Introduction to Hashicorp Vault

1 minute read

What is Hashicorp Vault?

Vault is a modern cloud friendly application build to manage all types of secrets. Vault is used to store static secret, generate dynamic secrets and also provides full life-cycle management including leasing and revocation of the secrets.

Vault handles all the encryption and decryption details. End user can ask vault to store secret, and vault will handle encrypting that secret and storing it securely.

Hashicorp Vault

Key features of vault:

Following are the key features of vault.

Secure Secret Storage:

Arbitrary key/value secrets can be stored in Vault. Vault encrypts these secrets prior to writing them to persistent storage, so gaining access to the raw storage isn’t enough to access your secrets. Vault can write to disk, Consul, and more.

Dynamic Secrets:

Vault can generate secrets on-demand for some systems, such as AWS or SQL databases. For example, when an application needs to access an S3 bucket, it asks Vault for credentials, and Vault will generate an AWS keypair with valid permissions on demand. After creating these dynamic secrets, Vault will also automatically revoke them after the lease is up.

Data Encryption:

Vault can encrypt and decrypt data without storing it. This allows security teams to define encryption parameters and developers to store encrypted data in a location such as SQL without having to design their own encryption methods.

Leasing and Renewal:

All secrets in Vault have a lease associated with them. At the end of the lease, Vault will automatically revoke that secret. Clients are able to renew leases via built-in renew APIs.

Revocation:

Vault has built-in support for secret revocation. Vault can revoke not only single secrets, but a tree of secrets, for example all secrets read by a specific user, or all secrets of a particular type. Revocation assists in key rolling as well as locking down systems in the case of an intrusion.

Updated: