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Infrastructure-as-code (laC) is a software engineering method designed for managing computer data centers and other infrastructures, such as networks, storage systems, and servers. By following best practices, you can help teams reduce critical security issues and mitigate unnecessary risks.

What is infrastructure as code?

Infrastructure as code is a software methodology —  IaC works as separate configurations, policies, profiles, and templates from the hardware or software in which they are implemented so that they can be stored on the system. It uses declarative programming to encode the desired state of the infrastructure in text files called “configuration files.” 

A focus directly on the laC supports continuous integration and complementation, thus creating the same infrastructure environment each time it is being applied. 

One of the main features is infrastructure as code security scanning, which is a process of scanning for vulnerabilities in the code that is used to create infrastructure. The goal of this process is to identify vulnerabilities and fix them before they are exploited by attackers.

Best practices to start securing IaC

The main advantage of the laC is that it provides a repeatable process for configuring infrastructure. It also enables engineers to create self-healing systems that can be easily replicated in different data centers.

IaC also permits developmental teams to use software tools for provisioning and deployment of infrastructure. This eliminates the need for manual processes that are often error-prone and time-consuming.

Let’s look at some of the best practices when it comes to infrastructure as code. 

Hard-Coded Secrets

Replace hard-coded secrets with sensitive variable references or dynamically generated values.

Sensitive data must be stored in a way that ensures that it cannot be accessed by unauthorized users. One way of doing so is to store sensitive information as encrypted values and then have a separate piece of code decrypt the values when they are needed.

There are two main ways to store encrypted values: hard-coded secrets and dynamically generated values.

  • Hard-coded secrets are easier to implement but more difficult to maintain because any change in the encryption algorithm requires the secret key to also be changed.
  • Dynamically generated values are more complicated and error-prone but allow changes in encryption algorithms without requiring any changes in the application code.

Test every IaC file

One of the most important aspects of DevOps is automation. Automation can be used to test every IaC file to ensure that the software is working correctly. A good example of an IaC file would be a Dockerfile which contains instructions for how to build and run a Docker container image.

The beauty of automation is that it can be used for many purposes, such as testing, deploying, and updating software. This means that the process of building and running containers can be automated to make sure that everything is working correctly before being deployed into production.

Dynamically test against environments

The ability to dynamically test against environments is a key feature of the new release. This means that you can now test your code against all environments at once without having to manually switch between them each time you want to run your tests.

This release includes several bug fixes and improvements, including:

  • Fix for an issue where some tests were not being reported as passing when they should have been in certain cases.
  • Fix for an issue where the test runner could crash when trying to run code coverage on a project with no coverage.
  • Fix for an issue where the debugger would sometimes stop working on Windows machines.

Automatically update the running pipeline 

A pipeline is a set of tasks that are executed in sequence. It can be used to automate the deployment of code. For example, pipelines are often managed by a continuous delivery tool such as Jenkins or TeamCity.

Pipelines can be defined in code and then shared with others. Pipeline definitions are typically stored in a version control system like Git and can be updated automatically when the code changes. This is what makes them so useful for continuous delivery. They can be re-run at any time, without manual intervention, to deploy the latest version of an application or service.

Restrict access to environments

Restricting access to environments is a way to prevent hackers from accessing the environment. This can be done by restricting the access of certain people or by restricting the type of connections that are allowed.

Alert on failures

Alerts are a tool that is used to notify the company of an event or problem. The alert can be used to display information in a popup window, sound an audible alarm, or generate an email notification.

Alerts are the most common way to inform users about critical issues and errors. They can be customized and configured to meet the needs of different applications.

The benefits of achieving infrastructure as code security

Infrastructure as code security has many benefits for organizations that decide to implement it in their system, such as speeding up deployment times and reducing the risk of a person making a mistake. It also shows us a way to automate the deployment system to do it with greater quality and safety.

  • Automation: infrastructure as code automates the deployment process by using scripts which makes it faster than traditional methods like manual labor or scripting languages.
  • Version control: IaC uses version control systems like Git to store scripts which can be used as backups in case something goes wrong during deployment.
  • Security: laC templates can be carefully evaluated through testing and then reviewed by security teams, resulting in infrastructure with fewer problems and higher quality than before.

It reduces the need for physical access to machines and data centers: you can access data from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. It gives your company a competitive advantage over other companies that don’t use this technology. The advantages of this technology are that it improves efficiency and security, reduces latency, and lowers costs.

It has a lower risk of human error due to scripted processes: Scripted processes are a great way to ensure that everything is done correctly. They are also the only way to ensure that human error is minimized. This can be seen in the way that AI-powered writing tools have been developed.