When moving the application from monolith to microservices architecture, there are few security challenges that one should always be prepared for.
Unlike traditional applications, microservices have their own security concerns such as access-control, monitoring, cyberattacks etc.
Here are few best practices that can you can include in your strategy for securing microservices and protect your application entire ecosystem:
Manage access control:
All SaaS applications have multiple users and user roles. The access can be gated with secure login and optimized. Selecting the right user authorization tool is necessary for integrating it within the product architecture and backend services. Effective authorization and authentication adds a layer of security that is easy to add and monitor.
Safety standards like OAuth/ OAuth2 are most popularly used for user authorization across distributed systems. For microservices, the same standard can be deployed to secure server-based communication between the API client and server.
Using automatic security updates:
This is another easy and effective method of ensuring the security of microservices architectures. Regular updates of all the tools and frameworks further help in keeping microservices safe and scalable at a time.
As a safer practice, one can automate the update process to avoid missing any major security patches released by these softwares. Additionally, ensure that the updates are stable and gel well with your overall tech stack and application infrastructure so as to avoid breaking your application. Security tools like Dependabot from Github work efficiently at automating updates through pull requests. Tools such as KubePatrol provide comprehensive scanning and reporting of the security status; like Dependabot works efficiently at automating updates.
Create an API gateway:
Microservices by nature have distributed components over external networks and systems. This results in APIs being on of the weakest links in microservice implementation from security perspective. Having an API gateway is the best way to secure microservices as it provides a single centralized point for handling all external requests.
On its part, a secure API can enable you to restrict information access to only authorized users, authorized apps, and external resources. Additionally, API gateways can also support the DiP security practice while delivering external services to microservices.
Add container security:
Like API, microservices architecture is again dependent on the underlying container security. Container security can be compromised by a host of run-time vulnerabilities or misconfigured registry. Few ways of making container security robust is to automate the container security tools and technologies, limit permission and access to container resources, add multi-factor authentication.
Any microservices application security strategy is not complete without securing the endpoints and frontend applications. This makes user authentication and access control critical for securing a microservice application.
Multi-factor authentication (or MFA) is a proven technique for blocking malicious intent. For signing into microservices application accounts, users need to go through a two-step process that consists of entering their correct user credentials (username and password) followed by a unique verification code (that is sent only to their mobile phones or email address). Additionally, an effective MFA process can also “raise a red flag” for any intrusion.
For modern cloud-first applications, microservices offer an agile and cost-effective mode of building high performance applications. With the rise in adoption of microservices, and forming mission critical layer of any application; it is pertinent that security cannot be an “afterthought” but should be part of the development cycle right from the start of your projects.
If you need to integrate architecture security right from the beginning, our team of experts can enable you to secure your cloud-native applications.