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9 Best Practices for Secrets Management
This article provides an overview of secrets management and best practices for implementing it to ensure secure authentication and access to data and resources. It discusses the different types of secrets and the pitfalls of bad practices, such as data breaches, secret sprawl, and a lack of secrets management policies. It then outlines 9 best practices for secrets management, including differentiating between secrets and identifiers, establishing a circle of trust, encrypting data using a KMS, rotating secrets frequently, and more.
What is a secret?
Secrets are non-human privileged credentials that are used to perform digital authentication when privileged users need to access sensitive applications or data.
What is secrets management?
Secrets management involves securing the lifecycle of credentials, tokens, passwords, and other sensitive information by consistently enforcing security policies.
What are the best practices for secrets management?
Differentiate between secrets and identifiers, establish a circle of trust, gain visibility into the chain of trust, encrypt data using a KMS, rotate secrets frequently, automate password creation, store secrets responsibly, manage privileges, and detect unauthorized access.
What are the pitfalls of bad practices related to secrets management?
Data breaches, secret sprawl, and an absence of secrets management policy.
What are the different types of secrets?
User credentials, database connection strings, cryptographic keys, cloud service access credentials, application programming interface (API) keys, and access tokens.
👍 This article provides a detailed overview of secrets management best practices, helping organizations establish standard security rules and procedures to protect secrets at all stages of its lifecycle.
👎 This article is overly long and the content is too technical for the average reader to understand.
Me: It's about "9 Best Practices for Secrets Management". It talks about the importance of secrets management, the different types of secrets, and how to establish best practices and avoid pitfalls.
Friend: That's really interesting. What are the implications of this article?
Me: Well, by following the best practices outlined in this article, organizations can ensure complete protection of secrets and reduce the risk of compromising sensitive data. It also helps in establishing a clear differentiation between secrets and identifiers and setting up a circle of trust with complete visibility. Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of encrypting data, rotating secrets, automating password creation, storing secrets responsibly, managing privileges, and detecting unauthorized access. All of these things are key to keeping secrets secure.
- Research and implement a secrets management policy for your organization.
- Implement automated password creation and rotation of secrets.
- Utilize a key management service (KMS) to encrypt data and ensure secure communication.
- Non-human privileged credentials used to perform digital authentication when privileged users need to access sensitive applications or data.
- Secrets Management
- Securing the lifecycle of credentials, tokens, passwords, and other sensitive information by consistently enforcing security policies.
- User Credentials
- Username and password combinations used for verification of physical users and for granting access to protected data, services, or endpoints.
- Database Connection Strings
- Credentials required to establish a connection to the target database or file.
- Cryptographic Keys
- Used to ensure secure communication over risky mediums and help in identity verification and user authentication.
- Cloud Service Access Credentials
- Credentials required to confirm authentication of users accessing cloud resources.
- API Keys
- Secrets required to identify the source of an API request.
- Access Tokens
- Secrets needed to make API requests in support of a user.
- Circle of Trust
- A system of parts that can be completely trusted, partially trusted, or not trusted at all.
- Key Management Service, used to encrypt data at multiple levels.
- Privilege Escalation
- The act of exploiting a bug, design flaw or configuration oversight in an operating system or software application to gain elevated access to resources that are normally protected from an application or user.