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Generating Randomized Secrets

Link Situation Analysis

Oftentimes, you need to generate randomized secrets for your applications for security reasons. Because if the secret is randomized, no one, including the operator that created it will know the secret.

This is important because if the operator knows the secret, they become part of your trust boundary, and you will have to ensure that they will not willingly or unwillingly disclose the secret. Randomizing the secret removes the operator from the trust boundary, enhancing security.

Luckily, VMware Secrets Manager allows you to generate pattern-based randomized secrets.

Link High-Level Diagram

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High-Level Diagram

Link Implementation

You will just need to define a regex-like pattern and prefix your secrets with gen: (for “generate”) to let VSecM Sentinel know that you want to generate a randomized secret.

Here is an example:

kubectl exec "$SENTINEL" -n vsecm-system -- safe \
  -w example \
  -n default \
  -s 'gen:{"username":"admin-[a-z0-9]{6}","password":"[a-zA-Z0-9]{12}"}'
  -t '{"ADMIN_USER":"{{.username}}","ADMIN_PASS":"{{.password}}"}'

Check out VSecM CLI reference for more details.

Link Conclusion

In conclusion, VMware Secrets Manager provides a robust solution for enhancing security through the generation of pattern-based randomized secrets. This feature is particularly beneficial as it excludes the operator from the trust boundary by ensuring that no one, not even the creator of the secret, knows the actual values, thereby mitigating the risk of intentional or accidental disclosure.

By defining a regex-like pattern and using the prefix gen: in the secret creation process, users can easily configure the system to automatically generate and manage secrets that comply with specified complexity requirements.

This capability is crucial for maintaining stringent security protocols in environments where the integrity and confidentiality of access credentials are paramount.

The straightforward implementation process, which involves a few command-line inputs to specify the desired patterns for usernames and passwords, ensures that application security can be fortified with minimal operational overhead. Additionally, the ability to customize patterns allows organizations to adhere to their specific security policies effectively.

Overall, VSecM’s approach not only simplifies the management of secrets but also significantly enhances the security posture of applications by reducing the attack surface associated with human factors in the creation and handling of sensitive information.

Link List of Use Cases in This Section

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