Managing Border0 policies as Code

Welcome to the era of 'Everything as Code'! Today, we dive into how this transformative approach extends beyond Infrastructure (IoC) to encompass Security as Code (SaC). The power of treating operational components as software code lies in its declarative nature – easily tested, managed, and audited, just like any application code. This shift not only boosts efficiency and consistency but also significantly enhances transparency and compliance in your operations. Best of all, it aligns nicely with how your engineers and infrastructure teams already manage their systems!

The Onboarding Challenge

Imagine stepping into a new role a new company. Ideally, a few clicks should integrate you seamlessly into the company's digital workspace. However, reality often presents a more complex picture, where onboarding spans days, involving manual approvals as well as numerous systems and configurations. This is where Policy as Code can really speed up the process.

Policy as Code

By translating organizational policies into a well defined set of code, we can automate the new employee onboarding process. This automation ensures new team members are provisioned with the right access and tools, aligning with company policies, and minimizing manual errors. All using the typical GitOps workflow that your engineering teams are already familiar with. Simply update the policy document, submit a Pull Request (PR), and once approved and tested, have the change automatically go out!  From creating user accounts to setting up specific software and access controls, Policy as Code guarantees compliance and smooth integration from day one.

Automating Border0 Policies with Github Actions

GitHub Actions provides a powerful platform to manage Border0 policies by automating the deployment and enforcement of access controls directly through code. By leveraging GitHub Actions, we can create workflows that trigger on specific events within your policy repository. These workflows will test, validate and update your Border0 policy configuration, ensuring that any changes to policies are automatically reviewed and applied upon merging. This setup allows for continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) of all required policies, ensuring that the latest security practices and compliance requirements are always in place. Furthermore, by using GitHub Actions, we can maintain a version-controlled history of all policy changes, track modifications, and roll back to previous versions if necessary. This provides a robust audit trail and simplifies policy management.

A real-world example and Demo

All right, let's take a look at a short demo! In this example, we'll implement the following workflow.

1) The Initiator, someone who makes an update to a policy, opens a Pull Request.

2) The Approver, this person depending on policies or compliance requirements, is authorized to approve changes to the access policy.

3) Leveraging GitHub's CI/CD Actions, the Border0 policy is updated and pushed up.

4) New Access parameters are immediately enforced.

GitOps workflow for Policies

For those who like to get their hands dirty, we published the example code in the example used in this repository.

Check out the demo recording in which we’ll cover the workflow above step by step.

Wrap up

In this blog post, we looked at how we can manage Border0 policies as code and automate the whole process with GitHub Actions. Showcasing a modern approach to managing access to your organization's resources and leveraging GitOps workflows. Border0 Policies, enhanced by the automation capabilities of GitHub Actions, provide a seamless and secure method for implementing identity-based access control with context-aware conditions. This allows for real-time policy updates and automated deployment, ensuring that your access rules are always synchronized with the latest security protocols and organizational requirements.

The use of GitHub Actions for policy management transforms the way administrators enforce and monitor access control, making it a dynamic, declarative, and code-driven process. Now, each policy change is documented, reviewed, and version-controlled through GitHub, offering greater transparency and accountability. Administrators and Management gain a powerful platform for policy testing and evaluation directly within the GitHub environment, enhancing the operational efficiency of managing company access policies. Combined with the Border0 Terraform provider, you're all setup for all things as code!

Why settle for the outdated confines of conventional access management? Step into the enhanced adaptability and governance that Border0's policies offer, and leverage the transformation in access management. Take the opportunity to explore the advantages of Border0 firsthand by registering for our free, full-featured community edition today.

Ready to level up your security?