Securing with Secrets
Compliant Development Process
The course is part of this learning path
Configuration is an important aspect of determining an application’s behavior. Settings files often include sensitive information like passwords and API keys. In this course, we will look at how to protect that sensitive information while the app is being developed and when it is in production.
Azure’s App Configuration Service allows you to manage access to settings data and we will see how to use it within a .Net application. We will look at using Azure Key Vault in conjunction with App Configuration Service, and how to access Azure Key Vault directly from your application and from apps running in a container within a Kubernetes cluster.
Next, we look at the idea of shifting left security testing within your development process, and how we can automate security testing as part of implementing a compliant development process. Much of this will involve using extensions from the Azure marketplace within your DevOps build pipeline.
This course contains numerous demonstrations from the Azure platform so that you can get a first-hand look at the topics we will be covering. If you have any feedback relating to this course, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Learn about app configuration
- Run and deploy apps with the Azure App Configuration service
- Use Azure Key Vault to store secrets and certificates
- Access Key Vault directly from your apps, including those running within a Kubernetes cluster
- Create a compliant development process by integrating code analyzers, branch policies, quality gates, open-source library scanning, and automated penetration into a build pipeline
- Intermediate-level developers, DevOps engineers, and product managers
- Anyone interested in learning how to implement secure app configurations and development pipelines
To get the most out of this course, you should have some pre-existing knowledge of software development and of using Microsoft Azure.
In the context of configuration, Kubernetes essentially hides our containers from view inside pods. We could treat our containers as black boxes and just bake the configuration and secrets into them. But we don't need to do that as Kubernetes does provide a mechanism for updating configuration and secrets. You can specify configuration settings inside a yaml file called a config map and you can do the same with the secrets also inside a yaml file, where the secret values are encoded in base 64.
Here we have the app settings from the previous web app represented inside a yaml file. While you could separate them all out as individual key value pairs, like databasetype, azurersql. I'm preserving the app settings as a complex data type so I keep code changes minimal within my application. The next question is how do we make our configuration settings available to our container image? Well, we do this by mounting the ConfigMap in a directory within the container that is relative to our app location, and we specify the location in our deployment yaml file.
Okay, so not entirely straightforward but better than baking the configuration settings into our container image. But what about secrets? In Kubernetes, at this time, secrets are essentially the same as configuration. Although they are base 64 encoded. While secrets are logically separate from configuration, you could hardly say that base 64 encoding is military grade encryption. What we can do with the Azure Kubernetes service, AKS, is pull our secrets from an Azure key vault and that's what we'll look at now.
Hallam is a software architect with over 20 years experience across a wide range of industries. He began his software career as a Delphi/Interbase disciple but changed his allegiance to Microsoft with its deep and broad ecosystem. While Hallam has designed and crafted custom software utilizing web, mobile and desktop technologies, good quality reliable data is the key to a successful solution. The challenge of quickly turning data into useful information for digestion by humans and machines has led Hallam to specialize in database design and process automation. Showing customers how leverage new technology to change and improve their business processes is one of the key drivers keeping Hallam coming back to the keyboard.