An introduction to AppArmor

Sarah Dickinson

Sarah Dickinson

on 26 April 2019

Apparmor

Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated, attack frequency is on the rise, and the cost of cybercrime damage is projected to reach $6 trillion annually by 2021. Traditional defensive measures such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems that operate at the network perimeter are no longer enough to protect today’s distributed enterprise networks. Rather, a ‘defence in depth’ approach is required in order to protect all facets of an organisation’s digital infrastructure.

In an ideal world, applications would be free from security vulnerabilities but, once compromised, even a trusted application can become untrustworthy. AppArmor provides a crucial layer of security around applications. By providing the capability to whitelist an application’s permissible actions, AppArmor enables administrators to apply the principle of least privilege to applications. Once in place, AppArmor can halt attacks and minimise or prevent damage in the event of a breach.

This whitepaper provides a technical introduction to AppArmor, including:

  • Why a ‘defence in depth’ strategy should be employed to mitigate the potential damage caused by a breach
  • An explanation of AppArmor, its key features and why the principle of least privilege is recommended
  • The use of AppArmor in Ubuntu and snaps

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