Managing Application Secrets with Brian Kelly


October 1st, 2018

39 mins 3 secs

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About this Episode


Any application that communicates with other systems or services will at some point require a credential or sensitive piece of information to operate properly. The question then becomes how best to securely store, transmit, and use that information. The world of software secrets management is vast and complicated, so in this episode Brian Kelly, engineering manager at Conjur, aims to help you make sense of it. He explains the main factors for protecting sensitive information in your software development and deployment, ways that information might be leaked, and how to get the whole team on the same page.


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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Brian Kelly about how to store, deploy, and use sensitive information in your applications


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • To begin with, how do you define a secret in the context of an application?
  • What are the broad categories for solutions to secrets management?
  • What are the different aspects of secrets management in the lifecycle of developing, deploying, and maintaining an application?
  • How does the scale of a project or organization impact the strategies that are reasonable for secrets management?
  • What are some of the most challenging aspects of secrets management at the different stages of usage?
    • What are some of the common reasons that secrets management strategies fail?
    • What are some of the vulnerabilities or attack vectors that development teams should be thinking about when working with credentials?

  • What are your thoughts on versioning of secrets?

  • Beyond storing and deploying sensitive information, what are some of the secondary concerns around secrets management that development teams should be thinking about?

  • How does the use of multiple environments (e.g. dev, QA, production, etc.) affect the strategies used for secrets management?

  • What are some of the most useful resources that you have found for anyone looking to learn more about this subject?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA