it in a secure vault, such as Hashicorp Vault, AWS Secrets Manager, or Azure Key Vault. This way, you can control who has access to the data and how it’s used.
4. Use a Secure Connection Between Tools
For your pipeline to be secure, the connections between the various tools must also be secure. Make sure that you’re using HTTPS or SSH when connecting to external services.
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a protocol that’s used to encrypt communication between a web server and a web browser.
SSH (Secure Shell), on the other hand, is a protocol that’s used to securely connect to remote servers. It can be used to encrypt communication between two computers.
5. Use Role-based Access Control
You should consider using role-based access control (RBAC) to control who has access to your pipeline. Doing so will let you give different users different levels of access, depending on their needs.
For example, you might give developers read-only access to the pipeline, while giving ops team members the ability to deploy code.
6. Audit Your Pipeline
You should regularly audit your pipeline to ensure that it’s secure. This can be done manually or by using a tool like Splunk.
Auditing will let you find and fix any security issues that might exist in your pipeline. It will also help you to keep track of what’s happening in your pipeline, so you can identify any unusual activity.
For instance, you might want to look for things like code changes that were made without approval, or attempts to access sensitive data.
7. Use a Secure CI/CD Server
Finally, make sure that you’re using a secure CI/CD server. A secure CI/CD is extremely important because that’s where your code is stored and built.
Some things to look for in a secure CI/CD server include encryption, role-based access control, and auditing. There are many options available, both open source and commercial.
Some popular choices include Jenkins, Bamboo, and GoCD. Make sure that you choose a server that supports the security features that you need.
Implementing these seven security measures will help you to secure your CI/CD pipeline. However, security is an ongoing process, so you should always be on the lookout for new threats and vulnerabilities. Regularly auditing your pipeline and keeping up-to-date with security news will ultimately help you to do this.