Top 10 Container Scanning Tools for 2024

The Jit Team
By The Jit Team
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Edited by Jit Team

Updated February 28, 2024.

the top 10 container scanning tools for 2021

Containers have revolutionized cloud computing. They enable developers to package their applications and dependencies into a single unit, making it easier to build, deploy, and run applications in different environments. 

But there is a downside: with containers, vulnerabilities can spread rapidly across multiple systems and compromise entire infrastructures. Plus, they are vulnerable at every stage of software development. If your DevOps team leverages containers, you need adequate tools to secure them. 

Container scanning tools help identify and mitigate container security risks. This article starts by briefly explaining this ecosystem in general, why you need container security, and how it works.  It then compiles a comprehensive list of the top 10 container scanning tools for 2023 and their unique benefits and capabilities, so you can choose the most suitable one for your team and stack.

The Good and Some Ugly of Containers

Containers pack software applications into isolated environments, allowing them to run consistently across different systems and platforms. One of the key benefits of using containers is their ability to provide a consistent, isolated environment for application development, testing, and deployment. DevOps teams can quickly replicate the same environment across different systems, reducing the risk of configuration drift and ensuring that applications run as expected.

Take the development of microservices-based applications, for instance. Containers provide a way to package and deploy individual microservices as isolated units, making it easier to manage and maintain the various components of a microservices-based application.

Containerized Applications


However, there are also risks associated with using containers. For example, they can pose security risks if they are not properly managed, such as if the host system is compromised, and the containers can also be vulnerable. Containers can also consume significant system resources, leading to performance issues if not properly managed.

What is a container scanning tool?

While growing in popularity, for those unfamiliar, a container scanning tool is software that helps identify and prevent security vulnerabilities and potential threats in container images and running containers. Container scanning tools analyze the content of the container images and compare them against a database of known vulnerabilities. The goal is to identify security risks before the containers are deployed into production, such as outdated packages, missing patches, or unsecured configurations.

It's important to note that a container image is a read-only template used to create containers, while a container is a runnable instance of a container image. The scanning tool analyzes the container image before the container is made and can scan running containers to ensure they are secure.

Some common container security vulnerabilities and attacks include privilege escalation, data theft, and malicious code injection. Additionally, container images can be vulnerable to tampering, misconfigured security settings, and malicious third-party components. A container scanning tool can help detect these vulnerabilities and prevent them from being exploited.

Container Meme


Container Scanning Tool Benefits 

Traditional security scanning tools have limitations when it comes to protecting containers, leading to a gap in security for organizations relying on containers. Container scanning tools are more comprehensive and targeted solutions. Some of their benefits include:

  • Improved visibility into the container security posture
  • Flagging specific containers for remediation
  • Increased monitoring of known-vulnerable containers
  • Enhanced security and compliance
  • Better resource utilization

5 Key features to look for in a container scanning tool

  1. Compatibility

Ensure that the tool is compatible with the type of containers you use, including the container format, platform, and runtime environment.

  1. Detection rates

The tool should have reasonable detection rates for known vulnerabilities and should be able to identify new security threats.

  1. Runtime scanning

The tool should be able to monitor containers during runtime when the containers are actually in use.

  1. Centralized platform

Look for a tool that provides a centralized platform for all your containers to improve visibility and simplify management.

  1. Auto-remediation 

The tool should have auto-remediation capabilities, allowing you to fix vulnerabilities automatically without manual intervention.

10 Top Container Scanning Tools for 2024

This list compiles the top emerging and widely adopted tools in this ecosystem in no particular order––it’s not ranked, just compiled.  We hope you find it useful when considering your container security tool of choice.

1. Anchore

Anchore


Anchore is a container vulnerability scanning platform designed to protect cloud-native workloads. It offers continuous vulnerability scanning for container images and provides a comprehensive API and CLI tool to automate the process.

Main features:

  • Policy engine that reduces false positives and offers quick remediation
  • Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) management 
  • Kubernetes Image Scanning 

Best for reducing false positives.

Sample customer review: 

“With Anchore Enterprise and its powerful reporting, Lark connected their security team to the application development lifecycle without burdening them with additional manual work or slowing down development. ”

2. Jit

Jit


Jit is a Continuous Security platform that provides an automated and unified experience for application security. It offers a vendor-agnostic control orchestration framework, allowing developers to easily integrate their preferred open-source security tools into their workflows. 

Main features:

  • Centralized, intelligent security workflows integrated with GitHub
  • Orchestrates open-source security tools for all layers of your app
  • Security-as-code plan and auto-remediation features
  • Allows for change-based security tests in PRs 

Best for DevOps-oriented engineering teams. 

Price: Start free

Sample customer review: 

“I love the notion of Jit providing as-code security plans, which are minimal and viable. The fact that Jit also automates the selection of relevant security tools and unifies the experience around them is super valuable.” 

3. Sysdig Falco

Sysdig Falco


Sysdig is a cloud-native security and usage platform that helps secure cloud and container deployments. Its Cloud Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP) protects against cloud and container security breaches. 

Main features:

  • Container and Kubernetes security
  • Cloud workload protection
  • Vulnerability management
  • Cloud detection and response
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting

Best for securing cloud and container deployments.

Price: Free, host-based, or task-based licensing.

Sample customer review: 

"From a single pane of glass within the Sysdig dashboard, we can see what's going on in each cluster and be agile with identifying and resolving issues across clouds." 

4. Trivy

Trivy


Trivy is an open-source security scanner that provides comprehensive coverage for detecting vulnerabilities in various operating systems, programming languages, and Infrastructure as Code (IaC) misconfigurations. 

Main features:

  • Easy to use with no dependencies or database to maintain
  • Supports scanning of local and remote container images, as well as archived and extracted images
  • Can be run on any operating system and CPU
  • Licensed under Apache 2.0 license and free to use, fork, and spread

Best for detecting vulnerabilities and IaC misconfigurations.

Price: Free.

Sample customer review:

"Trivy is considered by many to be the most reliable scanner for Alpine systems ... I have to recommend either Trivy or Grype. " 

5. Spectral

Spectral


Spectral is a cloud security solution that provides comprehensive protection for your code, assets, and infrastructure. The platform helps you monitor, classify, and protect your code from potential security threats, such as exposed API keys, tokens, credentials, and secrets. 

Main Features:

  • Integrates with popular code hosting platforms and cloud providers
  • Supports a wide range of programming languages and stacks
  • Provides real-time alerts and notifications on data breaches
  • Dev-friendly platform for building and enforcing security policies

Best for automating the protection of sensitive information like API keys, tokens, and credentials. 

Price: Free to $19 per developer/month.

Sample customer review: 

"One of the reasons we picked Spectral over the other products is Spectral has low false-positive results, which give us a high confidence factor and save us precious development time.”

6. Snyk

Snyk


Snyk Container is a product by Snyk that provides container and Kubernetes security for developers and DevOps teams. It helps find and fix vulnerabilities throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC) before workloads reach production. 

Main features:

  • Integrates with CI/CD pipeline for seamless vulnerability remediation
  • Helps organizations comply with security and regulatory standards such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, and SOC 2
  • Cloud-based solution for managing security risks across multiple projects and applications

Best for DevOps teams seeking to integrate security into their CI/CD pipeline.

Price: Free to $98 per dev/month.

Sample customer review: 

"I was really happy to have containers scanning before runtime production. People weren’t paying attention to container vulnerabilities, so it has been eye-opening for the organization. It truly increases awareness of those vulnerabilities and enables more automation. It’s more in line with the quality improvement mindset of the engineering teams in their CI/CD practices." 

7. Skyhawk

Skyhawk


Skyhawk Security is a cloud security solution that offers Cloud Detection and Response (CDR), Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM), and Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM). The platform uses runtime visibility to understand real-time threats and synthesizes alerts into "Realerts" to fix only real threats. 

Main features:

  • Complete runtime visibility to understand attacker’s journeys 
  • Combines cloud network observability and identity threat detection
  • Detects malicious behavior, focuses on relevant and suspicious behavior, and remediates it in real-time

Best for cloud security posture management (CSPM).

Price: Available on demo request.

Sample customer review: 

"Reputation and security are pillars for us. We configured the product in five minutes, and after only 24 hours, we obtained the first insights useful to tune our infrastructure." 

8. Lacework

Lacework


Lacework is a cloud security platform that offers a data-driven CNAPP (Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform), which protects customer data and improves vulnerability detection.

Main features:

  • Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP)
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC) security
  • Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)
  • Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP)
  • Kubernetes security

Best for businesses needing real-time visibility and security for containers and Kubernetes.

Price: Available on demo request.

Sample customer review: 

"Instead of looking through multiple tools for the information we need, we have it all in one platform." 

9. Qualys

Qualys


Qualys is a cloud platform that offers container-ready security and compliance solutions. It provides a range of services for 60 days, including free remote endpoint protection, SSL labs, API security assessments, and paid services such as Container Security and Container Runtime Security.

Main Features:

  • Ability to enforce policies to block vulnerable images
  • Threat identification and remediation prioritization
  • Granular visibility into running containers with Container Runtime Security

Best for organizations looking to comply with various security standards and regulations, such as PCI DSS and HIPAA.

Price: Free trial, price available on request.

Sample customer review: 

"Security and risk management leaders must address container security issues around vulnerabilities, visibility, compromise, and compliance."

10. Slim.AI

Slim.AI


Slim.AI offers continuous software supply chain security for containers. The Slim platform integrates with your CI/CD pipeline, enabling developers to monitor and optimize the containers in their workflow, from development to production. 

Main features: 

  • Easy integration with CI/CD pipelines
  • Generation and storage of vulnerability reports and SBOMs for the original image
  • Optimization engine that automatically reduces containers to what they need
  • Post-optimization analysis to determine which files, packages, and vulnerabilities were removed 

Best for supply chain security.

Price: Available upon request.

Sample customer review: 

“We want our developers to be able to stand up a microservice on their own without having to be deep experts in pipelines, deployments, or container security. That type of developer experience is possible with Slim.AI.”

Keeping your containers secured

Container technology has brought about significant benefits for organizations, but it also introduces new security challenges that must be addressed. With the growing use of containers in cloud infrastructure, it is essential to use effective container scanning tools to ensure that vulnerabilities are identified and remediated promptly. Don’t let security be a burden - get started with Jit today for free.