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How do I secure GitLab pipelines?

Securing GitLab pipelines is an essential aspect of ensuring the integrity and safety of your software development process. Here are some best practices to help you secure your GitLab pipelines:

1. Use Access Controls

Implement proper access controls to limit who can execute pipelines and access sensitive information. Configure user permissions and project visibility settings based on the principle of least privilege.

2. Protect Sensitive Data

Avoid exposing sensitive information such as access tokens, passwords, or encryption keys in your pipeline scripts. Utilize GitLab's built-in CI/CD variables or secure vaults to store and retrieve sensitive data securely.


3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Enable 2FA for user accounts to add an extra layer of security. This helps protect against unauthorized access, even if passwords are compromised.

4. Secure Runner Infrastructure

If you're using self-hosted runners, ensure that they are properly secured. Apply security updates regularly, use secure network configurations, and follow best practices for securing the underlying infrastructure.

5. Implement Code Review

Use code review practices to catch security vulnerabilities or misconfigurations in pipeline scripts. Encourage peer reviews to identify potential security risks and ensure adherence to security standards.

6. Regularly Update Dependencies

Keep your pipeline dependencies, including Docker images, libraries, and plugins, up to date. Regularly check for security advisories and apply necessary patches or updates to mitigate known vulnerabilities.

7. Monitor Pipeline Activity

Enable comprehensive logging and monitoring for your pipelines. Regularly review pipeline logs and monitor for any suspicious activity or errors that may indicate a security breach.

8. Secure External Integrations

If your pipelines integrate with external services or APIs, ensure that proper authentication and authorization mechanisms are in place. Use secure connection protocols (e.g., HTTPS) and validate and sanitize inputs to prevent security vulnerabilities.

9. Conduct Security Testing

Integrate security testing into your pipeline, such as static code analysis, dynamic application security testing (DAST), or container scanning. These tests help identify security flaws early in the development cycle.

- test
- security

stage: security
- docker run --rm -v $(pwd):/app -w /app owasp/zap2docker-stable -t http://localhost

10. Stay Informed

Stay up to date with the latest security practices, vulnerabilities, and patches relevant to your CI/CD tools and pipeline components. Subscribe to security advisories and follow security best practices recommended by GitLab.


By following these best practices, you can enhance the security of your GitLab pipelines and protect your code, data, and infrastructure from potential threats. Remember, security is an ongoing process, so regularly review and update your security measures as needed.

If you need further assistance or have specific security concerns related to your GitLab pipelines, don't hesitate to reach out to Cloud-Runner. We're experienced in ensuring the security of CI/CD workflows and can provide tailored solutions to meet your security requirements. Visit to learn more about our secure CI/CD runner services.