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Secure Developer Secrets With Dashlane

Originally published:|Last updated:|Corentin Mors

*Last updated Feb. 22, 2024

Organizations and individuals dealing with sensitive information need to safeguard secrets and protect the company's confidential information from malicious intent.

They’re also responsible for securely storing and managing infrastructure to protect these secrets from unauthorized access. Secrets can include passwords, API keys, database credentials, encryption keys, authentication tokens, and other sensitive information necessary for properly functioning apps and systems.

Securely managing these secrets is crucial for maintaining the security and integrity of systems, apps, and data. Poor authentication and authorization data management can result in security risks, such as unauthorized access, data breaches, and compromised systems. Organizations can effectively protect their sensitive information and mitigate risks by implementing best practices and leveraging secure secrets management platforms.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the world of secrets management, why it matters, and how Dashlane can help you easily secure and manage secrets.

What is secrets management?

Secrets management refers to the practice of securely storing, distributing, and managing sensitive information and infrastructure secrets across an organization's systems. Effective secrets management ensures that only authorized users and apps can access the necessary secrets while minimizing exposure to decrease the potential attack surface. It also:

  • Improves security. Secrets are high-value targets for cybercriminals and must be protected in a secure and controlled environment. Like all other sensitive information, unauthorized access can lead to data breaches, identity theft, financial loss, and reputational damage. With a secrets management tool, organizations can store and manage secrets in a secure and controlled environment, reducing the risk of exposure and unauthorized access. IT admins can now use Dashlane to manage and orchestrate secrets without keeping them in plain text.
  • Increases DevOps efficiency with automation. Secrets management allows seamless secrets integration into CI/CD pipelines and automated workflows, reducing the need for hardcoding sensitive information into source code and configuration files. It not only streamlines the development process but also improves overall security.
  • Simplifies compliance. A centralized solution for secrets management provides monitoring, auditing, and reporting capabilities, helping organizations comply with security regulations and industry-standard compliance frameworks like SOC2, GDPR, HIPAA, and other governance policies.
  • Supports scalability. Developers work across complex infrastructure systems, and using a tool to classify and control the organization of sensitive data helps manage secrets across multiple environments. It restricts access to only authorized individuals and mitigates cybersecurity risks.

Secure and manage secrets in one place

Effective secrets management requires secure storage and easy access management. The Dashlane vault is a central hub for sensitive information; it can protect all the infrastructure secrets with our zero-knowledge architecture while making it easy to add, edit, and view secrets in an intuitive vault interface.

Most developers may use the Secrets tab in the vault to flexibly store and manage credentials or developer secrets such as API keys, OAuth tokens, or certificates; secrets can be pasted directly into the Secrets vault tab, whether in plain text or in JSON (more on this below). Developer secrets can also be stored using the Password and Notes content types as needed.

A screenshot of a grayed-out Dashlane vault in the Dashlane extension, with the Secrets tab selected on the left. A white box on the right is titled “My first secret,” with a field where a user can securely save a secret.
Storing a secret in the Secrets vault tab of the Dashlane extension.

Learn more about how to add secrets to your vault as Secure Notes.

Developers can easily manage secrets with the Dashlane CLI

Dashlane is all about simplifying security and making it easy to use. We’ve recently developed a new product called a CLI (Command Line Interface) to empower our more tech-savvy users by enabling them to manage secrets in their workflows without needing to open the Dashlane extension. Our CLI is an alternative to using Dashlane in the extension or on mobile apps.

Before, secrets had to be manually saved, copied, and managed from the Dashlane vault UI. Now, developers can programmatically read and retrieve secrets, load secrets into environment variables, inject secrets into their code, and perform transformations on secrets—all from their terminal. Here are more benefits of Dashlane's CLI:

  • It’s protected with an encrypted vault: With Dashlane’s CLI, you can avoid storing secrets in plain text in your code. When data is encrypted and protected behind a vault, it prevents an attacker from gaining unauthorized access to the file or database where secrets are stored, so they can’t read and misuse the information.
  • It improves efficiency with automation: Developers can store and manage all their secrets in Dashlane, leveraging the user-friendly CLI for programmatic applications, which saves them time going back and forth between the extension and the terminal.

With the new CLI, you can access your Dashlane vault directly from your terminal. With a simple command, you can get any secrets (passwords, Secure Notes, OTP codes, and more) and incorporate secrets into your workflows so authorized machines and users can only access secrets when necessary. Review our documentation with example use cases to understand how to get the most out of our new CLI capabilities.

A black screen with examples of Dashlane’s CLI commands and output in gray, white, blue, and green.
Examples of Dashlane’s CLI commands and output.

 Learn more about managing your secrets with CLI in our GitHub documentation.

Dashlane provides additional features specifically designed to enhance your DevOps workflow. These features focus on securing your applications and environments while helping you automate tasks for speed.

  • Generate access keys for non-interactive environments: Developers often need to grant access to CI/CD pipelines or servers without compromising security. Our capability lets you quickly generate access keys for these non-interactive environments and ensures that only authorized entities can access and interact with your systems.
  • Inject secrets into environment variables: With Dashlane's CLI, you can inject secrets directly into environment variables during runtime. It eliminates the need to store sensitive information in plain text within your codebase, reducing the risk of accidental exposure. 
  • Templatize config files with secrets references: To avoid pushing secrets onto your Git repositories, our CLI offers a convenient feature that allows you to templatize configuration files. You can maintain a more secure development environment by inserting secret references into these files. Dashlane’s CLI intelligently replaces the references with your sensitive content, ensuring that secrets remain hidden from prying eyes.
  • Use transformers to transform secrets: Sometimes, you may need to transform secrets pulled from your vault on the fly. Our platform provides various transformers, such as JSON parsers or OTP code generators, to help you achieve this. These transformers enable you to manipulate and process secrets in real-time, enhancing the flexibility and functionality of your applications.

If you want to get up to speed with our new CLI, we've made a series of YouTube video tutorials that explain everything you can do.

Our CLI is fully open source and available on our GitHub space. Anyone can audit our code and contribute by opening pull requests, interacting with our community, and submitting new ideas and bug reports.

Secrets management using the CLI is available to all users during our early access phase. If you're an IT administrator, the CLI can do much more, allowing you to access your audit logs and member reports. Give it a try today!

Learn more about our Admin CLI capabilities.

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