Since Tesla experienced a malware attack for cryptocurrency mining, it has left organizations worried about their Kubernetes security. With more organizations adopting the use of containers with orchestration tools, such as Kubernetes, it can leave them more open to vulnerabilities.
However, several steps can be taken to minimize your Kubernetes security flaws. This will enable you to benefit from the portability that containers with Kubernetes offer, without being exposed to attackers.
Upgrades Are Important
There are quarterly updates within Kubernetes which bring new security features. These updates aren’t just small bug fixes. Using the newest version with the latest patches helps to ensure better protection.
We recommend that you try your best to stay on top of these updates. This is because it can become difficult to keep up with new patches and updates if you haven’t upgraded your system in a while. Most Kubernetes providers make this upgrade process hassle-free.
RBAC (Role-Based Access Control) is a feature that you can enable for control over exactly who can access your Kubernetes API. This also takes into account the permissions that the person has in regards to RBAC.
If you currently use the Kubernetes 1.6 version or later, RBAC will likely be enabled already. Although, upgrades since then may have altered some of the configurations. So, be sure to check the settings and enable RBAC while disabling ABAC (Attribute-Based Access Control). This is due to how the controllers surrounding Kubernetes authorizations are set up.
When you’ve enabled RBAC, you can also avoid providing cluster-admin exemptions. It’s more secure to only provide access in specific cases. You can make individual service accounts for cases where the application you’re running needs to have access to the Kubernetes API.
Again, this is something that you can do in specific cases so that only a select number of people are granted permission.
Implementing individual namespaces helps you to easily distinguish between various components. As a result, you can have an easier time deploying security controls to the different namespaces as and when you need them.
When you’re deploying various kinds of workloads in different namespaces, elements such as network policies become simpler to secure and control.
Separating workloads is an especially important security element when it comes to sensitive content. Therefore, it’s recommended that you deploy highly sensitive workloads in machines that have been specifically set up for that purpose.
This process helps to prevent vulnerabilities from applications within the workloads that aren’t as secure. Node pools are a common way for organizations to keep their sensitive workloads protected.
These node pools can be implemented on the premises or through the cloud. Tolerations, namespaces, taints, and various controls can also be viable options to consider.
Cloud Metadata Access
Securing your cloud metadata access is critical for preventing sensitive data from being stolen. There are metadata concealment features that you can use to alter the mechanism in which your clusters with sensitive information are deployed.
It’s a great way to stop users from boosting privileges by causing microservices to become confused and leak important information.
Managing Cluster Network Policies
You can use network policies to control the network access coming in and out of container applications. To benefit from network policies, you’ll need to use a networking provider that allows this function to be used.
Some of the popular Kubernetes providers, such as Google, will simply require you to opt-in to use this feature. For other Kubernetes providers, small upgrades may need to be underway.
When you’re able to use network policies, begin by setting basic default network policies. This should include preventing traffic coming from too many different namespaces. If you’re using certain container engines, such as the ones provided by Google, you’ll be able to check if the clusters are functioning with or without policy support activated.
There are several steps you can take to improve your node security with one of the main ones being to secure and properly configure your host. You can do this by comparing the configurations that you have set up with the benchmarks that have been set by CIS. Depending on the system that you’re running, you may find an automatic checker that can make the process more convenient.
Taking stricter control over network access to sensitive ports is another way to boost your node security. Be sure that the network you’re using blocks any unauthorized access to sensitive ports.
Attackers with malicious intent have been able to access ports when it comes to mining cryptocurrency clusters that haven’t been properly configured with the relevant authentications.
Reducing overall access at an administrative level to Kubernetes nodes can provide them with another layer of protection. For the most part, you want to set up your nodes so that access to the clusters is limited.
This won’t have too much of an impact because you can still carry out various tasks, such as debugging, without needing to have access directly with the node.
Now that you know more about some of the ways that you can improve your Kubernetes security, you can start implementing these recommendations. It’s also important to keep in mind that this is just one area of security.
You’ll also want to ensure that the other elements of your container are properly secured too. It’s just as critical to continue monitoring your containers regularly so that you can pick up on any potential risks to mitigate them as soon as possible.