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OPEN TALK: Fine-Grained Authorization for Cloud Native System

Ash Narkar
Styra, Software Engineer

Ash Narkar is a maintainer of the Open Policy Agent project. Ash has over 5 years of experience working on large-scale distributed systems. Ash is a Senior Software Engineer at Styra, Inc. working on OPA development and integrations. Previously he was a Principal Engineer at Verizon Labs where he worked on their IoT platform. Ash also worked as a Software Engineer at Cyan, Inc. where he contributed to the core components of their SDN platform. Ash has presented the OPA project at KubeCon, Open Source Summit, Kubernetes meetups, and more.

Every organization has security requirements influenced by the technologies in use, legal regulations, internal conventions, and so on. Policy enforcement is difficult because it often affects the entire stack, requires state from multiple locations, and must evolve over time as business needs change.

Organizations have relied on wikis and tribal knowledge to document and enforce important rules that govern how their systems behave, but today, many organizations pursue "policy as code" for greater control and visibility over their stacks.

In this talk, Ash will introduce the Open Policy Agent (OPA), an open source, general-purpose policy engine used by companies like Netflix, Intuit, and CapitalOne to enforce policies across a breadth of domains such as custom applications, container-management, i.e. Kubernetes, public clouds, server management etc.

This talk will highlight how fine-grained authorization can be achieved by organizations consisting of multiple teams, massive container deployments, diverse security requirements and how all of this can be made possible without significant changes to the existing infrastructure.