Important tips for microservices authorization

Published by Alex Olivier on December 21, 2023
Important tips for microservices authorization

Microservices architectures enable simplified scaling for applications, and also allow for faster development times. This can be freeing for developers, as they aren’t prevented from being quick and innovative when introducing new features.

In this article, we advise on a range of tips and best practices for microservices authorization and highlight several benefits to integrating Cerbos.

Microservices authorization tips and best practices

Implementing microservices authorization involves engaging in a variety of best practices to ensure security, integrity and functionality. Here are a few of those best practices:

  • Audit logging: Always implement comprehensive audit logging to keep track of access attempts and policy enforcement. Logging is also crucial for facilitating security audits and compliance.
  • Dynamic authorization: Embrace dynamic authorization to make access decisions based on a variety of runtime factors including contextual information and user attributes.
  • Consistent microservices authorization: A standardized approach to authorization across all services should be the goal. Cerbos ensures consistency in microservices authorization.
  • Expect growth: The growth of your microservices ecosystem is inevitable. Cerbos microservices authorization scales easily with your needs including increased traffic and changing user roles.
  • Secure communications: Always use secure communication protocols (HTTPS) between microservices in order to protect your sensitive data while it’s exposed during transit.

Other best practices include robust education and training, using the least privilege principle and conducting regular security audits. Security audits are essential to identifying potential vulnerabilities and to verify the integrity of your authorization policies and procedures.

Benefits of Cerbos integration

Integrating Cerbos to provide microservices authorization produces a host of benefits for the security, manageability and overall architecture of a system. Those benefits include:

  • Fine-grained access control: Microservices authorization using Cerbos enables you to ensure the integrity of specific business functions by implementing access policies based on the principle of least privilege. Authorization also serves to isolate microservices from unauthorized users.
  • Flexibility: Microservice architecture is typically flexible by nature. Authorization allows you to maintain this flexibility by updating access control policies for each individual microservice without having to make changes that would affect the whole system.
  • Scalability: Microservices authorization provides scalable access control that is applied consistently and will accommodate a changing number of microservice instances as well as dynamic factors such as runtime conditions, user roles and various other contextual information.
  • Auditability: The security of your microservices will enjoy a boost due to Cerbos’ ability to automatically create detailed access logs. Use these to enable more sophisticated and reliable security audits and to comply with various regulatory requirements.
  • Reduced exposure to attack: Microservices authorization enables you to limit access to sensitive data and vital operations thereby reducing the attack surface and protecting the system from internal and external threats.


Our tips and best practices for implementing microservices authorization will help you ensure that security, integrity and functionality all remain top priorities.

Relevant links

Are you looking to improve your application's authorization logic and security? Look no further than Cerbos! Discover how Cerbos works and explore its powerful features:

  • Cerbos playground, where you can easily build and test policies in an online editor
  • Cerbos ecosystem and its seamless integrations with various SDKs, modern frameworks, and authentication providers
  • Learn more about Cerbos Hub here

Get started building your first policies with ease and join the companies that trust Cerbos in production for their authorization needs.

Book a free Policy Workshop to discuss your requirements and get your first policy written by the Cerbos team