Enterprises are rushing to modernize application development, but Kubernetes security has taken a back seat in many cases. While this de-prioritization is becoming increasingly dangerous, security methods for containerized systems must tread carefully.
Kubernetes is gaining traction, and its application within businesses is evolving. According to the recent Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) annual study, 83% of companies utilize Kubernetes in production, with 28% having over 11 clusters.
Here is a list of the top four security recommended practices for Kubernetes development.
Alienate Kubernetes nodes
Kubernetes nodes must be on their network and should not be connected to the public networks. Direct connections to the corporate network should be avoided if at all feasible.
Only if Kubernetes control and data traffic are separated is this possible. Otherwise, both travel through the same pipe, and open data plane access indicates open control plane access. Nodes should ideally be equipped with an ingress controller that restricts connections to the given port to only the primary node through the network Access Control List (ACL).
Leverage built-in Kubernetes security
Log auditing, RBACs, and system log collecting centralized by the Kubernetes API server is built-in Kubernetes security capabilities. Firms should use these tools to gather and analyze all activity logs for signs of an attack or misconfiguration. Companies must also enforce security patches or additional policy-based measures to address any problems or run-time actions short of compliance.
Most organizations will want to go even farther and complement existing Kubernetes security with technology that allows container application security and continuous compliance auditing. To closely coordinate Kubernetes with external registries and resource demands, firms must utilize the built-in Kubernetes Admission Controller. This method will better protect application installations from vulnerabilities and illegal activities.
Keep cloud security in mind
Cloud platforms ensure that Kubernetes host systems are safe and compliant. While most Kubernetes hosting systems today have hardened attack surfaces and frequent auditing following compliance standards, this critical threat vector must be verified as safe. A shared responsibility model for security exists, which compels enterprises, the cloud client, to safeguard application access, network activity, and other cloud assets.
Shift security left
Companies can also implement security programmatically by incorporating policy-as-code into DevOps activities. This method aids in the development of developer-centric experiences as well as the continuous deployment of cloud-native applications.
DevOps teams, for example, can set up “automated operators” within the cloud infrastructure or Kubernetes cluster to keep an eye on the repositories for changes. An automated update is initiated if something changes.
Businesses that shift security left and implement policy-as-code attain extraordinary governance levels in all clusters from a single source of truth.
It is also a terrific idea to design a centralized playbook for implementing and enforcing security standards throughout the software development lifecycle. This method allows for faster innovation while maintaining a solid security posture.
Enterprises can create a sustainable governance framework by shifting left and boosting team transparency. This technique assists DevOps teams in receiving fast inputs, providing developers with automated code feedback, and determining their overall security posture.