When it comes to development security, scanning for problem areas in software development components is critical. When a component is consumed, developers need to ensure that a component will not introduce a security breach or vulnerability. From Maven to NPM, components need to be scanned, and this also goes for Docker container images.

Containerized images and automated application deployment from companies like jFrog have become quite popular. And Docker is one of the leading development tools in this specific development space. However, Docker images have multiple layers, which can, in turn, introduce multiple security issues and vulnerabilities.

This makes it very important to scan all your Docker image layers for potential development security threats. Let’s take a closer look at making development security a priority for Docker images.

Development Security Problems

The security problems and vulnerabilities that exist are weaknesses that expose the software to those who otherwise don’t have access. It also covers unauthorized activity by people that shouldn’t have access to software and development projects.

For instance, SQL injection can uncover your database to nefarious outsiders looking to attack your software.

“SQL injection attacks pose a serious security threat to organizations,” By Paul Rubens of eSecurity Planet explained. “A successful SQL injection attack can result in confidential data being deleted, lost or stolen; websites being defaced; unauthorized access to systems or accounts and, ultimately, compromise of individual machines or entire networks. Twenty years after its discovery, SQL injection remains a top database security concern.”

Code injection is another security problem since it can alter how your program executes. The number of security problems and vulnerabilities are infinite, making it essential for developers to take necessary actions to reduce attacks and hacks.

You Need To Dig Deeper To Find Potential Security Problems

Scanning the initial layer image won’t cut it when it comes to ensuring your Docker image is free of security threats. Yes, it is convenient to take a look at the base image and move on. However, it doesn’t give you the protection needed. Why? Each layer has its own software components.

To ensure security problems are found and fixed, a scan of every layer in the Docker image is a must. This includes all images in your private and public Docker registries as well. If a vulnerability or area of weakness is found in an image, you need to run an impact analysis to identify all layers that specific component is used for, regardless if the components are in the same Docker image or not.

After you have checked all versions of that specific component, you need to look closely at the latest version in order to utilize the image layer to remediate the problem. A multi-layered image scan is the only way to truly know your software isn’t compromised.

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Implement Continuous Integration (CI) Processes To Identify Bugs Faster

Software bugs are annoying, as well as costly if not found early on. The later a bug is identified, the more problems it causes, especially in the case of software security. In fact, bugs found in the production stage can be 100 times more expensive to fix than in development or design.

The earlier you find a bug in a Docker image the better. How can you make this a top priority? If you use a CI/CD pipeline in development, you can implement a scanning cycle during the continuous integration (CI) process. A scanning tool that is in your CI server could easily detect security problems very early, thus making fixed easier and more cost-effective.

Are You Protecting Your Image Layers Effectively During Development?

It is critical to have scanning processes in place to ensure your Docker image layers are protected. If it is done effectively and often, you can make security vulnerabilities as minimal as possible during design and development. This can have a positive impact on your software releases, and your overall business. One bad release can cause serious issues for your business’ integrity.

A few ways to make security a priority is to have a scanning tool continuously running for a cluster of Docker images and this can be a multiple continuous and synced process utilizing shared data. This will help you minimize vulnerabilities.

Yes, problems will always arise during software development projects. And you will most likely miss some bugs and find them in the production environment. However, by taking the needed security measures to find bugs early and fix them, gives you an edge. You certainly don’t want to have software that can create problems for your business after release.