Website Planet: How Cerbos helps developers scale authorization faster & cheaply | Q/A with Emre Baran

Published by Emre Baran on July 23, 2023
Website Planet: How Cerbos helps developers scale authorization faster & cheaply | Q/A with Emre Baran

In a recent interview with Roberto Popolizio of Website Planet, Cerbos Co-Founder & CEO, Emre Baran, shared insights about the company's journey and its mission to simplify the implementation of roles and permissions in software applications.

Emre, a seasoned entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the software field, co-founded Cerbos to address a common challenge faced by developers: managing permissions effectively. Cerbos is an open source authorization layer that separates business logic from authorization logic, thereby improving security, testability, and flexibility. It's designed to be easy to implement, fast, and scalable, providing developers with granular control over user permissions.

The idea for Cerbos was born out of Emre's experiences at Google, CGI, Microsoft, and various startups, where he recognized the need for a reliable authorization system. Unlike competitors that require developers to learn new programming languages or offer only premium, cloud-hosted solutions, Cerbos is open source and free for developers to use. Cerbos is built on six principles:

  1. Security: First and foremost. Cerbos prioritizes security, as an essential aspect of any the application or service to gain trust and be chosen by users.
  2. Reliability: The service is designed to run continuously and handle authorization requests, ensuring that it is always available and reliable for users.
  3. Scalability: Cerbos is built to scale seamlessly, accommodating both small and large applications with unlimited scalability.
  4. Speed: The platform emphasizes speed, recognizing the importance of delivering efficient performance.
  5. Extensibility: Cerbos aims to provide an excellent baseline for developers, but also while making customization and extensibility very simple.
  6. Developer Experience: By offering great documentation, SDKs in every major language, integration with all the popular frameworks and authentication providers, Cerbos offers an unparalleled developer experience which often makes a big difference.

Cerbos' typical clients are often startups that have built their roles and permissions in-house, a process that can take a significant amount of time and resources. By using Cerbos, these companies can save the equivalent of one full-time employee's worth of effort in the first year alone. The solution is also beneficial for larger companies that need to manage complex permissions across various roles, regions, and departments.

Looking ahead, Emre sees shifts in software development between monolithic and microservices architectures, as well as the emergence of self-service public cloud, private cloud, air gap, serverless, and edge computing, hybrid solutions. He believes that zero trust is a crucial component for each of these approaches, as users should have the capability to operate within them securely. Emre highlights: "It is essential for our server infrastructure to accommodate all of these diverse requirements effectively."

Read the full interview he re.

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