5 Docker Security Best Practices to Protect Your Docker Containers

docker security best practices

Over the past decade, Docker has significantly contributed to the IT industry, and its use is only growing. Businesses and users alike have been using Docker containers in various practical scenarios to set up applications quickly, effectively, and scalably. 

Thanks to Docker, you may get code out more quickly than ever, which speeds up your creation and execution processes. You ought to be conscious that it also has many security consequences. 

The advantages of Docker will be briefly discussed in this post, followed by a discussion of 5 docker security best practices for maintaining the security of your platform and apps.

A brief description of Docker Security

A software platform called Docker enables the development and deployment of containerized versions of programs and services. Platform as a Service (PaaS) describes it. Connections and services required by an application to function properly get contained in Docker containers. 

Containers for Docker must get protected. It necessitates safeguarding everything, including the host and network. Your systems are set up more securely with Docker containers than conventional virtual machines. They provide a method to break applications down into more manageable pieces.  

Awareness of and following the best practices for safeguarding your containerized applications is crucial. For many businesses, maintaining the safety of containers is challenging and necessitates greater than minimal care. 

Docker’s positive aspects

Many people unfamiliar with containerization and Docker frequently get perplexed about how operating virtual systems on top of a hypervisor differs from using containers. Both approaches enable the simultaneous use of numerous logically distinct apps on the same hardware.

Containers are ideal for many automation and application delivery use cases due to their lightweight character, scalability, and ease of use. Unlike hypervisors, containers require no underlying operating system to run. Containerization requires bare metal hardware, an operating system, a container engine, binaries, libraries, and the application.

Additional containers can then be stacked on top of one another, executing a separate set of binaries and libraries on a single operating system, greatly decreasing complexity and boosting mobility and effectiveness.

Top five Docker Security best practices

Moving on, here are five Docker security best practices that can assist you in solving your Docker security worries and safeguarding your network architecture.

1. Maintain a current Docker edition:

Initial priorities Check to see if Docker is currently installed. Security breaches can get made against outdated versions. Corrections and enhancements for previous versions get frequently included with the latest updates to solve security flaws. 

The host system should also take similar precautions to ensure all backing programs are current and devoid of recognized vulnerabilities or security issues.

2. Maintain image security:

To lessen the danger of manipulation, extract pictures from trustworthy sources and save them in an encrypted internal registry when creating containerized apps using core pictures from a third-party container repository. 

Due to the ongoing theft of images from secure registries, image identities should get verified using comparable tools to ensure they are legitimate.

There is also the option to change image tags. Utilize repaired, unchanging image tags like the picture’s sequence to guarantee reliable automated builds and thwart hacks that take advantage of tag potential level.

3. Utilize Non-Root users:

A container can get executed in a privileged state thanks to Docker. It would be best if you never used this technique, even though it might be a quicker approach to get around certain safety protections. Launching privileged containers is a risk because they allow for the possibility of malicious activities. 

An elevated Docker client has the same rights as the root. It can therefore use the host’s additional gadgets and kernel functions. Unauthorized users entering the container run the risk of endangering your host system. 

The default configurations of Docker make adhering to non-root users only straightforward. Nevertheless, using this poses a serious risk to public safety and is not recommended.

4. Start implementing real-time recording, tracking, and warning:

Utilizing transparency technologies that provide in-the-moment incident logging, tracking, and vulnerability testing for each element of the containerized ecosystem is necessary to improve transparency in container activities. 

By inspecting logs and analytics from various sources inside the container pile and looking at each container’s specifics and activities, you can find security risks posed by containers.

Having real-time logging, tracking, and warning gives you a higher level of exposure, enables you to detect risks continuously, and ensures compliance with security policies.

5. Keep the host separated:

Utilize distinct hosts for containers with different security needs. Protecting crucial information from an extensive breach is achieved by preserving the separation of containers across various namespaces. This method also stops disruptive neighbors from using excess assets for pool-based separation and interfering with the operations of other containers.

Problems with Docker security

These are the only three issues we are highlighting.

1. Namespaces:

Kernel namespaces are used with Docker to create a secure environment by isolating activities from the host or additional containers. Preventing container escape and limiting the harm a single exploited container can cause to the rest of the infrastructure is crucial.

2. Vulnerabilities in container setup:

Using Dockerfiles is one of the most popular and straightforward ways to fix security flaws in Docker containers. Development teams can use automated scanning techniques to find and correct any security holes or Docker errors before they get put into production. 

3. Breaching confidentiality:

A container may need an authentication code, such as an API key or a login and password, to connect to an account or system. The service will also be available to any adversary who discovers this secret. 

Compared to infrastructure with few, long-lasting VMs, this issue gets exacerbated in microservice architectures where containers are frequently stopped and started.


You should be able to avoid potential privilege exploits and Docker security breaches by following the recommended Docker security practices in this article. There’s more to it than just the negligible-effort, high-reward security best practices for Docker. Dockers naturally widen the threat, but by adhering to the advised best practices, you may reduce the risks while still benefiting from Dockers’ advantages.

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