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Red Hat to acquire Kubernetes-native security provider StackRox

By Shannon Williams, 12 Jan 2021

Red Hat has announced its intent to acquire StackRox, a leader and innovator in container and Kubernetes-native security.

By bringing StackRox's Kubernetes-native security capabilities to Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat says it will further its vision to "deliver a single, holistic platform that enables users to build, deploy and securely run nearly any application across the entirety of the hybrid cloud".

Kubernetes, one of the fastest growing open source projects, is the foundation of cloud-native applications, which are core to the digital transformation that is occurring across industries. 

As container and Kubernetes adoption in production environments grows, challenges remain. According to Gartner, "Container usage for production deployments in enterprises is still constrained by concerns regarding security, monitoring, data management and networking."

To help mitigate these concerns, organisations need solutions that lay a secure foundation for modern workloads. 

"Container security is Linux security. Red Hat has long been a leader in security for enterprise open source solutions, beginning with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and continually evolving to set new standards to secure cloud-native environments," Red Hat says.

"Building on this foundation, OpenShift takes a layered approach to securing containers, integrating security throughout the container lifecycle, from building, to deploying to running containers in mission critical environments."

With this acquisition, Red Hat will further expand its security offering, adding StackRox's complementary capabilities to strengthen integrated security across its open hybrid cloud portfolio with greater simplicity and consistency. 

With StackRox, Red Hat will focus on transforming how cloud-native workloads are secured by expanding and refining Kubernetes native controls, as well as shifting security left into the container build and CI/CD phase, to provide a cohesive solution for enhanced security up and down the entire IT stack and throughout the lifecycle.

Founded in 2014, StackRox was created with a goal of reinventing enterprise security and has evolved over the past two years to focus on Kubernetes security. Unlike first generation container security platforms, which were often container-centric offerings, StackRox differentiates with a Kubernetes-native security platform. With this, organisations can more easily control and enforce policies, using the same declarative approach as Kubernetes to scale their applications while still maintaining the necessary security. 

The StackRox software provides visibility across all Kubernetes clusters, by directly deploying components for enforcement and deep data collection into the Kubernetes cluster infrastructure, reducing the time and effort needed to implement security, and streamlining security analysis, investigation and remediation.

The StackRox policy engine includes hundreds of built-in controls to enforce security best practices, industry standards such as CIS Benchmarks and NIST, and configuration management of both containers and Kubernetes, and runtime security. 
"Securing Kubernetes workloads and infrastructure cannot be done in a piecemeal manner; security must be an integrated part of every deployment, not an afterthought," says Paul Cormier, president and CEO, Red Hat.

"Red Hat adds StackRox's Kubernetes-native capabilities to OpenShift's layered security approach, furthering our mission to bring product-ready open innovation to every organisation across the open hybrid cloud across IT footprints."

In addition to Red Hat OpenShift, StackRox will continue to support multiple Kubernetes platforms, including Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).

StackRox also helps to simplify DevSecOps and enable cloud-native environments to be more intrinsically secure, by integrating directly into application pipelines and customers existing registry, image scanning and CI/CD tools. In October 2020, StackRox launched KubeLinter, an open source project that analyses Kubernetes YAML files and Helm charts for correct configurations, with a focus on enabling production readiness and security earlier in the development process. 

Kamal Shah, CEO, StackRox, adds, "We're thrilled to join forces with Red Hat, coupling the industry's first Kubernetes-native security platform with the leading Kubernetes platform for hybrid cloud, multicloud, and edge deployments. 

"This is a tremendous validation of our innovative approach to container and Kubernetes security. Red Hat is an ideal partner to accelerate our vision of enabling organisations to securely build, deploy and run their cloud-native applications anywhere."

Consistent with Red Hat's open source heritage, Red Hat plans to open source StackRox's technology post acquisition. 

"Red Hat will continue to support the KubeLinter community as well as new communities as Red Hat works to open source StackRox's offerings," the company says.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

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