24 Sep 2015
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Containerised applications on the rise, security concerns high

By Catherine Knowles

Containerised applications are on the rise, with many IT departments seeing their benefits and deploying them broadly across their networks. However, the security of these applications is still a significant concern.

A recent survey from Twistlock, the container security company, shows 35% of IT decision makers have already deployed container applications across their networks.

Furthermore, 86% of IT decision makers say they either already are using containers in some form or plan to deploy them within one year.

Even so, nearly all (91%) are concerned about the security of these applications, and half say they are very or extremely concerned.

Of those who do not use containers in their data centre, 81% said the addition of in-container security would prompt them to adopt a container strategy.

The three container security features that respondents said they would most-benefit from are:

  • The ability to ensure that all containers have a consistent security model from development through production (83%)
  • Preventing development mistakes from reaching production (82%)
  • Detecting vulnerabilities in containers (80%)

“This survey shows what Twistlock has known all along - that even though containers are accessible and easy to deploy, many companies do not have a good grasp of how to manage container security.

“This remains a major adoption hurdle that is keeping data centres from migrating to containers completely,” says Ben Bernstein, Twistlock CEO.

The survey also found that nearly 55% of respondents have 100 or more containers in production and 49% have more than 100 container images.

In addition, virtual machines remain a popular platform to run containers - 62% said they run containers on top of VMs, with VMware as the top platform choice. In contrast, only 17% said they run containers on bare metal servers.

Containers, such as those by Docker and CoreOS, are a method of deploying applications faster and more cost-effectively than traditional means, says Twistlock.

Container technologies have become a phenomenon of late, with Docker rising rapidly in popularity and market share.

The survey found that Docker is the predominant source for container images - more than 98% of those who are using containers said they use Docker hub or Docker Trusted Registry as image source.​

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