How small problems can become pretty big: Staying safe and microservices
While microservice architecture (MSA) has been around for some time, it’s never really experienced widespread adoption. But with growing pressure on businesses to become more agile, MSAs are now starting to grow in popularity.
Microservices are like building blocks. They are features and add-ons that can easily be put together to create a finished product, or add to a particular service or tool. By splitting applications into separate sections, microservices can provide more flexibility and better optimisation for your tools.
One example of the benefits of shifting to microservices is Amazon. When the online retail giant needed to scale quicker than their current system would allow, their technical teams adopted microservices. Instead of running everything through one complex system, applications were broken into smaller, independently operated ones. This meant a single service handled the Buy Now button while a completely different service handled the tax calculator function.
Unpacking microservices and what they mean for you
As soon as microservices are introduced into your business, the amount of attack surface increases. The add-ons may be technically advanced, but that doesn’t mean they’re free from bugs and hackable code, which means that your security needs to step up its game in equal measure. The truth is that you can’t rely on microservices alone to make your system secure. It takes diligence. You have to prioritise security in order to create an environment that’s secure, end-to-end.
Four proactive strategies to secure your microservices
- Add some depth to your security protocols
In order to protect your data, you need to make sure that your service is protected with multiple layers of security. Not doing so will leave your sensitive data vulnerable. Include a variety of layers like user authentication, real-time message encryption, and identity management.
- Take the cautious approach
With microservice architecture, the application security landscape changes drastically. As opposed to an overarching approach, security should be a part of every step of the process, from design all the way to production.
- Fortify through isolation
With microservices, each piece is implemented separately, giving you complete control. The kind of control that’s invaluable when threatened by a hack or breach, allowing you to isolate and deal with the problem without affecting any other part of your environment.
- Don’t forget to backup
Having data backed up in a safe place is ideal, especially in the case of microservices. Not only do you want to keep your database safe, but you want to ensure the environment is separate (cloud-based) and highly-encrypted. This way you can ensure business continuity while maintaining architectural integrity.
Even in the age of microservices, it’s important to stay safe
As with most emerging technologies, it’s important to experiment and find the best fit for your business. That said, it’s important to keep a watchful eye over your security protocols. Regardless of how secure your system may seem, you never want to be in a position where you are unable to recover lost or stolen data. That’s why recovery tools such as online backup remain an essential component of your security strategy, regardless of whether you have made the shift to microservices yet or not.