Container security in Security Center

Azure Security Center is the Azure-native solution for container security. Security Center is also the optimal single pane of glass experience for the security of your cloud workloads, VMs, servers, and containers.

This article describes how you can improve, monitor, and maintain the security of your containers and their apps. You'll learn how Security Center helps with these core aspects of container security:

  • Vulnerability management
  • Hardening of the container's environment
  • Runtime protection

Azure Security Center's container security tab

Vulnerability management - scanning container images (Preview)

To monitor your Azure Container Registry, connect it to Security Center. When a new image is pushed, Security Center scans the image using a scanner from the industry-leading vulnerability scanning vendor, Qualys.

When issues are found – by Qualys or Security Center – you’ll get notified in the Security Center dashboard. For every vulnerability, Security Center provides actionable recommendations, along with a severity classification, and guidance for how to remediate the issue. For details of Security Center's recommendations, see the list of recommendations in Virtual Machine protection.

Environment hardening

Continuous monitoring of your Docker configuration

Azure Security Center identifies unmanaged containers hosted on IaaS Linux VMs, or other Linux machines running Docker containers. Security Center continuously assesses the configurations of these containers. It then compares them with the Center for Internet Security (CIS) Docker Benchmark).

Security Center includes the entire ruleset of the CIS Docker Benchmark and alerts you if your containers don't satisfy any of the controls. When it finds misconfigurations, Security Center generates security recommendations. Use the recommendations page to view recommendations and remediate issues. You'll also see the recommendations on the Containers tab that displays all virtual machines deployed with Docker. When you're exploring the security issues on a virtual machine, Security Center provides additional information about the containers on the machine. Such information includes the Docker version and the number of images running on the host. For details of the recommendations, see here.


These CIS benchmark checks will not run on AKS-managed instances or Databricks-managed VMs.

Continuous monitoring of your Kubernetes clusters (Preview)

Security Center works together with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Microsoft’s managed container orchestration service for developing, deploying, and managing containerized applications.

AKS provides security controls and visibility into the security posture of your clusters. Security Center uses these features to:

  • Constantly monitor the configuration of your AKS clusters
  • Generate security recommendations aligned with industry standards

For details of Security Center's recommendations, see Virtual Machine protection.

Run-time protection - Real-time threat detection

Security Center provides real-time threat detection for your containerized environments and generates alerts for suspicious activities. You can use this information to quickly remediate security issues and improve the security of your containers.

We detect threats at the host and AKS cluster level. For full details, see Azure container service.

  1. Open Security Center’s Compute & apps page.
  2. Click the Containers tab. The posture of your AKS clusters, ACR registries, and VMs running Docker appears.

Next steps

To learn more about container security in Azure Security Center, see: