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HashiCorp and Venafi: Managing Machine Identities in Hybrid Clouds

HashiCorp and Venafi: Managing Machine Identities in Hybrid Clouds

HashiCorp and Venafi Managing Machine Identities
November 26, 2019 | Anastasios Arampatzis

The Venafi and HashiCorp partnership has developed a proven blueprint for machine identity protection in hybrid clouds. The solution provides security teams with smart policy enforcement of machine identities, and DevOps teams the speed and agility they require. The solution integrates the flexibility of the Venafi Trust Protection Platform with the power of HashiCorp tools for speed of delivery as part of today and tomorrow’s cloud strategy.


Building the Case for the Blueprint

Digital transformation means there is a shift on the focus of enterprise IT, from cost optimization to speed optimization. The cloud is at the heart of this shift as it presents the opportunity to rapidly deploy on-demand services with limitless scale.

To maximize the added value of a cloud environment, enterprises must consider how to industrialize the application delivery process across each layer of the cloud: embracing the cloud operating model, and tuning people, process, and tools to it. To accomplish business goals, DevOps teams must:

  • Run anywhere: Build environment-agnostic applications that can be deployed anywhere quickly.
  • Change fast: Make updates constantly without ever stopping service and fail fast.
  • Automate everything: Automate the software life cycle using their favorite tools to deliver new apps and features faster and eliminate errors like costly outages.

Accelerate DevOps securely with HashiCorp and Venafi. Download the white paper.

While most enterprises began with one cloud provider, there are valid reasons to use services from more than one cloud service provider.

According to Forrester Research, 74 percent of North American and European enterprise infrastructure decision makers define their strategy as hybrid. Why get locked into any single cloud provider’s strategy when you can harvest the power and advantages of multiple providers?

An essential implication of this transition to the cloud is the shift from configuring and managing a traditional datacenter of dedicated infrastructure, to provisioning, securing, connecting, and running dynamic resources on demand. In these dynamic, perimeter-less environments, identity is the backbone of a consistent multi-cloud strategy. 

As businesses increase their reliance on machines, the number of machines is growing exponentially. Cloud services, containers, microservices, service meshes, and container orchestration platforms rely on machine identities for secure machine-to-machine communication. Therefore, machine identities need to be managed effectively to secure cloud workloads.

However, managing machine identities have always been a bit troublesome for security teams. With the exponential growth of the attack surface, this is becoming even more challenging for security teams. Lack of central machine identity management has led to costly certificate-related outages, such as those seen at LinkedIn, O2, and many others. In addition, massive data breaches, like that of Equifax in 2017, are made worse by untracked, expiring certificates.

The shift to a hybrid cloud operating environment introduces new challenges for the management of machine identities. The dynamic nature of infrastructure complicates the task of uniquely identifying, authorizing and securing communication between physical and virtual machines.

Because machines now control huge amounts of our global digital economy, the need to create, install, rapidly assess and ensure the integrity of communications between machines is critical and must be able to scale instantly. However, many organizations do not employ the technology, or the automation needed to accurately monitor and protect the vast number of machines identities businesses now require.

The Solution: Integrate HashiCorp Tools with the Venafi Platform

Businesses operating in a hybrid-cloud model require a set of common services to achieve consistency, agility, and speed. Relying on cloud- and environment-agnostic platform services to deliver the dynamic infrastructure necessary for secure application delivery is the way ahead.

Security teams must always know what to trust and what not to trust to effectively protect machine identities in dynamic environments. As a result, smart policy enforcement must be automated and embedded into the tools used by application development teams. At the same time developers should rely on a centralized common service provided by the security team to achieve speed and compliance with enterprise security policies.

As a common service across clouds, HashiCorp delivers consistent workflows to provision, secure, connect, and run any infrastructure for any application. Venafi integrates with HashiCorp to protect machine identities by delivering visibility, intelligence and automation for machine identities. Venafi also seamlessly makes available a rich ecosystem of more than 40 certificate authorities from within HashiCorp modules, making both private and public trust certificates easy to consume.

The combination of HashiCorp and Venafi now gives security teams confidence that their business is safe in the multi-cloud generation. By providing a service with Venafi that DevOps teams consume through native HashiCorp integrations, security teams:

  • Eliminate errors by supporting Terraform including certificate expirations and outages
  • Get smart policy enforcement with Vault everywhere developers need to consume X.509 certificates
  • Improve visibility and security with Consul at machine speed that delivers zero-trust protection

Obtaining and using machine identities has always been a necessary but cumbersome requirement. Security teams using Venafi can now provide an enterprise certificate service across private and public clouds. By using HashiCorp with Venafi, DevOps can now:

  • Build infrastructure as code with Terraform that is consistent and ready for change
  • Get the flexibility of Vault using different secrets engines based on use case
  • Go faster with Consul to connect applications while delivering the highest level of application security that legacy networks cannot

You can learn more about how HashiCorp tools and the Venafi Platform work together to manage machine identities by reading this whitepaper.

Or, check out this video from HashiCorp co-founder, Armon Dadgar. 



Trial our HashiCorp Vault integration and get free internal certificates. Click Here.


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About the author

Anastasios Arampatzis
Anastasios Arampatzis

Anastasios Arampatzis is a retired Hellenic Air Force officer with over 20 years of experience in evaluating cybersecurity and managing IT projects. He works as an informatics instructor at AKMI Educational Institute, while his interests include exploring the human side of cybersecurity.

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