Q&A

Demystify the Art of Securing Microservices with .NET 8 Identity Techniques

Securing microservices can feel like herding cats, and in the dynamic world of .NET 8 the challenge of ensuring robust security looms large as developers embrace the agility and flexibility of this cloud-centric architectural style.

But don't worry, there's a method to the madness and help to figure it out.

Who better for that than Kiah Tolliver, a Senior Developer Advocate at Auth0 by Okta specializing in the cross-section between .NET and Identity.

She speaks frequently at conferences and trade shows and she will be tackling Securing Microservices .NET 8 Identity Techniques in March at the Visual Studio Live! developer conference in Las Vegas.

Herding cats can be quite complex, so Tolliver is devoting a full-day workshop to the topic.

"Dive into this workshop with us to demystify the art of securing your microservices using some nifty identity tricks tailored just for .NET 8," she said. "We'll take a deep dive into the latest techniques and tools, covering everything from JWTs to OAuth2, and let's not forget the magic of OpenID Connect. And because we know the nitty-gritty matters, we'll also touch upon common hurdles, performance tweaks and those pesky security loopholes to watch out for."

Attendees are promised to learn how to:

  • Understand microservices security fundamentals in the .NET ecosystem
  • Implement advanced identity techniques
  • Integrate best practices for microservices security in real-world scenarios

"Whether you're a seasoned .NET developer or just wading into the vast ocean of microservices, this workshop is your lifeline," she said. "We'll equip you with practical insights and strategies, ensuring your microservices remain both nimble and ironclad."

We recently caught up with the busy Tolliver to learn more about her workshop in a short Q&A.

VisualStudioMagazine: What inspired you to present a workshop on securing microservices .NET 8 identity techniques?
Tolliver: As a .NET developer, grappling with identity management has consistently posed challenges. The complexity escalates further when incorporating a microservices architecture.

"The intricacies of authentication and authorization are factors that deter many developers from embracing microservices in the first place."

Kiah Tolliver, Senior Developer Advocate, Auth0 by Okta

The intricacies of authentication and authorization are factors that deter many developers from embracing microservices in the first place. Because of this, I felt compelled to organize a workshop aimed at assisting fellow .NET Developers in efficiently tackling these challenges and navigating the complexities associated with identity in the context of microservices.

Inside the Session

What: Securing Microservices .NET 8 Identity Techniques

When: March 8, 2024, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Who: Kiah Tolliver, Senior Developer Advocate, Auth0 by Okta

Why: Get practical insights and strategies to ensure your microservices remain both nimble and ironclad.

Find out more about Visual Studio Live!, taking place March 3-8, 2024, in Las Vegas

In .NET 8, what are the primary security challenges that developers face when working with microservices, and how does this workshop address them?
Developers face many security challenges when working with microservices. These span from the need to use secure protocols such as HTTPS and implement proper encryption to protect data in transit, to managing the identity of microservices.

This workshop will focus on the latter. We will walk through building microservices that can verify the identity of each other and enforce access controls to ensure that only authorized services can communicate with each other. We will also learn how to properly manage access tokens and claims, which is important for authorizing actions within the microservices.

Could you elaborate on just one example of advanced identity techniques that will be covered in the workshop and explain how it specifically caters to the security needs of microservices in .NET 8?
One of the advanced identity techniques that we will cover is Mutual Transport Layer Security (mTLS) authentication. This technique enables both the client and server to authenticate each other.

In the shift towards zero-trust security models, mTLS offers a cryptographically robust method for authenticating, encrypting and enforcing communication policies among microservices.

What are some of the common hurdles and security loopholes in microservices security, and what strategies will you be sharing to overcome them?
Securing microservices comes with its set of challenges and potential loopholes. Here are a couple that we'll navigate in this workshop:

  • Inadequate authentication and authorization:
    • Challenge: Insufficient authentication and authorization mechanisms can lead to unauthorized access and potential security breaches.
    • Strategy: We'll implement strong authentication protocols, such as OAuth or JWT, and enforce fine-grained access controls based on the principle of least privilege.
  • Lack of service identity management:
    • Challenge: Managing service identities becomes challenging when microservices need to authenticate each other securely.
    • Strategy: We'll implement service identity management solutions, such as centralized identity providers or certificate authorities, to handle two-way authentication between microservices.

You mention discussing performance tweaks. How can developers ensure robust security in microservices without compromising on performance?
Ensuring robust security in microservices without compromising performance requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. Here are some of the techniques we'll use in the workshop to help maintain balance:

  • Asynchronous Communication: We'll use asynchronous communication patterns to allow non-blocking handling of mTLS-related tasks, enabling better concurrency.
  • Caching: We'll implement caching mechanisms for frequently used cryptographic operations or results to reduce redundant computations.
  • Fine-Grained Authorization: We'll implement fine-grained authorization controls to ensure that only necessary actions are allowed. This minimizes the impact of security checks on performance while maintaining a strong security posture.

Note: Those wishing to attend the conference can save hundreds of dollars by registering early, according to the event's pricing page. "Register for VSLive! Las Vegas by the Feb. 9 Extended Early Bird Deadline to save $300 and secure your seat for intensive developer training in exciting Las Vegas!" said the organizer of the developer conference, which is presented by the parent company of Visual Studio Magazine.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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