Book Image

Learning Puppet Security

Book Image

Learning Puppet Security

Overview of this book

Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Learning Puppet Security
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Puppet for security and compliance

Puppet is a perfect tool for security and compliance. So much security work involves ensuring that a given version of a service is on every server, or whether a user account exists or not.

Much of this work is also very tedious and repetitive. When work such as this is done across many servers, the likelihood that some of them will be different grows. These snowflakes, or systems that are unique and unlike other systems, can cause security issues or can be hard to troubleshoot.

On top of being able to maintain a system in a fixed state, we can use some Puppet resources, such as PuppetDB, to do some fairly in-depth reporting. Using custom facts, you can collect any information you wish to send to a central place. This can include things such as software versions, hardware configuration, and much more. By using this information, we can start to work toward creating a full configuration management and security platform.

Through Puppet, you will be able to centrally manage the major configuration aspects of all of your systems. Keeping this configuration in version control and treating it as code gives you all the benefits that developers have been able to enjoy for years. You'll quickly be able to see how the state of a system has evolved over time, as well as look where bugs might have been introduced and have caused security issues.

Additionally, there is an increasing movement to use Puppet for compliance and auditing. By demonstrating that Puppet is indeed running on a system and showing the manifests running on it, you can ensure that a system is in a given state. This information can be shown to auditors as documentation on how systems are configured.

Getting to the point of 100-percent coverage in system configuration using Puppet requires commitment and time. Using community modules, as we'll explore later, can lessen that work. However, the results of doing this are very high. Disaster recovery can be made simpler because systems can quickly be rebuilt. Installing the latest tripwire on all systems becomes as simple as updating the manifests and letting the systems check in. These benefits can make the job of a security professional much easier.

As we progress through this book, we will explore many of these abilities in-depth, but for now, let's look at a simple example we can use to learn some of the Puppet concepts and language.