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Container scanning

(also container image scanning)

Container scanning definition

Container scanning, also known as container image scanning, refers to examining and reviewing container images for potential vulnerabilities, threats, and inconsistencies in their code. A container is a standard unit of software that packages up code and all its dependencies so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another.

See also: firewall, VPN firewall, network intrusion protection system, tunneling

Container scanning examples

  • Pre-deployment checks: Developers often employ container scanning before deploying applications to ensure the container images are free from known vulnerabilities.
  • Continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines: Container scanning is commonly integrated into CI/CD pipelines for automated security checks.

Advantages and disadvantages of container scanning


  • Enhanced security: Container scanning helps identify potential vulnerabilities before deployment, reducing the risk of security breaches.
  • Compliance: Regular container scanning can help maintain and prove compliance with various industry standards and regulations.


  • Time-consuming: Scanning large or complex containers may take significant time, potentially slowing down the development process.
  • Possible false positives: Depending on the scanning tools used, there may be instances of false positives that require manual investigation.

Using container scanning

  • Consider implementing container scanning as part of your regular CI/CD pipeline.
  • Choose a container scanning tool that provides accurate vulnerability assessments and is compatible with your existing infrastructure.