Organizations can identify and mitigate threats smoothly and automatically by implementing best practices for continuous compliance, with no impact on application delivery or performance.
The very dynamic nature of Kubernetes systems necessitates a properly designed and proactive security strategy to meet the increasingly demanding security criteria of legislation like SOC 2, PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, and others. From a commercial standpoint, Kubernetes security measures should limit the risk of attacks without slowing down the development of applications. Compliance cannot be sacrificed in the name of productivity.
Organizations should use the following approaches to achieve effective and continuous regulatory compliance across their Kubernetes clusters.
Practice zero trust
Within Kubernetes and container systems, a zero-trust approach that enables only permitted processes and traffic delivers more effective security and compliance. Rather than reacting to log analysis to detect risks, zero trust prevents attacks from happening in the first place. Zero trust protection should be extended to the full cloud-native stack, including access restrictions, in addition to container run-time behavior.
Automated security is non-negotiable
Manual vulnerability scans and compliance checks can’t keep up with the demands of ongoing compliance. Rather, security automation must be incorporated into strategies. For analyzing logs and events, businesses should employ an automated Kubernetes audit log analyzer. Machine learning is also used by available SIEM tools to spot telltale threat behaviors automatically (and rapidly). Continuous auditing of Kubernetes setups should be done using CIS benchmarks and bespoke compliance checks.
Utilize (and supplement) Kubernetes’ built-in security features
Using Kubernetes’ built-in security mechanisms is another great practice. This covers Kubernetes’ auditing logs support, RBACs, and the Kubernetes API server’s capabilities as a centralized hub for gathering system logs (given that it manages and monitors the resources behind all activities and events related to the Kubernetes platform). All activity logs should be collected and analyzed to detect any misconfigurations or evidence of compromise. This method will reveal non-compliant run-time activities, allowing for investigations into what’s causing the problems and how to fix them using patches or new security policies.
Supplement these built-in capabilities with solutions that protect container apps (the most prevalent attack targets) and provide ongoing compliance auditing. Another useful built-in feature of Kubernetes Admission Control is that it enables Kubernetes and external security solutions to work together to aggressively address unauthorized deployment behavior and vulnerabilities. In fact, most regulations make application security a mandatory requirement for compliance.
Safeguard the entire container technology stack
Continuous compliance checks must secure not only containers but also the entire technology stack that supports the container environment. Companies should implement automated monitoring and mitigation methods for Kubernetes, plugins, service meshes, hosting VMs, and any other potential attack surfaces in order to accomplish this. These components are vulnerable to attacks and can be exploited.
Throughout the application lifecycle, secure Kubernetes and container environments
When an organization’s Kubernetes and container environments meet regulatory compliance criteria, it indicates that they are ready for production. Compliance auditing is critical at every level of the CI/CD pipeline, but production is likely to present the most difficult security concerns.