Getting to Production

Securing your backend

When using a gateway, it's important to ensure that your backend API is only receiving traffic via the gateway to be confident that your policies are being correctly applied to all traffic.

To do this, we need to secure the communication between Zuplo and your backend APIs (origin). There are several options to do this securely.

1/ Shared secret / API Key#

This is the most popular option and is used by companies like Supabase, Firebase, and Stripe to secure their own APIs. In this solution the backend requires a secret that is known only by the gateway. This is usually an opaque key sent as a header on every request to the origin. Zuplo adds this to the request - the client is never aware of the secret. An example of how to set this up, including using Environment Variables to store the secret is included in Step 1 - Setup a Basic Gateway.

2/ Federated Authentication#

This is a new option where you can configure your cloud service (e.g. GCP or AWS) to trust a JWT token created by the Zuplo runtime. If you're interested in using this option please contact us at

3/ Upstream Service Authentication#

Utilize the IAM controls provided by your Cloud host to secure inbound requests and allow only authorized service principals access to your service.

  • For Azure users, you can user our Upstream Azure AD Service Auth policy. This uses Azure AD App registrations to create a token that Zuplo will send to requests to Azure.

  • For GCP users, you can use our Upstream GCP Service AUth or Upstream GCP JWT policies. These use a service.json credential to create or issue JWT tokens that Zuplo will send to requests to GCP.

4/ mTLS Authentication#

Mutual Certificate authentication allows the configuration of a trust relationship between your Zuplo gateway and your backend API using certificates. If you're interested in using this option please contact us at

5/ Secure Tunneling#

Used by some of our larger customers, our secure tunnels allow you to create a WireGuard based tunnel from your VPC or private data-center that connects directly to your Zuplo gateway. This option is generally useful when running workloads in a non-cloud provider (i.e. bare metal, on premises, etc.) that do not have IAM or mTLS capabilities. In this solution, your backend API does not need to be exposed to the internet at all. This is a more complex setup and is only available on our enterprise plan.

To discuss security and connectivity options, our discord channel is a great community, with active participation from the Zuplo team.

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