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Safeguard Your Secrets: Docker Secrets Management with Doppler

May 23, 2023
Janey Annis Avatar
Janey Annis
Safeguard Your Secrets: Docker Secrets Management with Doppler
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Safeguard Your Secrets: Docker Secrets Management with Doppler

As developers, we understand that securing sensitive information is a priority, but we’re always trying to find the balance between speed and security. While Docker provides a convenient way to store and secure secrets already built in, it doesn't provide tools to manage secrets effectively so you can focus on building the next best thing. That's where Doppler comes in—it’s the perfect solution for managing Docker secrets securely.

But what are docker secrets? Are they really necessary? And how can you use Doppler to manage them effectively? In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of using Doppler for managing Docker secrets and how to address the most common challenges.

What are Docker secrets?

Docker secrets can include passwords, certificates, and other confidential information. These secrets are typically used by Docker services to securely connect to other services, such as databases, APIs, or any other third-party services.

Docker secrets are an important part of securing your applications, because they provide encryption and control over who has access to sensitive files within your system. More specifically, they enable you to store encrypted versions of any data that needs to be protected from unauthorized access.

The challenges of Docker secrets management

Keeping any secrets secure at an organization can be difficult, especially because of how sophisticated bad actors have become in recent times, especially with the rise of AI and advanced automations. And sometimes, we leave our secrets out in the open for anyone to take advantage of. There’s a lot to consider to keep your organization secure; security and devops teams frequently experience challenges such as:

  • Ensuring secrets are stored securely in transit and at rest
  • Establishing proper access and authorization controls
  • Keeping a detailed audit trail of changes made to secrets
  • Updating secrets promptly

Do you know your organization’s secrets management process?

Before we review how you can easily manage your organization’s Docker secrets, it’s important to do some self-reflection. Consider what your current processes are and how they can be improved:

  • How does your organization manage Docker secrets, and how manual is the process?
  • Do you have a clear audit trail for the secrets you store, and is it easy to discern who made which changes?
  • How granular is your organization's access control over secrets?
  • How often are secrets changed or rotated?
  • How do you ensure you have secure access to secrets while deploying?
  • Are your current secrets management practices exposing your organization to security risks and can you mitigate them easily?

Getting clarity to know what your organization needs—and the reality of what is in place (or lacking)—is the first step to identifying how to keep your secrets secure.

Why use Doppler for Docker secrets?

Doppler provides developers with a convenient and secure way to store, manage, and retrieve Docker secrets. With Doppler, you get a centralized dashboard to manage your secrets across your development and production environments. You get to choose who has access to encrypted files and ensure that no unauthorized users have access. You can also create unique keys for each user, so that they only access the specific data they need. And you can securely rotate credentials regularly so that your application is always up-to-date with the latest security measures.

Here are some benefits of using Doppler to securely manage your Docker secrets:

Centralized Management
Doppler provides a centralized place to store and manage secrets. There’s no reason to go to every single secrets storage or manager when Doppler helps you orchestrate your secrets from a single location.

Secure Storage
Doppler uses industry-standard encryption to store secrets. Using AES-256-GCM encryption ensures that only authorized parties can access your secrets, while tokenization ensures our internet-exposed infrastructure never has access to encryption keys or ciphertext.

Automated Rotation
Doppler can automatically rotate secrets on a regular basis. This helps to mitigate the risk of secrets being compromised.

Popular Integrations
Doppler integrates with a variety of popular tools and platforms, including Docker, Kubernetes, and AWS. This makes it easy to use Doppler with infrastructure you already have or want to consider including.

Enhanced Collaboration
Doppler makes it easy for development teams to collaborate and work together when sharing secrets with one another. The teams can access secrets easily and securely, ensuring smooth and efficient development workflows.

Managing Docker secrets using Doppler

Managing Docker secrets (and many others) are easy using Doppler. Check out the process for yourself:

1. Install the Doppler CLI and log in to your account.

2. Create a new secrets store in Doppler using the following command:

docker secrets create docker-secrets

3. Create Docker secrets for your application using the following command:

docker secrets set --in-file /path/to/mysecret.txt docker-secrets MY_SECRET

4. Use the Docker secrets in your application by mounting them:

docker service create --name myapp\--secret source=docker-secrets,target=my_secret\my_image

With only four steps, it’s just that easy, but you can always learn more about integrating Docker with Doppler from our documentation.

Doppler is the easiest platform to manage your Docker secrets

Remember, security should always be top of mind when it comes to protecting your applications and data. And Doppler can help you securely manage your Docker secrets with ease. It simplifies the process of managing sensitive data, and gives you peace of mind knowing that your data is safe and sound.

Secure your organization’s containers and applications with Doppler >

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