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Kubernetes Security 101: Everything You Need to Know

After completing the Kubernetes migration, developers encounter a different challenge. The benefits of hosting your applications on Kubernetes are undoubtedly numerous, but securing them is a tedious task that requires time, resources, diligence, and expertise. If you don’t have the necessary components for Kubernetes, programs like SUSE Neuvactor can fill the role.

Securing Kubernetes might seem daunting, but there are a few simple golden rules to remember when going about the process. It is important to remember that security features must be dynamic and adapt to the prevailing threat. Still, a skeleton framework exists on how you may go around securing Kubernetes.

In summary, developers need to identify the security features provided by Kubernetes and those they have to configure personally by enlisting the services of a third party. Regardless of the case, understanding the various threats and vulnerabilities of Kubernetes and your software goes a long way in beginning the security process.

Kubernetes security: risks and vulnerabilities

Kubernetes security: nodes 

Nodes are similar to operating systems in functionality and security. Like Operating systems, nodes may be bare metal servers or may exist on virtual machines. Prior knowledge on securing operating systems and servers is invaluable when ensuring nodes.

Similar to securing servers, nodes may be connected by:

Minimizing the surface of attack

The fewer applications and extra libraries in the node, the less surface area vulnerable to attack and the less area to secure. Applications may offer a pathway from which attackers can launch aggressive programming. Running a minimalistic node is a critical factor in ensuring overall Kubernetes security.

Limiting user access

Like on any server, clustering user access is a bad idea. It is essential to strip down the user access to a bare minimum to suit specific situations. Isolating user access minimizes the amount of damage that a single attacker may cause to the system.

Defined boundaries between worker nodes and master nodes

Worker nodes are different from master nodes in their functions and access. Similarly, they have different threat levels from a security point of view. Securing master nodes should take priority as these nodes may be catastrophic when used to launch an attack.

Kubernetes security: API security

Application programming Interface is an essential aspect of Kubernetes security. Securing the API system is a shared responsibility borne by Kubernetes protective systems such as RBAC (Role Based Access Control) and the developers through secondary API security programs.

RBAC is available by default on Kubernetes, and its programming allows it to respond exclusively to codes that meet a certain authentication threshold. On the other hand, developers need to institute programs that evaluate the authenticity of command requests to add an extra layer to the security of the application programming interface.

Kubernetes security: pods

Pods are the basic functional units responsible for running applications. To run an application may be the responsibility of a single pod or a pod cluster. When formulating application security protocols, developers must consider pod security.

Several factors govern pod security. RBAC policies, API security, and admission controllers can increase pod security. RBAC policies are launched and operated by Kubernetes, so enabling them is simple. On the other hand, Admission controllers are secondary protection features installed by developers to regulate access to the applications.

Kubernetes security: data

Kubernetes rarely stores data except the minimal data required to run pods and nodes on the platform. Most of the data exist in external storage platforms in direct contact with Kubernetes. To ensure you are safe from ransomware attacks and hacking, securing Kubernetes data security is essential.

Regulating the number of users and traffic with access to data may increase overall data security. Kubernetes data security is identical to many other mass data storage platforms. For developers, managing their data’s security is comparable to the practices on similar mass storage platforms.

Kubernetes security: the role of external services

Kubernetes and other cloud-native platforms have been around for some time. The market has developed software programs independent of Kubernetes to help smooth the migration and hosting process. Most evaluate vulnerabilities in the available security measures and highlight them for developers to patch them up.

Some tools actively collect data from the platform from different users and collection points to detect possible breaches and soft spots that might attract malicious individuals. These tools serve as damage control, identifying the malicious software before significant damage occurs.

External services and tools are therefore indispensable for developers. There are various tools available, but the most resourceful on the Kubernetes platform is Sysdig which has been at the forefront of Kubernetes security since its advent.

Before You Go

Advancements in Kubernetes security have made it easy and safe to protect your online security by minimizing the amount of data their pods store, minimizing the number of people who have access to the data, and using different types of servers to store data. With Kubernetes, internet safety is better than ever.

Written By

Wesley Hornbeck writes SEO articles for businesses that want to see their Google search rankings surge. His articles have appeared in a number of e-zine sites, including EzineArticles, ArticlesBase, HubPages and TRCB. His articles focus on balancing information with SEO needs – but never at the expense of providing an entertaining read. When he is not writing, he is found playing his guitar at the seashore.

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