Elevate Your Security With New Secret Manager Features And Integrations

Secret Manager is a Google Cloud service that provides a secure and convenient way to store API keys, passwords, certificates, and other sensitive data. It is the central place and single source of truth to manage, access, and audit secrets across Google Cloud. Since its launch, Secret Manager has helped secure millions of workloads and continues to provide industry-first features like replication policies and support for VPC perimeters. This blog post explores new Secret Manager capabilities and integrations that will help keep your secrets safer.

New tier, free of charge

No, you’re not dreaming – Secret Manager now has a tier that is free of charge! With this tier, each month per billing account you can have up to:

  • 6 secret versions
  • 3 rotation events
  • 10,000 API calls

This enables you to experience the value of Secret Manager with minimal financial risk and pairs nicely with existing services that offer a free tier like Cloud Run and Cloud Functions. For existing Secret Manager customers, this change will go into effect next billing cycle. Learn more about the Secret Manager free tier in the documentation.

Increased SLA

To meet the growing availability and reliability requirements of our customers, the Secret Manager SLA is now 99.95%! With this update, Secret Manager guarantees that all valid requests will succeed 99.95% of the time. This means you can depend on Secret Manager for even your most critical workloads. Additional details are available in the updated Secret Manager SLA.

Geo-expansion

In addition to the free tier and increased SLA, Secret Manager is now available in all public Google Cloud regions! With Secret Manager’s replication policies, you can choose the specific regions in which to replicate your secret, which means you can store secret payloads in geographical proximity to your workloads or users to reduce latency. This is also very useful if you have legal or regulatory requirements to store data in a particular locality. For more information, check out the list of Secret Manager locations in the documentation.

Compliance certifications

For customers wishing to use Secret Manager to store and process regulated data, Secret Manager is validated for compliance use cases including ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3, PCI DSS, and HIPAA. Combined with the increased SLA and geographical availability, this makes Secret Manager suitable for use with regulated workloads.

Customer-Managed Encryption Keys (CMEK)

Secret Manager has always encrypted payloads in transit with TLS and at rest with AES-256. For customers that want additional control over the keys used to encrypt their secret payloads, Secret Manager now supports Customer-Managed Encryption Keys (CMEK). Secret Manager CMEK supports software-backed keys via Cloud KMS, hardware-backed keys via Cloud HSM, and even externally-managed keys via Cloud EKM. Learn how to enable CMEK support for Secret Manager in our tutorial.

Expiration and TTLs

While it was previously possible to expire access to a secret using IAM conditions, the underlying secret would continue to exist. Secret Manager now supports auto-expiring secrets which permanently deletes a secret at a specified timestamp or TTL. Since it is also possible to update a secret’s TTL, services can “lease” a secret and renew their lease on a periodic basis. If the service does not extend the lease by updating the TTL, the secret is automatically deleted.

Expiring secrets can be used in combination with IAM conditions to more safely expire secrets. For more information on expiring secrets and safety measures, see the guide on creating and managing expiring secrets.

Etags and server-side filtering

For customers that create or manage Secret Manager secrets via the API or an SDK, concurrency controls and performance are extremely important. This is why Secret Manager now supports Etags and server-side filtering! Etags help prevent concurrent modifications to the same secret by providing optimistic concurrency controls, while server-side filtering can dramatically reduce payload size and client-side computational overhead. Together, these enable stronger consistency guarantees and performance improvements to your applications. Learn more about Secret Manager Etags and Secret Manager server-side filtering in the documentation.

Code, build, run, deploy, monitor, and orchestrate

Secrets – like API keys, passwords, and certificates – are an integral part of most modern software applications. It is crucial that developers, operators, and security teams are empowered to build, operate, and observe software securely. That is why Secret Manager is now integrated with popular tools and technologies used throughout the application development lifecycle:

  • Code – Software engineers can create and access secrets directly from their preferred IDEs with Cloud Code. In VS Code, IntelliJ, or the Cloud Shell Editor, developers can browse secrets and insert code snippets for access secrets, all from the comfort of their local IDE.
  • Build – Release engineers can access secrets as part of CI builds using the Cloud Build Secret Manager integration. This could be used, for example, to authenticate to a Docker registry or communicate with the GitHub API. For customers that use other CI systems, there is also a GitHub Action for accessing Secret Manager secrets.
  • Run (on serverless) – Developers can mount secrets to be available as environment variables or via the filesystem through the native Cloud Run Secret Manager integration. Since the secrets are resolved in Cloud Run’s control plane, developers can use this integration to avoid a tight coupling between their applications and Secret Manager to enable hybrid cloud deployments or better local development experiences.
  • Run (on Kubernetes) – Developers can mount secrets from GKE, Anthos, or any Kubernetes cluster using the Secret Manager CSI driver. This vendor-agnostic driver exposes secrets via environment variables or the filesystem and enables hybrid cloud deployments using the same interface as other public cloud providers and HashiCorp Vault.
  • Deploy – To complement the existing Secret Manager Terraform integration, operators can now manage Secret Manager via Kubernetes Config Connector (KCC). KCC allows operators to manage Google Cloud resources through Kubernetes and the familiar Kubernetes APIs.
  • Monitor – With the Secret Manager Cloud Asset Inventory (CAIS) integration, security teams can understand secret usage across specific projects, folders, or the entire organization.
  • OrchestrateSecret Manager Event Notifications enable DevOps and security teams to subscribe to Pub/Sub topics for when secrets or secret versions are changed. This enables customers to create deeply-integrated workflows, such as creating a ServiceNow ticket when a new secret version is added. Additionally, Secret Manager Rotation Scheduling enables DevOps teams to build automatic rotation flows like the ones described in the rotation guide.

Best practices

The Secret Manager best practices guide ensures customers get the maximum security benefits from Secret Manager. Security is non-binary, and this guide covers nuanced topics like access controls, coding practices, and secret administration. While not an exhaustive list, the Secret Manager best practices guide answers some of the most common questions and concerns around using Secret Manager in production deployments.

Towards seamless security

Secrets management is an important part of every organization’s security toolkit. With Secret Manager, you can easily manage, audit, and access secrets like API keys and credentials across Google Cloud, Anthos, and on-premises. These new features and integrations make it easy to adopt Secret Manager whether you are a hobbyist working on a side project or a large enterprise with thousands of employees.

To get started, check out the Secret Manager documentation.

By: Seth Vargo (Developer Advocate and Product Manager) and Phillip Tischler (Engineering & Product Manager)
Source: Google Cloud Blog

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