10 Best Secret Management Software for Application Security

Safe what issues to your enterprise.

There’s loads to consider whereas working with containers, Kubernetes, cloud, and secrets and techniques. You must make use of and relate finest practices round id and entry administration and select and perform numerous instruments.

Whether or not you’re a developer or a sysadmin skilled, you want to clarify that you’ve the correct selection of instruments to maintain your environments safe. Functions want entry to configuration knowledge in place to function appropriately. And whereas most configuration knowledge is non-sensitive, some wants to stay confidential. These strings are often called secrets and techniques.

Don’t inform me you continue to have secrets and techniques in GitHub.

Effectively, Should you’re constructing a dependable utility, the possibilities are that your features require you to entry secrets and techniques or another sorts of delicate data you’re maintaining.

These secrete might embody:

  • API keys
  • Database credentials
  • Encryption keys
  • Delicate configuration settings (e-mail tackle, usernames, debug flags, and so forth.)
  • Passwords

Nevertheless, taking good care of these secrets and techniques securely might later show to be a tough activity. So listed below are a couple of ideas for Developer and Sysadmins:

Patching perform dependencies

At all times keep in mind to trace the libraries used within the features and flag the vulnerabilities by monitoring them constantly.

Make use of API gateways as a safety buffer

Don’t expose features exactly to consumer interplay. Leverage your cloud suppliers’ API gateway capabilities to incorporate one other layer of safety on prime of your perform.

Safe and confirm knowledge in transit

Make sure you leverage HTTPS for a safe communication channel and confirm SSL certificates to guard the distant id.

Observe safe coding guidelines for utility code.

With no servers to hack, attackers will flip their minds to the applying layer, so get further care to guard your code.

Handle secrets and techniques in safe storage

Delicate data can readily be leaked, and out-of-date credentials are apt to rainbow desk assaults in the event you neglect to undertake correct secret administration options. Bear in mind to not retailer secrets and techniques within the utility system, surroundings variables, or supply code administration system.

Key administration within the cooperate world could be very painful as a result of, amongst different causes, a lack of know-how and assets. As a substitute, some firms embed the encryption keys and different software program secrets and techniques straight within the supply code for the applying that makes use of them, introducing the danger of exposing the secrets and techniques.

Because of the lack of too many off-the-shelf options, many firms have sought to construct their very own secrets and techniques administration instruments. Listed here are a couple of you’ll be able to leverage in your necessities.


HashiCorp Vault is a software for securely storing and accessing secrets and techniques.

It supplies a unified interface to secret whereas sustaining tight entry management and logging a complete audit log. It’s a software that secures consumer functions and bases to restrict the floor house and assault time in a breach.

It offers an API that enables entry to secrets and techniques primarily based on insurance policies. Any consumer of the API must confirm and solely see the secrets and techniques they’re licensed to view.

Vault encrypts knowledge utilizing 256-bit AES with GCM.

It might probably accumulate knowledge in numerous backends resembling Amazon DynamoDB, Consul, and rather more. Vault helps logging to a neighborhood file for audit providers, a Syslog server, or on to a socket. Vault logs details about the shopper that acted, the shopper’s IP tackle, the motion, and at what time it was carried out

Beginning/restarting at all times entails a number of operators to unseal the Vault. It really works primarily with tokens. Every token is given to a coverage that will constrain the actions and the paths. The important thing options of the Vault are:

  • It encrypts and decrypts knowledge with out storing it.
  • Vault can generate secrets and techniques on-demand for some operations, resembling AWS or SQL databases.
  • Permits replication throughout a number of knowledge facilities.
  • Vault has built-in safety for secret revocation.
  • Serves as a secret repository with entry management particulars.

AWS Secrets and techniques Supervisor

You anticipated AWS on this listing. Didn’t you?

AWS has an answer to each drawback.

AWS Secrets and techniques Supervisor permits you to shortly rotate, handle, and retrieve database credentials, API keys, and different passwords. Utilizing Secrets and techniques Supervisor, you’ll be able to safe, analyze, and handle secrets and techniques wanted to entry the AWS Cloud capabilities, on third-party providers and on-premises.

Secrets and techniques Supervisor allows you to handle entry to secrets and techniques utilizing fine-grained permissions. The important thing options of AWS Secrets and techniques Supervisor are:

  • Encrypts secrets and techniques at relaxation utilizing encryption keys.
  • Additionally, it decrypts the key, after which it transmits securely over TLS.
  • Supplies code samples that assist to name Secrets and techniques Supervisor APIs
  • It has client-side caching libraries to enhance the provision and cut back the latency of utilizing your secrets and techniques.
  • Configure Amazon VPC (Digital Personal Cloud) endpoints to maintain site visitors throughout the AWS community.

Akeyless Vault

Akeyless Vault is a unified, end-to-end secrets and techniques administration SaaS-based platform, defending all sorts of credentials, each static & dynamic, together with certificates automation and encryption keys. Apart from, it supplies a singular resolution to safe distant entry (zero-trust) to all of the assets throughout legacy, multi-cloud and hybrid environments.

Akeyless protects secrets and techniques & keys utilizing a built-in FIPS 140-2 licensed and patented expertise; it has zero data of its prospects’ secrets and techniques & keys.

Akeyless vault secrets management

The important thing options embody:

  • Globally accessible, SaaS-based platform that gives a built-in excessive availability (HA) and catastrophe restoration (DR) by leveraging cloud-native structure on prime of a multi-region and multi-cloud service.
  • Superior secrets and techniques administration supplies a safe vault for static & dynamic secrets and techniques resembling passwords, credentials, API keys, tokens, and so forth.
  • Akeyless Vault permits provisioning and injection of all sorts of secrets and techniques to all of your servers, functions, and workloads, offering all kinds of plugins that help you connect with all of your DevOps and IT Platforms resembling CI/CD, configuration administration, and orchestration instruments resembling Kubernetes & Docker.

Quickest-time-to-production as a result of:

  • SaaS – no deployment, set up, or upkeep is important
  • On the spot onboarding with automated migration of secrets and techniques from identified current secrets and techniques repositories

The platform helps two extra pillars:

  • Zero-Belief Software Entry (AKA Distant Entry) by offering unified authentication and just-in-time entry credentials, permitting you to safe the perimeter-less functions and infrastructure.
  • Encryption as-a-Service, permits prospects to guard delicate private & enterprise knowledge by making use of superior FIPS 140-2 licensed app-level encryption.


Sq. Keywhiz helps with infrastructure secrets and techniques, GPG keyrings, and database credentials, together with TLS certificates and keys, symmetric keys, API tokens, and SSH keys for exterior providers. Keywhiz is a software for dealing with and sharing secrets and techniques.

The automation in Keywhiz permits us to seamlessly distribute and arrange the important secrets and techniques for our providers, which requires a constant and safe surroundings. The important thing options of Keywhiz are:

  • Keywhiz Server supplies JSON APIs for accumulating and managing secrets and techniques.
  • It shops all secrets and techniques in reminiscence solely and by no means recurred to disk.
  • The UI is made with AngularJS so customers can validate and use the UI.


Confidant is an open-source secret administration software that maintains user-friendly storage and entry to secrets and techniques securely. Confidant shops secrets and techniques in an append method in DynamoDB, and generate a singular KMS knowledge key for each modification of all the key, utilizing Fernet symmetric authenticated cryptography.

It supplies an AngularJS internet interface that gives end-users to effectively handle secrets and techniques, the types of secrets and techniques to providers, and the report of modifications. A few of the options embody:

  • KMS Authentication
  • At-rest encryption of versioned secrets and techniques
  • A user-friendly internet interface for managing secrets and techniques
  • Generate tokens that may be utilized for service-to-service authentication or to go encrypted messages between providers.


Let me introduce you to SOPS, an unbelievable software I lately found. It’s an encrypted file editor that helps codecs like YAML, JSON, ENV, INI, and BINARY. One of the best half? It might probably encrypt your information utilizing AWS KMS, GCP KMS, Azure Key Vault, age, and PGP.

Now, right here’s the place it will get fascinating. Think about you’re engaged on a machine that doesn’t have direct entry to encryption keys like PGP keys. No worries! SOPS has obtained you coated with its key service function. You may grant SOPS entry to encryption keys saved on a distant machine by forwarding a socket. It’s like having your very personal transportable GPG Agent!


SOPS operates on a client-server mannequin for encrypting and decrypting the info key. By default, it runs a neighborhood key service throughout the course of. The shopper sends encrypt or decrypt requests to the important thing service utilizing gRPC and Protocol Buffers. Don’t fear; these requests don’t include any cryptographic keys, public or non-public.

I need to emphasize that the important thing service connection at present lacks authentication or encryption. Authenticating and encrypting the connection by means of different means, resembling an SSH tunnel, is very really useful to make sure safety.

However wait, there’s extra! SOPS can generate audit logs to trace file entry in your managed surroundings. When enabled, it information decryption exercise in a PostgreSQL database, together with the timestamp, username, and decrypted file. Fairly neat, proper?

Moreover, SOPS gives two helpful instructions for passing decrypted secrets and techniques to a brand new course of: exec-env and exec-file. The previous injects the output into the surroundings of a kid course of, whereas the latter shops it in a short lived file.

Bear in mind, the file extension determines the encryption methodology utilized by SOPS. Should you encrypt a file in a particular format, make sure you retain the unique file extension for decryption. It’s the simplest method to make sure compatibility.

SOPS attracts inspiration from instruments like hiera-eyaml, credstash, sneaker, and password retailer. It’s a unbelievable resolution that eliminates the trouble of managing PGP-encrypted information manually.

Azure Key Vault

Internet hosting your functions on Azure? If sure, then this could be a good selection.

Azure Key Vault permits customers to handle all secrets and techniques (keys, certificates, connection strings, passwords, and so forth.) for his or her cloud utility at a selected place. It’s built-in out of the field with origins and targets of secrets and techniques in Azure. Functions exterior Azure can additional put it to use.

You can too enhance efficiency by slicing down the latency of your cloud functions by storing cryptographic keys within the cloud as a substitute of on-premises.

Azure will help to realize knowledge safety and compliance requirement.

Docker secrets and techniques

Docker secrets and techniques allow you to simply add the key to the cluster, and It’s only shared over mutually authenticated TLS connections. Then knowledge is reached to the supervisor node in Docker secrets and techniques, and it routinely saves into the inner Raft retailer, which ensures that knowledge must be encrypted.

Docker secrets and techniques might be simply utilized to handle the info and thereby switch the identical to the containers with entry to it. It prevents the secrets and techniques from leaking when the applying makes use of them.


Knox, was developed by the social media platform Pinterest to resolve their drawback with managing keys manually and maintaining an audit path. Knox is written in Go, and purchasers talk with the Knox server utilizing a REST API.

Knox makes use of a unstable momentary database for storing keys. It encrypts the info saved within the database utilizing AES-GCM with a grasp encryption key. Knox can also be accessible as a Docker picture.


From startups to enterprises, 1000’s of organizations use Doppler to maintain their secret and app configuration in sync throughout environments, group members, and gadgets.

There isn’t a have to share secrets and techniques over e-mail, zip information, git, and Slack; permit your groups to collaborate in order that they’ve it immediately after the addition of the key. Doppler offers you a relaxed feeling by automating the method and saving time.

You may create references to the steadily used secrets and techniques so {that a} single replace in some intervals will do all of your work. Use the secrets and techniques in Serverless, Docker, or anyplace, Doppler works with you. When your stack evolves, it stays as it’s, permitting you to go stay inside minutes.

Doppler CLI is aware of every part about fetching your secrets and techniques primarily based in your mission listing. Don’t worry if something modifications, you’ll be able to simply roll again the damaged modifications in a single click on or by way of CLI and API.

With Doppler, work smarter relatively than more durable and get your secret administration software program for FREE. Should you search extra options and advantages, go along with a starter pack at $6/month/seat.


I hope the above offers you an concept about a few of the finest software program to handle utility credentials.

Subsequent, discover digital belongings stock and monitoring options.

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