Gartner Research

How to Secure Docker Containers in Operation

Published: 12 July 2016

ID: G00303205

Analyst(s): Joerg Fritsch


Application architecture changes driven by business requirements compel enterprises to put applications running on Docker containers into production. Security architects should use this document to decide whether to operationalize their Docker use case or implement more controls prior to that.

Table Of Contents


  • The Fundamental Flaw of Containers
    • Threat Vectors
    • How to Block the Threat Vectors
  • Security Applied During the Build Phase
    • Software Component Analysis
  • Security Applied During the Run Phase
    • Docker Host Hardening
    • Unprivileged Controls and cgroups
    • Third-Party Docker Security Products
  • Security Applied in the Software-Defined Infrastructure
    • Logical Security Zoning of Containers
    • Network Isolation
    • Programmable Microservice Routing
  • Feedback Loops and Runtime Application Self-Protection
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


  • Run Phase Controls
  • Build Phase Controls
  • Enhance Application Security With a "Container First" Approach

The Details

  • Vendor Details
    • Aqua Security
    • CloudPassage
    • Docker
    • Twistlock
    • Weaveworks

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