Infisical vs Hashicorp Vault
Vault has shined the light on Secrets Management. Infisical makes it accessible to every developer.
I think if I was Hashicorp Vault team's PM, I'd be worried. Your team has done such a great job at U.X. I was astonished to see a [product] with such a great integration catalog. I think you aced it - modern developers are desperate for out of the box integrations with 100+ services they have to use every day.Alexander Klizhentas, CTO & Co-founder at Teleport
Meet the contenders
Meet Infisical Infisical is the leading open source SecretOps platform that is designed to securely store secrets, orchestrate them across your full development lifecycle, monitor secret leaks, and provide best-in-class developer experience.
Meet Hashicorp Vault Hashicorp Vault is a source-available tool designed to manage and secure sensitive data in modern computing environments. It provides a secure storage system for API keys, passwords, certificates, encryption keys, and other sensitive data.
Infisical vs Hashicorp Vault: The Short VersionInfisical vs Hashicorp Vault: The Long Version
Infisical is suitable for you if:
You need a single source of truth to manage secrets across your engineering team and infrastructure (incl. local development, CI/CD, and production).
You care about developer experience including dev onboarding and time-to-production processes.
You are looking to get started as fast as possible.
You want to approach secret management from the `security shift left` perspective.
Hashicorp Vault is suitable for you if:
You are thinking to not involve developers into secret management processes – instead you want to fully center it around the SRE or platform engineering teams.
You are looking for a more manual and low-level solution and are willing to go through manual setup and higher maintenance cost to achieve a more unique structure.
Why does it matter?
DOES NOT OFFER
Architecture & Security
Yes, Infisical is an open source product with a community consisting of thousands of developers – link to GitHub repo.
No. On August 10th, 2023, HashiCorp announced that they are switching their license to BSL, which is not an open source license.
Using open source security products is considered to be the best practice. Open codebases are reviewed by thousands of security practioners for any kinds of vulnerabilities – something that is not possible when a product is close source. In addition, it gives you direct overview of and input into the product's roadmap.
Offers a hosted cloud product – signup here.
Self-hostable on your own infrastructure – instructions here.
Offers a hosted cloud product.
Self-hostable on your own infrastructure.
Infisical can be self-hosted on any cloud or on your own infarstructure – significantly minimizing vendor lock-in and improving your company's compliance posture. Having the option of using a Cloud-hosted product is also very important if your team doesn't have the capacity to think about hosting a product themselves.
Encrypted Secrets Storage
Infisical uses TLS for encryption in transit as well as AES256-GCM for symmetric encryption and x25519-xsalsa20-poly1305 for asymmetric encryption operations – security brief here.
Vault uses a security barrier which automatically encrypts all data leaving Vault using a 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) cipher in the Galois Counter Mode (GCM) with 96-bit nonces.
Encrypted Storage is important to make sure that your data stays safe and compliant.
Infisical uses secure remote password (SRP) to handle authentication and public-key cryptography for secret sharing and syncing; secrets are symmetrically encrypted by keys decryptable only by members of the project – security brief here.
In the case of HashiCorp Vault, the server does have access to the encrypted data and the corresponding encryption keys to provide access to clients when requested.
Zero-knowdlge architecture ensures that only users themselves are able to decrypt their data – NOT Infisical (or any of Infisical's employees).
Project & Environment Separation
Out of the box, Infisical allows you to structure your secrets into projects (they often correspond to git repositories) and environments (e.g., dev, staging, prod) – read more.
With Hashicorp Vault, users have to think of the structure themselves.
Proper structure allows developers to navigate and find right secrets easier and quicker.
Infisical lets developers immediately see the differences in secrets across various environments via a web dashboard overview.
After setting up a custom structure with Hashicorp Vault, users have to find differences manually or write custom scripts for that.
Being able to easily see this, allows developers to spot bugs in seconds as well as makes programs more reliable.
Infisical lets developers reference secrets within the projects – across environments and folders.
Secret referencing helps establish the single source of truth and minimize bugs related to updating values in different places.
Personal Secret Overrides
Developers can override secrets for themselves while keeping the values unchanged for rest of the team/infrastructure – docs here.
This is useful for local development in order to not disrupt the workflow of your teammates as well as for compliance purposes (e.g., Database Access Tokens should be unique for every developer)
Deeper Secret Structures
Infisical lets you form secrets into directories from which you are then able to organize them into any structure you want.
Path-based secrets are default in Vault, allowing you to create a structure you need.
As your product/project grows, this will be very important to allow for scaling.
Yes, granular secret versioning with timestamps.
Yes, fairly identical secret versioning structure to what Infisical offers.
It is useful to know how the value of a certain secret has been changing over time for debugging and compliance purposes.
Yes, you can roll back secrets in any projects to any snapshot. It works in a way comparable to git commits.
Whenever someone makes a mistake in adding/editing/deleting a secret (or one simply needs to rollback a deployment), this becomes very handy.
Ways to access secrets
Command Line Interface
Infisical offers a fully language- and platform-agnostic CLI. It allows to automatically inject application secrets as environment variables, modify secrets, and more – docs here.
Vault has a CLI but it does not have many possibilities such as injecting secrets as environment variables, etc. It is used more for manipulating secrets and values.
This way tends to be the easiest to get set up with secrets management. It also enables fully synchronized local development – also in larger teams.
Infisical currently offers SDKs for Python and NodeJS, and more are under active development – docs here.
Available for a number of languages, but mostly community-supported.
SDKs tend to be a more reliable way of accessing secrets even though it requires more work – which often makes it a preferred choice for larger teams.
Infisical lets you push secrets to various 3rd-party services (e.g., Vercel, Github Actions, Circle CI) – ultimately becoming a true single source of truth for you secrets. You can find the docs here.
Automatic 3-rd party integrations create a single source of truth for your secrets in Infisical. From there, with just a couple clicks, you can distribute across other infrastructure secrvices that your company is using.
Universal API that lets you perform a range of secret oprations – docs here.
Universal API with fairly deep capabilities of secret operations.
API gives you maxium flexibility with what you want to do with your application secrets – even though it is the right choice for only very few teams.
Yes. Docs available here.
Vault supports webhooks for Kubernetes.
Webhooks can be used to trigger changes to your integrations when secrets are modified, providing smooth integration with other third-party applications.
Git-style Activity Logs
Available – docs here.
Available in a very granular way.
Activity/audit logs let you establish the highest level of compliance across you organization. They're especially important in the secret management domain given how sensitive application secrets are.
Infisical lets you set up access controls for every user and environment. You can specify if developers are able to access certain secrets, edit them, or only add the news ones to a particular environment – docs here.
Available in a very granular way.
Access controls are paramount for ensuring compliance and security as your organization starts growing. They are also incredibly useful for preventing accidental errors in adding/editing/deleting secrets.
Currently under development, and will be available this or next quarter. The setup will allow for both automatic rotation and dynamicly generated secrets.
Available, but requires a lot of manual setup work. Most of these secret rotation workflows are not avaiable in the Web UI.
Secret rotation allows your team save a lot of time and reduce risks of rotating secrets manually. Secret rotation becomes fully automated which dramatically improves your security posture.
Manage your developer secrets with Infisical
Whether you're a single developer, medium-sized team, or a large enterprise, any of the options could work for you. Contact us if you have any questions.
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