Blog Engineering How to secure Google Cloud Run deployment with GitLab Auto DevOps
Published on August 21, 2023
3 min read

How to secure Google Cloud Run deployment with GitLab Auto DevOps

This tutorial will help teams speed development, improve security, and harness the power of serverless technology.


Teams looking for efficiency often look to GitLab and serverless platforms to minimize management overhead and speed deployment times. GitLab's tight integration with Google Cloud Run means that teams can take advantage of the industry-leading DevSecOps platform to deliver container-based applications securely and efficiently.

This tutorial will show you how to deploy applications to Cloud Run using GitLab Auto DevOps, a feature that lets developers quickly use CI/CD pipelines via pre-built templates. This approach can accelerate testing and deployment because stages and jobs are already pre-configured.


Before you begin, make sure you have the following:

  • a Google Cloud project with Cloud Run and Cloud Build APIs enabled
  • a Google Cloud service account with Cloud Run Admin, Cloud Build Service Agent, Service Account User, and Project Viewer permissions
  • a GitLab project containing your application code

Demo walkthrough

Step 1: Configure Google Cloud credentials

To start, use the Google Cloud service account with the necessary permissions. Once you have the service account, export its key to a JSON file and encode it using base64.

Step 2: Add Auto DevOps to your GitLab project

Navigate to your GitLab project and create a new file at the root called "gitlab-ci.yml." Add the following lines of code to include the Auto DevOps template, which automatically configures your pipeline based on project settings and configuration:

  - template: Auto-DevOps.gitlab-ci.yml

Commit the changes to your project.

Step 3: Configure environment variables

Add the following environment variables to your GitLab project:

  • BASE64_GOOGLE_CLOUD_CREDENTIALS: The base64-encoded JSON file containing your service account key. Make sure to mask this variable.
  • PROJECT_ID: The Google Cloud project ID.
  • SERVICE_ID: The service ID that will be used for Cloud Run. For this tutorial, we'll use "nodejs" as our service ID.

Step 4: Configure the CI/CD pipeline

Modify the "gitlab-ci.yml" file to add Google Cloud SDK, gcloud commands, Docker, and the necessary configurations for deploying your application to Cloud Run.

image: google/cloud-sdk:latest

Additionally, use Google Cloud Build to generate the container image required for deployment. Commit the changes to your project.

  stage: deploy
    - echo $GOOGLE_CLOUD_CREDENTIALS > service-account-key.json 
    - gcloud auth activate-service-account --key-file service-account-key.json 
    - gcloud config set project $PROJECT_ID 
    - gcloud auth configure-docker
    - gcloud builds submit --tag$PROJECT_ID/$SERVICE_ID
    - gcloud run deploy $SERVICE_ID --image$PROJECT_ID/$SERVICE_ID --region=us-central1 --platform managed --allow-unauthenticated 

Step 5: Finalize the DAST stage

Once your application has been deployed to Cloud Run, complete the dynamic application security testing (DAST) stage in the CI/CD pipeline to ensure your application is more secure. Add the Cloud Run URL to your "gitlab-ci.yml" file and enable full_scan and browser_scan options. Commit the changes to your project.

  DAST_WEBSITE: <project URL>

In this tutorial, we successfully deployed a Cloud Run application using GitLab's Auto DevOps. By following these steps, you can enjoy faster development and improved security, and harness the power of serverless technology.

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