Embraced by the lion’s share of today’s enterprise product teams, the DevOps approach has undeniably changed application delivery workflows for the better. However, the DevOps model’s emphasis on automation and containerization has created holes in the app delivery pipeline that are growing bigger by the day. Developers ship code quickly to keep pace with sprint timelines, often to the detriment of security.
Given the emphasis on speed, the slightest wrinkle in a workflow can delay timelines significantly, something many organizations struggle with. Ensuring pipeline efficiency while maintaining a high delivery pace is a tough task, one that Tel Aviv-based Akeyless takes seriously.
"The rise of automation in DevOps processes, including scripts, CI/CD automation tools, and orchestration platforms and systems such as Kubernetes, means that various microservices and tools need to continuously access each other as well as databases in a variety of locations, both on-prem and in the cloud," says Oded Hareven, the company’s CEO. "You particularly need a secrets management solution like Akeyless if you have data both in the cloud and in on-premise systems, or on more than a single cloud service provider."
Here's how Akeyless is solving the challenge of building efficiency and aiding delivery speed in CI/CD pipelines.
Aiding Faster Deployment
While Akeyless's primary function is to ensure secure management of secrets in all their forms (credentials, certificates, keys, and so forth), the platform consists of several features that help faster deployment. Its enterprise-grade interface centralizes workflows, giving managers a single pane of glass when managing processes across hybrid, multi-cloud, and on-prem environments.
Organizations can set up and manage credentials, along with keys, to automate microservice access. This feature is critical to fast delivery schedules, and it represents one of the biggest weaknesses in the modern pipeline.
Ensuring smooth access to data spread across various containers and infrastructure is challenging. Developers often resort to hard-coding credentials to prevent app failures. However, this practice creates a massive security risk, one that companies are aware of. Akeyless solves this issue by leaning into the automation-as-a-solution theme that DevOps prides itself on.
The results are short delivery times and seamless workflows that reduce developer pressure. Akeyless deploys easily and enables service continuity during network outages, further aiding speedy delivery. Given the increasingly remote nature of dev teams, the platform also enables secure remote access, for both human and workload access scenarios.
Building Security into Agile Code
DevOps is agile by nature, but often at the expense of security. Akeyless aids the adoption of DevSecOps, integrating security into agile workflows by centralizing secrets management. The platform effectively removes the risk posed by secret sprawl.
Akeyless’s CEO is a major proponent of curbing the use of unmanaged, decentralized secrets. "Secret sprawl can jeopardize business and personal data, cause outages due to unmanaged expired secrets, and leave the organization open to a variety of attacks," Hareven says. "Some prominent examples include the hacks at Nvidia, Solarwinds, Scotiabank, and the recent Uber hack. Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 61% of all breaches involve hacked credentials."
Infrastructure sprawl in the form of containerization gives rise to secrets sprawl. While leveraging different infrastructure, whether on-prem or in the cloud, enables software engineers to sandbox many components of their apps at once, many teams fail to secure their frameworks. CSPs offer secrets management solutions, but these are ill-suited to modern dev environments.
For starters, the service provider owns keys to data, a situation that can hardly be described as secure. Akeyless solves this issue with its patented, next-generation Zero Trust tech called Akeyless Distributed Fragments Cryptography (DFC). This ensures customers have exclusive ownership of their master keys, and Akeyless cannot access and decrypt keys.
Furthermore, Akeyless Universal Identity solves the issue of providing machine identities to secure initial vault connections, eliminating the “secret zero” problem. With this setup, after all, there’s no one password to rule them all. Thanks to its API-based approach, Akeyless connects to the company's infrastructure, thus posing no hurdles to developers looking to ship code quickly.
Reducing the Cost of Operations
Secrets management is a complex task to execute. Many third-party secrets management solutions require complex infrastructure, driving costs higher, as they demand configuration in each cloud environment. Add to this mix maintenance and hiring resources, and the costs of secrets management might be unjustifiable in many departments.
Akeyless is a SaaS solution, operating on a subscription model. There is no code base to procure or infrastructure to install. The platform delivers updates automatically, so there is no need to appoint a dedicated maintenance staff to oversee its implementation. Simply formulate your API call, or use the supported browser extensions, and you can inject dynamic, secure secrets into your code on the fly.
Secrets can be rotated, manually refreshed, or even generated on a just-in-time basis, all using the platform’s automation engine and native integrations.
Akeyless automatically scales for demand peaks across multiple regions and cloud platforms. Organizations can migrate their existing secrets easily while preserving existing plugins, ensuring a robust security setup that aids the DevOps pipeline.
Powering Secrets Management
"Managing your secrets can present an organizational challenge," Hareven says. "To be effective, secrets management must be a cross-organizational effort to address the overlapping areas of responsibility between your security team, DevOps, cloud teams, identity and access management (IAM), and more."
He notes that all these departments have overlapping areas of responsibility but tend to have different approaches to secrets management. Organizations must take all of this into account in their workflows, especially when rolling out products.
Akeyless, when combined with the right workflows, aids in faster code deployment, and its API-based approach is certainly a favorable option when it comes to solving complicated issues.