At the start of the Dockercon 2017 conference in Austin,  San Francisco-based startup Twistlock today officially unveiled the latest version of its eponymous container security platform.

Twistlock 2.0, like its predecessors, "solves problems before they become problems," John Morello, CTO of Twistlock. Containerized applications aren't inherently more or less secure than traditional implementations, he noted. The challenge lies in their "ephemeral" nature he explained.

"The notion of static IP address doesn't apply to containers," thereby rendering many tried-and-true application security management approaches useless, he told eSecurity Planet. Whereas a virtual and physical server may cling to an IP address for months and years, a container may last minutes, hours or a few days, Morello said.

The problem is compounded by the sheer number of application containers an organization can spin up during the course of their application development and deployment efforts. Organizations struggling to secure a hundred virtual machines may now have to keep an eye on thousands of application containers.

Twistlock's automated platform enables organizations to infuse security much earlier into the application development process using a two-pronged strategy that doesn't rely on rigid IP-based monitoring systems.

Its automated vulnerability management technology provides ongoing monitoring, spotting configuration and coding errors that can undermine an application container's security, Morello said. Twistlock also uses a rules-based "quality gates" approach to ensure that builds live up to an organizations security and compliance standards. If an application fails a check, it can be sent back to the developer to fix.

Today, Twistlock debuted version 2.0 of its Runtime Radar technology, providing improved visibility into their application container environments.

New Visio-like diagram views offer users at-a-glance visibility into the connectivity patterns, container vulnerability states and compliance posture of the container setups. Users can also use the tool to generate Kubernetes networking policy templates by exporting their environment's connectivity topology.

Building on the company's existing compliance management features, Twistlock 2.0 also includes a new Compliance Explorer tool. It automatically generates a user-friendly dashboard based on a customer's preferences, allowing organizations to view 30-day historical data pertaining to the compliance settings that matter most to them. It also generates a list of non-compliant entities that may require attention.

Acknowledging that not all compliance officers are experts in containers, Twistlock's Compliance Explorer and related compliance functionality supports PCI-DSS, HIPAA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) SP800-190 Application Security Guide, the latter of which was authored in collaboration with Twistlock, Morello revealed.

Other new features include Jenkins Pipeline Support, enhanced multi-factor authentication capabilities for organizations using PKI (public key infrastructure) and embedded secrets detection that can uncover SSH keys, AWS tokens and other credentials stored within an image.

Twistlock 2.0 is available now. And customers won't have to wait long for another update.

"We're already working on our next release, Twistlock 2.1, with an eye on shipping within the next nine weeks," wrote Morello in a blog post. "In 2.1, we'll optimize some of the features in 2.0. Specifically, we'll include functionality that expands upon autonomous policies that protect container applications, and improve the level of actionable insight available to Twistlock customers."