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Styra Declarative Authorization Service Expands Offering to Microservices and Service Mesh

Built on Open Policy Agent, Styra Is the First and Only Company to Solve Authorization for Both Kubernetes and Microservices

Styra, Inc., the founders of Open Policy Agent (OPA) and leaders in cloud-native authorization, announced that Styra Declarative Authorization Service (DAS) now supports microservices and extends context-based authorization to the service mesh. This new use case is the second addition to the company’s turnkey enterprise security solution, which is built on OPA. Now, Styra DAS provides security, compliance and operational guardrails for both Kubernetes and microservices to help customers mitigate risk, reduce errors and accelerate software development. With OPA at its core, Styra DAS provides a single control plane for authorization both within applications and for the infrastructure they run upon. 

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Styra Support for Microservices and Service Mesh

Styra DAS was introduced in 2019 to help enterprises set up policy-as-code guardrails for Kubernetes, ensuring that workloads are compliant with both internal and external regulations. Now, with support for microservices, Styra DAS provides unified policy across two crucial layers of the new software stack: Kubernetes and microservices.

With authorization for microservices, Styra DAS helps operationalize the service mesh by controlling what APIs can be executed on what services, both on ingress and egress. As companies increase deployments and software scales to customer demands, these controls are critical in ensuring cloud-native applications adhere to data privacy and compliance regulations, as well as risk mitigation.  Styra DAS goes beyond what service mesh provides natively, by allowing any business context to be evaluated, compared and included in policy decisions. Developers have far richer control over service proxy authorization and can tightly define communication throughout the mesh.

“It’s critical when working with highly private data, like medical data, that it’s carefully controlled and formatted. When my team transfers data within an app, it has to be under the correct circumstances,” said Martin Pratt, program director (Platform) at Ada Health. “To stay compliant, we tried to build our own service mesh rules, but the complexity resulted in cognitive overhead, difficulty troubleshooting and inconsistencies with the way we were defining policy in other areas of our environment. With OPA, we now have a single way to define policy, and with Styra DAS, we’re able to distribute, monitor and perform impact analysis for these rules.”

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With Styra DAS, each team no longer needs to implement a dedicated, custom-built authorization system for their particular part of the application (infrastructure, containers, etc.). Instead, they can use a common policy language everywhere, freeing them to spend more development cycles on crucial, more differentiated problems and accelerate their time-to-market.

“With support for microservices, we’ve reached another milestone on our journey to provide authorization across the cloud-native stack,” said Tim Hinrichs, co-creator of OPA and co-founder and CTO of Styra. “When we founded OPA, we designed it for portability — and indeed OPA is now used across the most critical cloud-native components. With Styra DAS, we started at the platform level with Kubernetes guardrails, and are now extending into the app with support for microservices authorization. It’s thrilling to see our vision borne out in real-world customer deployments.” 

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Benefits of OPA and Styra DAS

OPA and Styra DAS work together to solve typical entitlements/authorization problems for enterprises.  For example, enterprise development teams typically build siloed policy in multiple places, use different languages to codify authorization, and have infrastructure policy that is typically unrelated to app policy.

OPA and Styra DAS overcome these issues by providing developers with a common policy language, toolset and framework for policy across the cloud-native stack. OPA adds context-aware policy evaluation to tightly control exactly what the proxies allow or deny, and does so with the same policy language and tooling used for all authorization decisions. Styra DAS provides the authoring, distribution, impact analysis, monitoring and audit controls for that policy.

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