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The Evolution of Security in Containerized Environments

Gloria Delgado

May 31, 2024 - Guest Writer

In recent years, containers have become a staple in modern IT infrastructures. They provide extreme flexibility and efficiency in deploying applications. Yet, as containerization has grown in popularity, so has the need to secure these environmеnts. Container security is defined as protecting against threats and ensuring compliance with safety standards in containerized envirоnments. It has become a critical component in addressing the challenges that arise in the context of using containers. 

This security includes not only protection against attacks. It also means ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. It also helps maintain compliance with regulatory requirements and security standards. With the advent of container technology, there has been a significant increase in innovаtion in this area. From the early stages of development to the present day, when security tools have become a necessary component of any infrаstructure, the evolution of container security has been impressive.


The Rise of Containerization


From chroot to Docker

The beginnings of containerization can be traced back to chroot. It was proposed in 1982. The chroot container is a system operation in Unix-like operating systems that allows you to change the root directory for a process. It also lets you run its subsidiary processes from another directory in the file system. Yet, the real breakthrough came with the introduction of Docker in 2013. It made the process of deploying and managing applications much easier and more efficient through the use of containerization. Its features are as follows:

  • Docker containers allow developers to package applications and their dependencies into a homogeneous environment. This allows working in the same way on any platform.
  • Docker uses the concept of containers to isolate applications and their dependencies. This allows running them on any operating system without any changes.
  • Docker has an easy-to-use command line interface.
  • It has a wide ecosystem of tools and services. In particular, Docker Hub, Docker Compose, and Docker Swarm.
  • Its containers use minimal resources, which makes them efficient and fast to run.


Features. Importance in DevOps


Unlike traditional virtualization, where each virtual environment has its own operating system, containers have the following features:

  • Containers can run Linux distributions different from the host
  • They share the operating system kernel with the host.

Containerization allows operators and developers to work in the same environment. Thus, applications are deployed faster and development time is reduced.


Early Challenges in Container Security


Initial security risks 


The first versions of container technologies had numerous vulnerabilities. These included escaping from the container and image authenticity, which were the result of insufficient attention to the security approach taken during the development and implementation process. 

The possibility of container escape meant that attackers gained access to the internal resources and data of the host. As a result, they used this information for attacks on the network and other systems. Thus, unauthorized access to containers led to a breach of confidentiality and data integrity.

Another common problem was the authenticity of container images. An insufficiently thought-out approach to creating and distributing images led to attackers using already compromised images and introducing known vulnerabilities in the image.


Common vulnerabilities


As mentioned above, many vulnerabilities were discovered in the early stages of containerization development. They jeopardized the security of data and infrastructure. 

  • One of them was a permissions management vulnerability. It led to insufficient container isolation. It allowed attackers to gain access to administrator’s privileges or over processes running outside the container (in the host or inside other “neighbor” containers).
  • Another common problem was vulnerabilities in the use of network ports and protocols. This led to attacks on the network level and to the theft of confidential information over the network.


Maturation of Security Practices


Eventually, inserting new techniques and adding features helped solve some of the issues stated above.

The implementation of namespaces and c-groups allows the following:

  • isolating containers from each other,
  • managing the resources they use.

Orchestration, in particular with the help of Kubernetes, helps:

  • to automate the lifecycle of containers,
  • to manage the security of container environments. 

Kubernetes provides the following capabilities:

  • automatic deployment of security measures, 
  • monitoring the status of containers,
  • automated detection and response to potential threats. 


These factors help ensure the smooth operation of applications in containers. They also minimize the impact of possible attacks on the infrastructure.


Modern Security Solutions for Containers


Modern container engines, such as Docker and Kubernetes, include built-in security tools. The latter allow us to provide safety at the container level and at the infrastructure level.

Real-time container security monitoring allows you to detect and respond to potential threats immediately. This ensures continuous security. The use of data encryption in containers helps protect sensitive data from unauthorized access and loss.

However, there are additional tools that organizations can use to enhance their container security approach. TuxCare plays an essential role in providing safety solutions for containerized environments, offering innovative tools and services that make enterprise Linux security easier and more affordable. Among them is a live patching, which offers automated, non-disruptive security patching for:

  • most popular enterprise Linux distributions 
  • shared system libraries, 
  • IoT devices
  • Virtualized environments 

Live patching enables teams to put security patching on autopilot while avoiding patching-related downtime entirely, allowing them to dedicate more time to other business-critical tasks while minimizing their vulnerability exposure window. 




The evolution of security in containerized environments has been a winding journey. From initial risks and vulnerabilities to improvements via the insertion of modern security tools and practices, the journey demonstrates the importance of continuous development and continuous innovation in the field of information security.


Gloria Delgado

Author of a blog about technological innovations. She studies their development and impact on the spheres of modern life. As a writer, she gives online help to students at – a top essay writing service. Gloria writes essays on engineering, technology, and innovation.

The Evolution of Security in Containerized Environments
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