Five Strategies for Enterprises to Secure their Kubernetes Clusters

Five Strategies for Enterprises to Secure their Kubernetes Clusters

Kubernetes comes with its own set of security issues. However, companies can overcome these challenges and increase their security by utilizing proper awareness and the platform’s built-in features.

Kubernetes is a sophisticated platform that allows containerized services, applications, and workloads to be orchestrated. While Kubernetes has grown in popularity in recent years, security has lagged behind, and best practises are just now beginning to emerge.

According to a  2021 Red Hat survey, 55 percent of respondents had to postpone deploying a Kubernetes application into production owing to security concerns, with over a third of those issues occurring during runtime. Moreover 94 percent of respondents had one or more security problems in their Kubernetes environments–nearly every poll respondent had recently had a Kubernetes security incident. This is obvious indication that greater guidance is required to help prevent such security concerns.

Because Kubernetes is the most widely used container and container orchestration solution, here are a few security best practises that businesses should use to protect their Kubernetes clusters.

Upgrade to the latest version of Kubernetes

Keeping Kubernetes environments up to date is the most fundamental and often overlooked security best practise. Businesses must leverage new security features and bug fixes that are released in new upgrades and version releases. In addition, they should test with the most recent stable version before deploying to the production cluster.

Separate Kubernetes and Feature Code 

Unique repositories for each Kubernetes and Feature code can be a critical measure to help separate jobs for security and compliance considerations in businesses where DevOps and Development are distinct roles. The ideal location for Kubernetes declaration files and Dockerfiles, however, is determined by the organization’s specific needs.

Also Read: Strategies to Set up Kubernetes Continuous Compliance

Conduct readiness and liveness probes

Liveness and readiness probes act as health checks for Kubernetes clusters. This makes the service more stable. Before routing a load to a pod, a readiness probe checks that it is initialized–requests do not reach the service until the probe reports that the pod is up and running.

By default, Kubernetes begins transmitting traffic as soon as the container’s process starts executing. Using a readiness probe, traffic can be halted until the program is fully initialized, such as during start-up. When defining contingency behavior for pod version updates, this is extremely important. If a new version of a pod fails the readiness probe because it fails to load, the previous version will continue to run, eliminating the requirement for a manual rollback.

Reduce included parts 

It is bad practise to incorporate extraneous elements in a container, as this can lead to vulnerabilities being introduced into production environments. Debugging tools, for example, are beneficial to attackers but not necessary for containers in production systems; such tools are excellent examples of components to keep out of container in production.

Using simple base images is one way to keep the included elements to a minimum. Using smaller images has a number of advantages. Smaller images take less time to build, have faster pull speeds, and are less likely to have security vulnerabilities because only the necessary packages and libraries are included.

Regularly audit logs 

The audit log file contains a wealth of information, but only if audit logging is enabled on the cluster. Businesses must activate audit logging in their Kubernetes cluster to allow for the retention of these logs in order to follow best security standards. Regularly reviewing these logs aids in the detection of any weaknesses or threats within the cluster.

Specific events to log can also be specified, which is very useful for monitoring events or API requests that could indicate a breach, such as authentication failures, which could indicate that threat actors are attempting to use stolen credentials.

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