Container Security: Tips for Securing PostgreSQL Instances in Docker

Pankaj kushwaha
2 min readMar 22, 2023

Securing PostgreSQL instances in Docker is crucial to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access. Here are some tips to enhance the security of your PostgreSQL containers:

  1. Use official PostgreSQL images: Always use the official PostgreSQL Docker images from the Docker Hub to ensure you are using a verified and up-to-date image.
  2. Keep PostgreSQL and Docker updated: Regularly update your PostgreSQL instances and Docker installation to apply the latest security patches and bug fixes.
  3. Use least-privilege principle: Run PostgreSQL containers with a non-root user, and follow the principle of least privilege for database users, granting only the necessary permissions for their tasks.
  4. Use strong passwords and authentication: Set strong passwords for the PostgreSQL superuser and other database users. Enable secure password authentication methods, such as SCRAM-SHA-256 or MD5, by configuring password_encryption in postgresql.conf.
  5. Enable SSL/TLS encryption: Enable SSL/TLS encryption for connections to your PostgreSQL containers to protect data in transit. Use the ssl and ssl_cert_file, ssl_key_file, and ssl_ca_file configuration options in postgresql.conf to set up encryption.
  6. Limit container network access: Control which network connections can access your PostgreSQL container using Docker networking features. Use the --network flag when starting the container to restrict its network access and bind the PostgreSQL container to a specific IP address using the listen_addresses configuration option in postgresql.conf.
  7. Configure pg_hba.conf: Configure the pg_hba.conf file to define the authentication methods and allowed IP addresses or subnets for each database user. Use the hostssl connection type to enforce SSL/TLS encryption.
  8. Monitor and audit: Use PostgreSQL’s logging and auditing capabilities to monitor database activity. Configure the log_* options in postgresql.conf to log connections, queries, and other relevant events. Use tools like pgAudit for advanced auditing.
  9. Use container security best practices: a. Use minimal base images and remove unnecessary packages and services. b. Regularly scan container images for vulnerabilities using tools like Clair, Anchore Engine, or Trivy. c. Implement Docker security best practices, such as using seccomp profiles, AppArmor, or SELinux to restrict container capabilities.
  10. Regular backups and disaster recovery: Regularly back up your PostgreSQL data and test your disaster recovery plan to ensure data integrity and availability.

By following these tips and best practices, you can significantly improve the security of your PostgreSQL instances running in Docker containers. This helps to protect your sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access to your database.



Pankaj kushwaha

Database/System Administrator | DevOPS | Cloud Specialist | DevOPS