Policy as Code benefits

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Software Architecture Tips

Policy as Code benefits

When you start working with Cloud Governance, you’ll probably want to move from manually managing each policy to something more manageable and repeatable at scale. One of the predominant approaches to managing systems at scale in the cloud is Policy as Code. 

Policy as Code is a way to enforce infrastructure policies that prevent inadvertent access to resources such as databases and storage or to enforce cost policies. Controlling access to resources is basic infrastructure security. Policies that run at the level of the organization can mitigate the likelihood of unauthorized access to resources or even data breaches. Regardless of the type of environment, whether it’s dev, test, production, Policy as Code can enforce best practice across the organization. You can organize policies in bundles or Policy Packs based on your organizational requirements. This provides repeatable and fine-grained control over the resources you deploy. You can apply Policy Packs on individual resource stacks or across multiple stacks as Policy Groups, giving you granular control over how and which resources are deployed.

Let’s look at the main Policy as Code benefits to understand better it’s usage.

Policy of Code Benefits

  1. Automated cost control
  2. Compliance to avoid downtime by securing resources
  3. Infrastructure validation before creating resources 
  4. Provide best security and granular control
  5. Encoding best practices for resource stacks

Using Policy as Code, users can express business or security rules as functions that are executed against resources in their stacks. Policy as Code gives an opportunity to increase resilience while lowering the cost of compliance.

 

The idea behind the Policy of Code

Basically, the concept behind this is that you describe, in a code-esque way, how you want systems built and deployed, and it is automatically built to that specification. As you normally use a continuous integration and delivery pipeline, you reap the benefits of change control and peer review for minimal investment, while at the same time maintaining consistency. As DevOps styles of working become the norm, with Policy as Code we have a huge opportunity to make security less complex and burdensome, as well as cheaper to deliver. 

Actually, Policy as Code has been designed to complement Infrastructure as Code by defining rules/boundaries which are automatically checked prior to deployment against the codified policy. So, by representing policies as code in text files, proven software development best practices can be adopted such as version control, automated testing, and automated deployment.

I hope you found this introduction to Policy as Code interesting and if you would like to add other benefits or examples, feel free to do so in the comments section below! Also, if you would like to know more about automation and best practices, check our upcoming online workshops here

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