Gartner Research

Security Considerations and Best Practices for Securing Containers

Published: 10 November 2016

ID: G00314053

Analyst(s): Neil MacDonald


OS containers are not inherently unsecure, but are being deployed unsecurely, driven by developers and a need for agility in service development and deployment. Security and risk management leaders must address container security issues around vulnerabilities, visibility, compromise and compliance.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • Set Standards for the Minimal and Hardened OS Kernel
  • Enforce Separation of Duties, Fine-Grained Authorization Throughout Container Life Cycle
  • Scan Containers in the Development Process
  • Scan Container Repositories Continuously
  • Pressure All Security Vendors to Become Programmable via APIs and to Explicitly Support CI/CD Toolchains
  • Apply Full Audit Control, Version Control and Integrity Checking on Containers and Scripts
  • Pressure Cloud Workload Protection Platform Vendors to Support Containers
  • Disable Antivirus and Adopt Application Control Whitelisting
  • Configure Containers for Default Deny for Network Isolation, but Move Beyond Manual Iptable Configuration
  • Adopt an Immutable Infrastructure Mindset
  • Adopt a Systematic Workload Reprovisioning Strategy for the Long Term
  • Use VMs or Physical Hardware for Strong Isolation Until Your Enterprise Container Security Processes Mature

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