Infrastructure As Code (IaC) Security

By automating the process of deploying and configuring cloud-based infrastructure, Infrastructure as Code (IaC) makes it possible to rapidly create and destroy virtual servers, and helps to eliminate issues caused by mistakes and oversights in manual infrastructure configuration processes.

However, automating infrastructure management does not ensure that these processes are correct and protected. IaC must be augmented with IaC security solutions to create cloud-based infrastructure that is both functional and secure.

Request a Demo Learn More

What Is Infrastructure As Code (IaC)?

Traditionally, infrastructure was configured and managed manually. Engineers were responsible for developing network and system architectures, implementing them using physical components, and maintaining these systems throughout their lifecycles.

IaC allows engineers to use code and virtual services to automate these processes. Using tools like Ansible, CloudFormation, and Terraform, it is possible to programmatically create and destroy servers and network configurations as needed. With IaC, infrastructure management becomes faster, easier, and more secure with less chance of mistakes.

Security Challenges Of IaC

While IaC simplifies the process of deploying and configuring cloud-based infrastructure, it comes with significant security challenges, including:

  • Complex Environments: Modern enterprise networks span on-premises data centers and multi-cloud environments. This complex infrastructure makes it difficult to develop an IaC codebase that is manageable, effective, and secure.
  • Evolving Threats: As corporate IT infrastructure and the cyber threat landscape evolve, companies face rapidly-changing cyber risks. IaC scripts must be designed, reviewed, and updated to ensure that they configure the infrastructure to be secure against the latest cyber threats.
  • Limited Resources: As corporate IT environments become more complex, the task of configuring, maintaining, and securing them grows. However, many security teams are dealing with limited resources and a skills shortage, making it difficult to keep up.

What Is Infrastructure As Code (IaC) Security?

Simply put, IaC deals with automating the process of deploying and configuring virtualized IT resources, while IaC security is the automation of secure configuration management for these resources.

In the past, cloud security broke the deployment and configuration of cloud-based resources into two phases. Cloud infrastructure would be set up and then all configurations would be set and maintained as a separate event. With IaC security, the steps of setting up and securing virtualized infrastructure are both managed at the infrastructure code level.

Why Is IaC Security Important?

IaC makes cloud infrastructure deployable faster, easier, and more predictable. By eliminating manual processes, an organization can achieve higher productivity and improved security.

A major benefit of IaC is that virtualized infrastructure is deployed and configured the same way each time. However, this can create significant security issues if the IaC is not correct and secure. Incorrect or insecure IaC can cause all new server instances to be deployed with built-in security issues.

This is why IaC security is an important part of IaC and DevSecOps practices. Regular code scanning for security issues can help to identify existing, newly introduced, or newly discovered security misconfigurations that could leave the organization open to attack.

Scanning at IaC enables an organization to shift its security paradigm from detection to prevention. IaC scanning occurs before the build stage, shifting security left and minimizing the potential cost and impact of a security misconfiguration.

How IaC Security Works

IAC may contain misconfigurations that leave it vulnerable to attack. Security misconfigurations are one of the leading causes of cloud breaches and the reason why Gartner says that 99% of cloud security failures through 2025 will be the customers’ fault.

Before IaC is added to the live environment, before the build stage, IaC security solutions will inspect it for configuration errors and security issues that could leave it vulnerable to attack. This involves comparing all of the components of IaC (templates, files, modules, etc.) to the corporate security policy. The IaC solution searches for missing or misconfigured variables and settings that leave a default configuration out of compliance with corporate policies and regulatory requirements.

The scale and complexity of corporate IT infrastructure and security policies make an automated approach vital to IaC security. IaC may be applied to multiple cloud environments, each with their own unique configuration settings and potential security issues. Automating IaC security makes it possible to inspect cloud security configurations in IaC at scale.

IaC Security with Check Point

Instead of manually building systems with physical components or setting up virtualized infrastructure by hand, engineers can take advantage of automation and orchestration solutions to rapidly and consistently deploy virtualized infrastructure in their cloud environments.

By lowering the bar for deploying virtualized infrastructure, IaC increases the potential for security issues. With IaC, new infrastructure might be deployed by personnel without the knowledge, resources, or time to properly configure and secure it.

Check Point CloudGuard is the market’s leading cloud security platform, providing cloud security posture management, threat hunting and intelligence, workload protection and application and API security.. Check Point has expanded its CSPM capabilities for workload protection to offer IaC security, enabling companies to ensure that cloud-based infrastructure as code is secure out of the box,  and throughout its lifecycle. 

By integrating IaC security into an organization’s security architecture, CloudGuard Workload Protection makes it easier for security personnel to detect configuration issues and to rapidly and automatically remediate them. This move to IaC also shifts security left, enabling a company to prevent configuration issues rather than responding to potential issues in production.

Cloud security configuration issues and weak cloud security posture management are leading causes of data breaches and security issues. Learn how to simplify and improve your cloud security configuration management with a free demo of CloudGuard Workload Protection.

This website uses cookies for its functionality and for analytics and marketing purposes. By continuing to use this website, you agree to the use of cookies. For more information, please read our Cookies Notice.