NashTech Insights

How to Secure Your Infrastructure with Ansible: Best Practices

Rahul Miglani
Rahul Miglani
Table of Contents
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Introduction: In today’s digital landscape, to secure your infrastructure is of paramount importance. Ansible, a powerful automation tool, not only helps with infrastructure management but also offers robust features to enhance security. In this blog, we will explore some best practices for securing your infrastructure using Ansible, along with practical examples.

Secure Configuration Management:

One of the essential aspects of securing your infrastructure is maintaining a secure configuration. Ansible provides an ideal way to manage and enforce secure configurations across your infrastructure. You can define configuration templates and use Ansible variables to ensure consistent security settings across all systems.

Example Ansible code snippet for managing SSH configuration:

- name: Secure SSH configuration
  hosts: all
    - name: Update SSH configuration
        path: /etc/ssh/sshd_config
        regexp: "{{ item.regexp }}"
        line: "{{ item.line }}"
        - { regexp: '^PermitRootLogin', line: 'PermitRootLogin no' }
        - { regexp: '^PasswordAuthentication', line: 'PasswordAuthentication no' }
      notify: restart sshd
    - name: restart sshd
        name: sshd
        state: restarted

In the above example, we use Ansible’s lineinfile module to update the SSH configuration file (/etc/ssh/sshd_config). It ensures that the PermitRootLogin and PasswordAuthentication settings are set to more secure values, such as disabling root login and password-based authentication.

  1. Secure Secrets Management: Securing sensitive information, such as passwords, API keys, or certificates, is crucial. Ansible provides a secure way to manage secrets using its built-in ansible-vault feature. ansible-vault allows you to encrypt sensitive data, ensuring it remains secure both at rest and during transit.

Example Ansible code snippet for encrypting a secret file:

ansible-vault encrypt secret.yml

In this example, we encrypt the secret.yml file using ansible-vault. You can then safely store and version-control this encrypted file in your Ansible repository.

  1. Implement Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): To enforce fine-grained access control, it is recommended to implement Role-Based Access Control within your Ansible setup. RBAC allows you to define specific roles for different users, restricting their access to certain resources or actions.

Example Ansible code snippet for defining RBAC using Ansible Tower:

- name: Define RBAC for Ansible Tower
  hosts: localhost
  gather_facts: false
    - name: Create organization
        name: "My Organization"
    - name: Create team
        name: "Security Team"
        organization: "My Organization"
    - name: Create users and assign roles
        name: "John Doe"
        organization: "My Organization"
        team: "Security Team"
        state: present
        role: "Security Analyst"

In this example, we use Ansible tasks specific to Ansible Tower to create an organization, a team, and assign a specific role (“Security Analyst”) to a user. With RBAC in place, you can ensure that only authorized personnel have access to critical infrastructure components.

Conclusion: Securing your infrastructure is an ongoing process that requires continuous attention. With Ansible, you can leverage its automation capabilities to enforce secure configurations, manage secrets, and implement role-based access control. By following these best practices, you can enhance the security of your infrastructure and safeguard your critical assets effectively

Rahul Miglani

Rahul Miglani

Rahul Miglani is Vice President at NashTech and Heads the DevOps Competency and also Heads the Cloud Engineering Practice. He is a DevOps evangelist with a keen focus to build deep relationships with senior technical individuals as well as pre-sales from customers all over the globe to enable them to be DevOps and cloud advocates and help them achieve their automation journey. He also acts as a technical liaison between customers, service engineering teams, and the DevOps community as a whole. Rahul works with customers with the goal of making them solid references on the Cloud container services platforms and also participates as a thought leader in the docker, Kubernetes, container, cloud, and DevOps community. His proficiency includes rich experience in highly optimized, highly available architectural decision-making with an inclination towards logging, monitoring, security, governance, and visualization.

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