How to Put a Lid on Container Security as More Companies Adopt SaaS

Research shows what many of us in the cybersecurity space have known for several years now: Many organizations – within the United States as well as around the world – are increasingly turning to the cloud to run many of its business critical operations.

A new study from market research firm Techaisle LLC finds that among small and midsized businesses (SMBs), software-as-a-service (SaaS) adoption has tripled in the United States: from 27 percent in 2011 to 73 percent in 2016. By the end of 2017, this study predicts that nearly 94 percent of SMBs will adopt some version of SaaS in its IT landscape. Around the world, survey data shows that 76 percent of SMBs have adopted SaaS.

SMBs are following the track that its midmarket and enterprise counterparts have been on for several years now. Midmarket firms are using twice as many SaaS applications within their organizations as their SMB counterparts. However, small businesses will increase their SaaS usage by 140 percent this year, while midmarket firms will increase its SaaS usage by 80 percent.

With on-premises server space and the cost of maintaining and storing compute power at a premium for the SMB market, the possibilities in the SaaS world are endless: customer relationship management, supply chain management, inventory management, marketing automation, enterprise resource planning, customer service, and other vertical applications susceptible to poorly automated – or even manual – tasks and processes can all be improved by the use of low variable, low cost SaaS applications. 

However, rushing to take advantage of public – or even private – cloud environments without thinking about how to secure this important data could leave your organization on the hook to pay millions of dollars in fines and nurse a serious black eye as it relates to customer trust and brand reputation.

As companies incorporate cloud-based applications for their critical business processes, many are considering container technology to get software to run reliably when moved from one computing environment to another. Containers consist of an entire runtime environment: an application; its dependencies, libraries, and other binaries; and configuration files needed to run it. They have a smaller operating system footprint than virtual machines, meaning containers load and run faster – translating to greater business agility.

However, security for these containers still remains an issue. Many containers demand root access. If there a vulnerability in the root access, it can provide a way into the containers sharing it. Once an attacker is within a container, it can often connect to other containers, the container's host, or other computers on the network.

How to lock down the container? Very similar to how we recommend you establish a comprehensive cybersecurity plan. It all starts with a penetration test of your platform before deploying a new environment – look carefully at the privileges and find any security gaps now before a malicious hacker exploits them for their financial gain. With that said, many SMBs and midsize enterprises don’t have the resources or time to properly test their cloud applications to ensure proper cybersecurity.

Let USCV’s secure cloud and expertise help you navigate this complex landscape. We offer our clients trustworthy layered defense in our data center with industry leading next-generation security tools.  We are vendor agnostic and choose only the best layers of defense for you: DDoS, NextGen firewalls, WAF, advanced malware protection, IPS/IDS, DLP, SIEM, SOC, endpoint, anomaly alerting, and log analysis. Visit our website to learn more about how we help you take full advantage of cloud computing while keeping your data safe, and sign up for a free consultation today.