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Microservices | Architecture | Interview Questions | Design Patterns

Microservices | Architecture | Interview Questions | Design Patterns

Microservices are all the rage these days. And for a good reason: they offer many advantages over traditional monolithic applications. But as with anything, there are trade-offs to consider. One of the biggest is security.

Microservices are more difficult to secure than traditional applications for several reasons. However, DevSecOps and other best practices can remove this difficulty from its core. Let’s see how.

The Secure DevOps: DevSecOps

If you're wondering, "What is DevSecOps?" it's simply a combination of Development and Operations, focusing on security. The goal is to make security an integral part of the software development process, rather than tacking it on at the end.

DevSecOps is a set of best practices that can be used to build secure microservices. While it's not a silver bullet, it's an excellent place to start.

That's why you need to adopt other ways of building secure microservices. The key is combining as many of these best practices as possible, since one tip alone will not make much difference.

Multiple providers help with this, including JFrog, Microsoft Azure, and AWS.

Top Tips To Build Secure Microservices

Building secure microservices is not easy, but it's possible. You can make your microservices more secure by putting in a little effort and good security strategies. Here are some tips on how to do that:

1. Use a Secure Base Image

The first step is to use a secure base image. A base image is the starting point for your container, and it should be as secure as possible. There are some ways to do this:

Make sure to use an official base image from a Linux distribution such as Alpine, Ubuntu, or Debian.

Use a base image provided by a cloud provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or Microsoft Azure.

Ensure the base image is from a container registry such as Docker Hub, Quay, or Artifactory.

If you're unsure which base image to use, you can consult the security guidance provided by your Linux distribution or cloud provider.

2. Follow the Principle of The Least Privilege 

The principle of the least privilege is a best practice that should be followed when working with microservices. It states that each component should have the minimum amount of privileges necessary to function. This minimizes the attack surface and helps to prevent accidental data leaks.

A few ways to follow the principle of the least privilege are:

Use a separate user for each service. This way, if one service is compromised, the others will not be affected.

Run each service as its own process to ensure that one service cannot access the memory of another.

Give each service its network namespace, limiting the traffic that can flow between services and helps to prevent data leaks.

3. Encrypt Sensitive Data 

Another best practice is to encrypt sensitive data. This includes anything that could be used to gain unauthorized access to your systems, such as passwords, API keys, and database credentials. Encrypting this data helps to protect it if your microservices are compromised.

You may use TLS/SSL to encrypt connections between services. You can also follow the practice of storing secrets in an encrypted format, such as AWS KMS or Hashicorp Vault.

4. AuthN and AuthZ 

Authentication (AuthN) is the process of verifying that a user is who they claim to be, while Authorization (AuthZ) is the process of determining what a user is allowed to do. Both AuthN and AuthZ are important for security.

One way to implement AuthN and AuthZ is to use an identity management system such as OpenID Connect, SAML, or OAuth. This system can be used to authenticate users and authorize them to access certain resources.

Another option is to use a service mesh, a tool that can help manage authentication and authorization for microservices.

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5. Implement Role-based Access Control

Role-based access control (RBAC) is another best practice that can be used to control access to your microservices. In RBAC, users are assigned to one or more roles, and each role is given a set of permissions.

This ultimately makes it easy to manage who has access to which resources and helps prevent unauthorized access.

6. Use Security-focused Libraries 

Whenever possible, you should use security-focused libraries when building microservices. These libraries can help to prevent common vulnerabilities like SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS).

Some examples of security-focused libraries are the OWASP Java Encoder Project and the Apache Shiro project.

7. Perform Regular Security Scans 

Last but not least, it's important to perform regular security scans. Performing these scans can help to identify any potential vulnerabilities that may exist.

The open-source tool OWASP ZAP serves this purpose. Once potential vulnerabilities have been identified, you can take steps to fix them.


Building secure microservices is essential for any organization that relies on this architecture. Following the best practices outlined in this article can help keep your microservices safe from attack.

What other tips do you have for building secure microservices? Let us know in the comments below.

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