SoK: Security of Microservice Applications: A Practitioners' Perspective on Challenges and Best Practices
Paper in proceeding, 2022

Cloud-based application deployment is becoming increasingly popular among businesses, thanks to the emergence of microservices. However, securing such architectures is a challenging task since traditional security concepts cannot be directly applied to microservice architectures due to their distributed nature. The situation is exacerbated by the scattered nature of guidelines and best practices advocated by practitioners and organizations in this field. In this research paper we aim to shay light over the current microservice security discussions hidden within Grey Literature (GL) sources. Particularly, we identify the challenges that arise when securing microservice architectures, as well as solutions recommended by practitioners to address these issues. For this, we conducted a systematic GL study on the challenges and best practices of microservice security present in the Internet with the goal of capturing relevant discussions in blogs, white papers, and standards. We collected 312 GL sources from which 57 were rigorously classified and analyzed. This analysis on the one hand validated past academic literature studies in the area of microservice security, but it also identified improvements to existing methodologies pointing towards future research directions.

grey literature


best practices




Priyanka Billawa

Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH)

Anusha Bambhore Tukaram

Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH)

Nicolas E. Diaz Ferreyra

Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH)

Jan-Philipp Steghöfer

University of Gothenburg

Riccardo Scandariato

Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH)

Georg Simhandl

University of Vienna

ACM International Conference Proceeding Series

9781450396707 (ISBN)

17th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, ARES 2022
Vienna, Austria,

Subject Categories

Software Engineering

Information Science

Information Systemes, Social aspects



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