Assure Secure Playbook Execution 

How to make sure your playbooks are secure, especially when dealing with hundreds or thousands of playbooks? When using Ansible Playbook platforms like Steampunk Spotter, offering full control over playbooks, assuring their security is a breeze.

1. Conduct in-depth playbook analysis

Spotter performs in-depth playbook analysis, ranging from best practice to deep security checks. Spotter makes sure all playbooks you run are executed securely by highlighting potential misconfigurations and security risks. It helps you understand potential outcomes when running playbooks and follow best practices to minimize security vulnerabilities and downtime.

When running general scan, basic security checks are run automatically, but if you want Spotter to check only for security related issues, you can do so by running the spotter scan –profile security command.

$ spotter scan --profile security playbook.yml Copied!

 > spotter scan --profile security playbook.yml
  playbook.yml:9:7: ERROR: [E903] Use a fully-qualified name, such as ansible.builtin.uri
   instead of uri. playbook.yml:21:7: WARNING: [W2600::B411] Issue found in the Python implementation of
    module inwx.collection.dns: Using xmlrpclib to parse untrusted XML data is known to be
    vulnerable to XML attacks. Use defused.xmlrpc.
    monkey_patch() function to monkey-patch xmlrpclib and mitigate XML vulnerabilities. playbook.yml:29:7: WARNING: [W2600::B324] Issue found in the Python implementation of module Use of weak MD5 hash for security. Consider usedforsecurity=False. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Spotter took 1.353 s to scan your input. It resulted in 1 error(s), 2 warning(s) and 0 hint(s). Overall status: ERROR >

Spotter security checks

To produce efficient, reliable and secure playbooks, playbook writers and security teams must join forces. Steampunk Spotter makes the job a lot easier for both, as it optimizes, speeds up and enforces security and efficiency of the whole automation workflow.

Security checks and best practices for major clouds

These checks verify potential misconfigurations of cloud resources based on the common best practices for major cloud providers such as Azure and AWS and allow Ansible Playbook writers to focus on describing the necessary cloud resources without requiring a comprehensive understanding of security best practices, as Spotter will warn you if you are provisioning and configuring resources in an insecure manner.

Checks for security issues in Ansible module implementation

Spotter consistently scans all Ansible modules (both built-ins and modules from external collections) to detect security issues within them. If a module with such issues is used in scanned Ansible Playbooks, the user is warned of a potential risk.

Checks for Security Issues in Dependent Python Packages

Spotter checks the third-party dependencies of Ansible modules. It checks for potential issues and considers publicly available CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) to ensure the security team is aware of these dependencies and potential threats before applying Ansible Playbooks.

2. Bulletproof your security: Enforce or skip checks organization-wide

Even when playbook scanning tools warn of security issues, developers may choose to overlook them, either to save time or because they don’t recognize the full extent of their impact. Spotter’s Enforce check feature prevents security concerns from being overlooked. Organizations can set checks to always be enforced or skipped, depending on their security requirements.

3. Enforce security by adding Custom rules

Ansible security best practices are a crucial foundation, but what about your organization’s unique security requirements? With Spotter’s Custom rules feature, you can seamlessly integrate your specific security policies into the scanning process.

4. Regular monitoring – integrate playbook scanning tools in CI/CD

Even if playbooks are initially secure, it’s crucial to continuously monitor them to ensure they remain that way. Spotter continuously scans and alerts you of any security issues or changes that could impact the integrity of your playbooks.

5. Efficiently manage playbooks

Effectively managing playbooks requires a centralized platform that unites scan results, providing a comprehensive overview of your Ansible infrastructure’s health.

Spotter’s Dashboard acts as a centralized control panel for monitoring and managing playbook performance, security, and compliance. Spotter also generates comprehensive reports on playbook conditions, highlighting potential areas for improvement and providing valuable insights. Learn more.

Learn more about securing your automation here.