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ISACA Sees High-Impact Potential in Emergence of Application Containerization

Rolling Meadows, IL, USA (26 October 2016)—Application containerization is gaining traction among software developers and data center leadership, given its potential to increase efficiencies and data security options, and decrease cost, according to new expert analyses from global technology and information security association ISACA.


A pair of new ISACA white papers offer insights and guidance on containerization, which ISACA sees as potentially transformative for business and technology teams. ISACA’s insights feature a summary of the rising popularity of containers, “Understanding the Enterprise Advantages of Application Containerization: An Overview,” as well as practical guidance for assurance, governance and security professionals, “Understanding the Enterprise Advantages of Application Containerization: Practitioner Considerations.”


ISACA defines an application container as “a mechanism that is used to isolate applications from each other within the context of a running operating system instance.” Containers let data centers deploy business applications more rapidly. Increased business agility, lower costs and more efficient use of resources are among the other factors sparking increased global adoption.


Containers execute application processes isolated from each other on the host operating system. This makes each application more “portable” and allows more applications per physical device relative to operating system virtualization. The separation also can have security advantages, potentially allowing the applications to be more available for updates and security patches.


Containers offer immediate benefits to developers, including the possibility to enhance security for individual applications. Data centers also stand to benefit through improved efficiency and operational advantages.


Isolating applications into containers instead of running them on the host operating system can bolster security. According to the ISACA guidance, practitioners can leverage containers to achieve several security benefits, including:


  • Immutability of infrastructure

  • Application hardening

  • Streamlined patching

  • Automation of security controls


While containers are capable of adding value, they also can introduce areas of risk. Interference with the isolation mechanism can impact the underlying operating system and other containers that are on the same host. Weighing business benefits from containerization against the risk requires practitioners to not only understand their organizations but also the enterprise threat context.


“Containerization technologies are changing the business and technical landscape within organizations. They represent an area of potential value and also of potential risk,” said Ed Moyle, ISACA’s director of thought leadership and research. “Practitioners seeking to understand the risk equation for their enterprises need to understand both sides of that equation. Doing this allows them to select the appropriate controls – and appropriately monitor their performance in an ongoing way – to ensure that their organizations stay protected and make best use of technology to satisfy the goals of their business and stakeholders.”


Numerous containerization platforms exist, with Docker being the most widely deployed. Docker containers can run on any computer and any cloud, and are not tied to any specific infrastructure.


Complimentary copies of both white papers can be downloaded at



ISACA ( helps professionals around the globe realize the positive potential of technology in an evolving digital world. By offering industry-leading knowledge, standards, credentialing and education, ISACA enables professionals to apply technology in ways that instill confidence, address threats, drive innovation and create positive momentum for their organizations. Established in 1969, ISACA is a global association with more than 140,000 members and certification holders in 187 countries. ISACA is the creator of the COBIT framework, which helps organizations effectively govern and manage their information and technology. Through its Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX), ISACA helps organizations develop skilled cyber workforces and enables individuals to grow and advance their cyber careers.



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