Kubernetes Security & Risk Management

by | Oct 28, 2022 | Kubernetes | 0 comments


Due to an open-source service’s dispersed and dynamic nature, Kubernetes necessitates considerable setup and a thorough and comprehensive approach to security.

As a result, when developing a defense-in-depth strategy for our workloads, particularly in a production environment, we must concentrate on critical architectural weaknesses and platform dependencies by enforcing safety best practices.

The intricacy of K8s defense stems from its dynamic and irreversible nature and its open-source use, necessitating considerable monitoring and management to maintain it secure and immune to attacks.

We have some Kubernetesrelated articles, so check the website for a better understanding.

Table of Contents:

Kubernetes Security & Risk Management practices

latest Kubernetes version

The most recent version of Kubernetes must always be used. The new release contains numerous security updates, bug fixes from earlier versions, and vulnerabilities that have been fixed. It is advised to regularly check for updates and plan to upgrade your Kubernetes version when a new one becomes available.


Namespaces for various services provide an initial isolation level, making it easier to use the namespace’s security and restrict access. Therefore, all information systems should be segmented into separate namespaces.


Regarding Kubernetes cluster security, RBAC (Role-Based Access Control) is an essential component. It must be configured to assign access supported by the principles of least privilege and separation of duties. RBAC controls who and how someone can access the Kubernetes API with how many permissions.

Additionally, it is advised to restrict unwanted access to the assembly environment by opposing teams like developers or QA.

Secure etcd

Secure etcd is regarded as the source of truth for Kubernetes, and you will be able to read and write data from it in real-time. Client connections are only delivered through TLS. 

Administrators should ensure that client connections from the API server to the etcd server are only delivered over TLS and with solid credentials.

 In many circumstances, isolating the etcd server behind a firewall that only API servers can access is a good idea.

Manage Kubelet Access

The kubelet agent is installed on each cluster node. It manages the pods operating on the node and communicates with the user via APIs that perform specific tasks. 

Unauthorized access to the kubelet could give an attacker access to the API and jeopardize the node’s or cluster’s security.

Auditing Logs

Auditing logs aid in examining and monitoring access to the cluster environment. Ensure audit logging is enabled to check for any weird or undesirable API calls, particularly authentication problems.

 The log entries have the status “Prohibited.” Failure to authorize could indicate the attacker is attempting to exploit the stolen credentials.

Limit SSH Access to Nodes

Another critical security practice in your cluster environment is restricting SSH access to your cluster nodes.

 Avoid opening port 22 on any node, but you may need it to debug difficulties at some point. You should configure your node’s access through your cloud provider and disable all SSH access except through your organization’s VPN or a bastion server.

Monitoring of Network Traffic

Cluster networks are widely used in containerized applications. As a result, it is a good idea to monitor active network traffic and compare it to the traffic permitted by the Kubernetes network policy.

 It may eventually assist you in understanding how your application interacts and detecting unusual communications.

Whitelisting of Processes

Whitelisting processes may be a gold standard and an excellent way to identify strange programs running unexpectedly.

 Watch your application time to identify processes running throughout normal application operations. Then, for future application behavior, utilize this list as a whitelist. However, performing run-time analysis at the method level is difficult.

Authentication by a third party

It is critical that the work that destroyed the cluster be independently validated if your application handles sensitive user data. However, it is advised that you perform a security audit to ensure you are conscious of all the above concerns at least once a year.


Container and pod security, as well as the Kubernetes API, are critical components of Kubernetes security and risk management procedures. These APIs are essential for making Kubernetes scalable and versatile, as they include vast amounts of data. Microservices are now being used extensively. As a result, adhering to all security requirements is critical to establishing a stable and safe workplace.