Gartner Research

Security Considerations and Best Practices for Securing Serverless PaaS

Published: 04 September 2018

ID: G00351014

Analyst(s): Neil MacDonald


Developers are embracing serverless computing to extend and integrate cloud applications and lower costs, and as a lower-friction way to develop and deploy code. Security and risk management leaders should adopt best practices to address visibility and control gaps created by serverless computing.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • Secure Cloud-Native Application Mindset
    • Adopt the Gartner CARTA Strategic Approach
    • Adopt an Immutable Infrastructure Mindset
    • Employ Structured Identity/Entity and Least Privilege Permissions Management
    • Build and Configure Resilient Software
    • Deliver Consistent Workload Protection, Regardless of Form Factor
  • Secure Serverless Foundation
    • Implement IAM SOD for Developers and Separate Development From Production
    • Require Mandatory Granular, Identities and Permissions Management for Serverless Code
    • Require an API Gateway and/or Event Broker to Be Used for Serverless Access
    • Continuously Discover Serverless Code, Assess the Cloud Configuration for Risk and Minimize the Surface Area for Attack
  • Secure Serverless Development
    • Create a Detailed Bill of Materials for All Serverless Code
    • Create a Data Flow Map, and Assess It for Risk and Compliance
    • Scan for Vulnerabilities Automatically/Transparently in Development
    • Use Knowledge Gained From Development to Build Least Privilege Models
    • Extend Code Assurance and Software Integrity Best Practices to Scripts
    • Use Automated Phased Deployments With Rollback
  • Secure Serverless Operation
    • Implement a Default Deny Posture
    • Use the API Gateway/Event Broker and WAF-Like Filtering for Runtime Attack Protection
    • Use Comprehensive Monitoring for Rapid Detection and Response
    • Use Existing Security Controls in and Around Serverless
    • Use Runtime Code Injection and Code Wrappering With Caution
    • Use Visibility and Feedback From Operations to Improve the Security of the Next Version
  • Bottom Line

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