How to Properly Secure Your Kubernetes Clusters

  • March 20, 2024
  • 6 min read
How to Properly Secure Your Kubernetes Clusters

Kubernetes isn’t exactly easy to use. While it is the internet’s most popular containerized application deployment program beginners regularly have trouble using it.

The reason for the program’s immense popularity lies more in the fact that it is free and open source than its simplicity.

Securing clusters is an area of Kubernetes that even experienced coders have trouble mastering. In this post, you will learn more about clusters, including what they are, how you can use them, and most importantly how to secure them. Keep reading if these topics interest you or are relevant to your work.

What Are Clusters?

Before advice can be offered on securing Kubernetes clusters it is first important to explain what clusters really are. Until you understand what they are and what purpose they serve securing them is meaningless and impossible.

The technical definition of a cluster is a set of nodes that run containerized applications.

As Kubernetes’ entire purpose is to facilitate the development of containerized applications clusters are for obvious reasons extremely important.

Some would argue they are the program’s most important component as without them app development and creation would be impossible to achieve.

Hiring Security Experts

To say that it’s easy to secure your own clusters would be a lie. Finding Kubernetes security posture management could be a challenge, as there are only a few organizations offering these services.

Before hiring one to manage your clusters’ security for you it is first important to conduct extensive research and read reviews. An organization’s reviews can tell you a lot about its work ethic and the services they offer.

Avoid working with companies that have accrued negative reviews. Bear in mind an absence of reviews does not necessarily mean a company can’t be trusted.

Customers rarely leave reviews unless they have something bad to say so no reviews can actually be a good sign.

Scanning All Images

Something a lot of coders and programmers do not know is that images are the most vulnerable assets in their applications. It’s essential that all of your container’s images are free from potential vulnerabilities and exploits.

The easiest way for you to do this is by scanning base images against vulnerable databases. The process of scanning images might seem complex but it is quite simple in actuality.

All it involves is downloading and using an image-scanning tool; these tools are widely available and can be found all over the internet.

If you plan on downloading and using this kind of tool then you need to conduct as much research as you can and find one that is positively reviewed. A program’s reviews can make it easier to decide whether it is for you or not.

Host Operating System Hardening

Something else that you can do to protect your clusters is to ensure containers only have the minimum required privileges on the host. Such implementations can prevent privilege escalation attacks from occurring.

It is not exactly uncommon for compromised containers to gain access to host operating systems or other containers which can cause widespread problems.

Rather than attempting to resolve these problems after they have occurred, it is better to institute preventative measures like those listed here. As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure.


Downloading and Using A Firewall

Something that is overlooked by a lot of people when it comes to Kubernetes is the ability to use a firewall. Most people think firewalls are only for computers, laptops, and mobile devices but this is not true.

Using a firewall is without a doubt one of the most effective ways of fixing clusters. To find a firewall you won’t have to look hard; they are available all over the web.

It is important to find a cluster designed specifically for Kubernetes, however. You won’t be able to protect your applications with something that is not designed for Kubernetes.

Restricting Access

If you want to keep your applications safe then one of the best things you can do is restrict access to containers. Limiting who’s able to access containers can stop them from falling into the wrong hands.

Something you should know is that most data leaks occur from within, meaning your colleagues or staff are more of a threat than hackers you have never met.

A good way to ensure you do not wind up hiring somebody whose intentions are maligned is to work with a professional recruitment service and vet candidates before hiring them.

Vetting Staff

As touched on in the previous point one of the best ways of protecting your clusters is limiting who has access to them. When hiring new candidates you can never be sure the individuals being hired are trustworthy.

With data leaks and cybercrime being more common than ever, you need to do everything you can to prevent criminals from getting into your company.

As mentioned in the previous section you can hire a recruitment agency and pay them to vet staff for you; something else you can do is extensively research candidates and inspect their social media pages.

If they have interests in things like hacking or cybercrime, then it’s best to avoid them. You can tell a lot about a person by what they are interested in and what they use their social media accounts for.

It is perfectly legal not to hire somebody because you do not like how they behave online. If you do not have the time to vet staff yourself then you can outsource this to a recruitment agency.

Hardening Clusters

Something else you need to know is that clusters are not made secure. It is your responsibility as a coder to harden them. Unless you harden clusters they will be vulnerable and susceptible to fraud.

Fortunately, hardening clusters is not something that is especially difficult. There are an almost endless amount of guides and tutorials you can use online.

When searching for online learning resources make sure to research the authors who are writing articles; it is not uncommon for individuals with no experience to regurgitate information in online articles giving misleading tips and advice.

It would be disingenuous to suggest that the Internet is a safe place to do business. Cybercrime has never been more prevalent than it is right now. Businesses are targeted, hacked, and robbed on an almost daily basis.

As an application developer, you are more at risk of being targeted than the average business person; criminals who’re able to get into applications and exploit vulnerabilities can steal very sensitive information.

Because of this, you need to do everything you can to harden and secure your clusters. Do not leave them open and vulnerable as it could cost you your reputation and a lot of money.

About Author

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis is an expert web content writer and freelancer who is an expert in writing engaging articles in Business, General, Social Media, Tech, and Marketing and many more other categories. He has been serving our website for a few years. Andrew is a family man. When he isn’t writing, he loves to cook for his kids and spend time with them.

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