Analyzing Container Scan Reports | A Comprehensive Guide

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In the containerized application development world, security is a paramount concern. A crucial aspect of maintaining this security is the regular scanning of containers for vulnerabilities.

However, the scan is only as good as the analysis that follows. This article explains the intricacies of analyzing container scan reports, a key step in identifying and mitigating security risks.

Understanding Container Scan Reports

Container scan reports are detailed documents generated by scanning tools after evaluating container images. These reports list potential security issues within the container, including vulnerabilities in the operating system, application dependencies, and configuration settings. The effective analysis of these reports is crucial for maintaining a secure container environment.

Types of Vulnerabilities Detected in Scan Reports

Container scan reports commonly identify several types of vulnerabilities:

  • OS-level Vulnerabilities: Flaws within the operating system layer of the container.
  • Application Dependencies: Issues within external libraries or packages the application uses.
  • Misconfigurations: Security risks arising from incorrect configuration settings.

Each type carries its own risks and requires a specific approach for mitigation.

Navigating Through a Scan Report

A typical container scan report includes:

  • Severity Levels: Indicating the urgency of addressing each vulnerability.
  • Vulnerability Identifiers: Such as Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) numbers.
  • Impacted Components: Detailing which parts of the container are affected.

Understanding these elements is key to prioritizing and addressing security issues.

Example: Integrating Trivy Container Scanning in a Jenkins Pipeline


  • Jenkins server with Docker and Trivy installed.
  • A project with a Dockerfile.

Jenkins Pipeline Configuration

  1. Jenkinsfile: Create a Jenkinsfile in your project’s root directory. This file will define your pipeline configuration.
  2. Pipeline Stages:
    • Building the Image: Build the Docker image from your Dockerfile.
    • Scanning the Image: Scan the newly built image using Trivy.
    • Handling the Scan Report: Evaluate the Trivy scan output to decide whether to proceed with deployment.

Sample Jenkinsfile

pipeline {
    agent any

    stages {
        stage('Build Image') {
            steps {
                script {
        stage('Scan Image') {
            steps {
                script {
                    sh 'trivy image --format template --template "@trivy-reports.tpl" --output trivy-report.html my-app:${env.BUILD_ID}'
        stage('Handle Scan Report') {
            steps {
                script {
                    // Example: Fail the build if vulnerabilities are found
                    if (readFile('trivy-report.html').contains('VULNERABILITY')) {
                        error("Vulnerabilities found!")
    post {
        always {
            // Archive the Trivy report for later review
            archiveArtifacts artifacts: 'trivy-report.html', fingerprint: true

Trivy Scan Report Template

  • Trivy supports custom output formats. You can create a template (trivy-reports.tpl) to format the scan report as HTML.
  • The Handle Scan Report stage in the Jenkinsfile uses a simple check to see if vulnerabilities are present. You can expand this to implement more sophisticated analysis or notifications.


  • Automated Decision-Making: This example shows a basic decision-making process based on the presence of vulnerabilities. In practice, you might want to set thresholds based on vulnerability severity.
  • Notification: Integrate notifications to alert your team when vulnerabilities are detected.
  • Trivy Configuration: Ensure Trivy is correctly configured on your Jenkins server, and its database is regularly updated for accurate scanning.

Example: Integrating Trivy Container Scanning in a Docker Workflow


  • Docker installed on your machine.
  • Trivy installed on your machine.
  • A project with a Dockerfile.

Shell Script for Building and Scanning

Create a shell script ( in your project directory to automate the process:


# Define the image name

# Build the Docker image
echo "Building Docker image..."
docker build -t $IMAGE_NAME .

# Scan the image using Trivy
echo "Scanning the Docker image for vulnerabilities..."
trivy image --format template --template "@trivy-reports.tpl" --output trivy-report.html $IMAGE_NAME

# Check for vulnerabilities and handle the report
if grep -q "VULNERABILITY" trivy-report.html; then
    echo "Vulnerabilities found in the Docker image."
    # Handle vulnerabilities (e.g., fail the build, send notifications)
    # Exit with non-zero status to indicate failure
    exit 1
    echo "No vulnerabilities found. Safe to proceed."
    # Proceed with further steps (e.g., pushing the image to a registry)

Make sure to give execute permissions to your script:

chmod +x

Trivy Scan Report Template

  • Trivy supports custom output formats. Create a template file (trivy-reports.tpl) to format the scan report as per your needs (e.g., HTML format for readability).
  • The script checks for the string “VULNERABILITY” in the trivy-report.html. This is a simplified check, and you may want to customize it based on your specific report format and requirements.

Running the Script

Execute the script to build and scan your Docker image:



  • Automated Decision-Making: This script demonstrates a basic check for vulnerabilities. You might want to enhance this to consider the severity of vulnerabilities or specific compliance requirements.
  • Notification: Integrate the script with notification mechanisms to alert your team in case of detected vulnerabilities.
  • Customization: Customize the build and scanning process as per your project’s context and requirements.

Prioritizing Vulnerabilities

Prioritization is based on factors like:

  • Severity Rating: High-severity issues should be addressed first.
  • Exploitability: Vulnerabilities that are easier to exploit may be prioritized.
  • Impact on the Application: Consider the potential damage if the vulnerability is exploited.

Remediation and Mitigation Strategies

Upon identifying vulnerabilities, the next steps involve:

  • Immediate Fixes: Such as updating or patching affected components.
  • Long-term Strategies: Including revising container construction practices to avoid similar issues in the future.

Integrating Scan Reports into DevOps Workflow

Integrating the analysis of scan reports into the DevOps process is crucial for maintaining ongoing security. This can be achieved by:

  • Automating Alerts: Setting up notifications for when vulnerabilities are detected.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Regularly scheduling scans and reviews of reports.

Best Practices for Regular Analysis

Regular analysis of scan reports should be an integral part of your security routine. Best practices include:

  • Scheduled Scans: Regularly scanning containers and analyzing reports.
  • Continuous Education: Staying updated on new vulnerabilities and threats.

Tools and Resources for Effective Analysis

Various tools can aid in the effective analysis of container scan reports. Tools like Clair and Trivy offer user-friendly interfaces and comprehensive databases for understanding vulnerabilities.


The analysis of container scan reports is a critical process in ensuring the security of containerized applications. Regular, thorough examination of these reports helps in identifying potential threats and taking timely action to mitigate them. is an independent recruitment website launched in 2023 on a mission to match impactful people with meaningful organizations

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