Shrinking Software Attack Surface with WebAssembly & CNCF wasmCloud

Shrinking Software Attack Surface with WebAssembly & CNCF wasmCloud

WebAssembly is poised to fundamentally transform the development of both browser and server-side development.

The virtualization of the CPU, OS, and the cloud with hypervisors, containers, and Kubernetes each marked epochs of technology that ushered in emerging trends in software architecture, design, development, operation, and life cycle management.

In this session, I highlighted the development and advantages of WebAssembly and the CNCF wasmCloud Application Framework.

WebAssembly marks the next wave of cloud-native evolution.

The three main advantages driving the adoption of these open source innovations are:

  1. Abstraction at the application level, which enables true portability across diverse CPUs, clouds, Kubernetes distributions, edges, and web browsers
  2. WebAssembly’s portable binary-code format and corresponding text format for building applications in a sandboxed execution environment that runs in memory. This approach replaces the current method for building software that relies on the aggregation of software components that tend to lack distinct security boundaries between them. That lack of a boundary is today, in fact, at the root of most cybersecurity vulnerabilities
  3. wasmCloud’s loose coupling to third party code, which enables a streamlined approach to managing the software supply chain. Virtualizing the use of non-functional requirements and common open-source libraries helps prevent the exploitation of systematic vulnerabilities like the Log4J2.

Conclusion

Remember that moment when you had to wrap your brain around containers? The time has come to wrap your brain around WebAssembly. It’s the next new paradigm in enterprise development. It’s already here, and you’re likely already using it today – whether you know it or not.

Supplemental Content

  • Listen to the full presentation here.
  • Case Studies from Cloud Native Rejekts EU (May 14-15, 2022) and KubeCon/CloudNativeCon EU (May 16-20, 2022) in Valencia, Spain)
    • Designing enterprise-ready machine learning applications with Webassembly & wasmCloud (BMW) BMW presented at Cloud Native Rejekts EU 2022 about bringing Machine Learning (ML) capabilities to wasmCloud. BMW is testing the deployment of distributed ML to production across dissimilar devices from edge to cloud using a common code base.  Specific concerns: making optimal use of available resources, supporting blue/green testing, privacy preservation, latency, throughput and dynamic, secure updates.  
    • Lightning Talk: wasmCloud + Bevy ECS: Solution to Woe of Indie Game Developers How to use wasmCloud and Bevy ECS. With the rise of independent content creators in social platforms, there is a growing market for independent software or game creators. Independent game creators should be able to upload game servers as easily as YouTubers upload videos. Often Indie game developers will shut down their AWS instance because of losses due to server costs that cannot be recuperated. This presentation demonstrates the maturity of the Wasm ecosystem in providing low-cost platforms for game servers.
    • Wasm Beyond the Browser: Use Cases at Scale (Adobe) Adobe uses Wasm in its flagship browser-based products including Photoshop, Lightroom and Acrobat. Developers are exploring use cases for Wasm in edge compute and in the data center with wasmCloud.  Of particular interest:  performance, cost, security and compliance. 
    • Blog: Helping One of Europe’s Largest Banks Re-platform with Declarative, Self-healing, Multi-cloud WasmCloud Clusters on Kubernetes. Stuart Harris, founder and chief scientist and Aayush Attri, senior software engineer of Red Badger presented on behalf of a major EU financial service company at Cloud-Native North America WasmDay 2021. Red Badger demonstrated how to leverage the unique and powerful capabilities of wasmCloud to deliver multi-cloud failover from AWS to GCP. The financial organization faced a regulatory requirement to implement multi-cloud redundancy to reduce systematic risk, and wanted to have a simpler developer experience and more resiliency.
    • To learn more, go to https://github.com/wasmCloud/wasmCloud or wasmcloud.com.

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