Joshua Jebraj
September 20, 2022

5 Kubernetes Security Services Best Practices

Table of Contents

  1. Different Kind of Security in Kubernetes
  2. Best Practices
  • Role-Based-Access-Control (RBAC)
  • Safeguard with Firewall
  • Run Allow-listing
  • Keep Audit Login Turned on
  • Update Kubernetes Version Periodically
  1. How Can we45 Help You Secure the Kubernetes Platform?

Kubernetes, often known as K8s, is an open-source system for automating containerized application deployment, scaling, and management. Kubernetes security may appear complex, as it is a system with many components; Kubernetes cannot be secured by enabling a standard security module or tool.

Kubernetes security requires teams to address each security risk that may affect a cluster's layers and services. It is also essential to know the native security tools that Kubernetes offers and which third-party technologies will be needed to solve loopholes.

Different Kind of Security in Kubernetes

Before we explore various Kubernetes security services best practices, learning about the cloud-native security types can help a user leverage all its benefits:

There are mainly 4 types of security that Kubernetes can provide: 

  • Cloud
  • Cluster
  • Container  
  • Code 

Apart from cloud-native securities, one can also enjoy Pod security and networking security under Kubernetes. 

Best Practices

Role-Based-Access-Control (RBAC)

One of the Kubernetes security services' best practices is the settings of RBAC. The responsibility of RBAC is to allow the user to control and manage who can have access to the Kubernetes API. In general, RBAC is enabled by default in Kubernetes. But one needs to check RBAC settings manually to ensure they are correctly activated. Furthermore, a user needs to disable the Attribute Based Access Control or ABAC while enabling RBAC. 

Use Namespace-specific permissions and avoid cluster-wide permission for RBAC settings. One can run everything in a single namespace. However, experts advise creating multiple namespaces for each type of workload in a cluster. This will increase the administrative complexity of Kubernetes for different RBAC policies. 

Safeguard with Firewall

Turning on the firewalls will maintain confidential information on passwords, keys, tokens, and many more. A firewall will protect your data from any malicious attacks and data breaches. Furthermore, it will offer a flexible pod life circle to acquire sensitive data. 

ETCD is a vital resource that one needs to protect from attackers. Encryption must be enabled in the ETCD configuration file since the API server in ETCD keeps secrets in simple text.

Hence, configure the ETCD for the client-server using a few safe configuration options:

cert-file=, --key-file=, --client-cert-auth, --trusted-ca-file=<path> and many more. 

For server-to-server communication, use the following TLS configuration options:

--peer-auto-tls, --peer-trusted-ca-file=<path>, --peer-client-cert-auth, --peer-cert-file=<path> etc. 

Run Allow-listing

One needs to process the allow-listing to identify the unexpected running processes. If you want to develop a secure setup and prevent its new features from being available to your competitors, IP allow-listing will restrict access. 

You must watch the program for some time to determine which processes are active while the application is regularly operating. Then, designate this list as your allow list for any future application operations.

Keep Audit Login Turned on

If appropriately implemented, Kubernetes auditing can offer security and back-to-back sets of records while enlisting the sequence of action in a cluster. One must activate the Audit login for the documentation process within a software system. 

This is one of the vital Kubernetes security services best practices that will not only help record the occurrence of an event but the time when it occurred and its overall impact. If you fail to authorize the audit login, there will be a chance that attackers may use your credentials. 

Learn more about Kubernetes Authorization

Use the –audit-policy-file flag to turn on logging and provide the actual event that should be logged in. As per your necessity, use various logging levels such as None, Metadata Only, and many more. 

Update Kubernetes Version Periodically

One of the most basic security tips for Kubernetes: keep your version up-to-date.

If you are using an old version of Kubernetes, ensure that you use the latest version. This also applies if you are using a hosted Kubernetes provider. Ask your provider to give access to the updated one. 

If you are using a variety of open-source software, there may be chances that you may develop security vulnerabilities. Hence, scan images and use Kubernetes' rolling update from time to time.

How Can we45 Help You Secure the Kubernetes Platform? 

Securing the Kubernetes platform is very crucial for network safety and professional management. If you want to learn more about Kubernetes security, you can enroll for a course on AppsecEngineer, the largest AppSec training platform with Hands-on Labs.

To sum up, Kubernetes security services best practices are easy to follow and have a long-lasting positive impact on business operations. However, one needs expertise in this field to leverage all of its benefits. 

Kubernetes security can be incredibly complex to implement, and automated tests do not take into consideration the nature of your business or development procedures. Reach out to us now and we would love to discuss and tailor your product’s security posture.