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Deploying compliance and security automation with Kubernetes

By Megana Natarajan - October 09, 2020 3 Mins Read

Deploying compliance and security automation with Kubernetes

Enterprises believe that orchestration and containerization will help with compliance and security as they make the shift to digital transformation

CIOs are opting to shift security as closer to the CI/CD pipeline or software development cycle as possible. Kubernetes and Containers need new or updated security requirements. Such solutions provoke enterprises to shift legacy security policies away from the waterfall or monolithic approach. In most of these approaches, security comes as the last priority.

The “shift left” mindset that strategizes to shift security and compliance to the start of the cycle pushes organizations to depend heavily on automation to identify and resolve issues at the earliest, instead of waiting for the problems to be resolved during production deployment.

Enterprises leaders think that platforms like Kubernetes have the significant advantage of enabling drastic automation of compliance and security, especially in the configuration. Such automated tools and processes can help enterprises to understand better the security posture and risk faced by the Kubernetes environment at any given point in time.

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Policy enforcement can be done across various checkpoints- runtime, deployment, or CI/CD pipelines. It can be done based on the explicit requirements, leveraging the orchestrator for greater control over reliability and scalability.

Being focused on configurations

CIOs promote the utilization of a layered approach to deploy container security. Automation is the main factor in ensuring compliance and security in enterprises. Automation of security strategies for controlling the use of container images placed in private registry and automated security testing performance is a segment of the architecture or continuous integration tasks.

Kubernetes, by itself, is a complex structure that has various options and configurations. Some of them are namespaces, role-based access control, and other features. CIOs agree that organizations should not depend on any software’s default settings, and as a case in point, Kubernetes’ default settings can result in a significant risk for the organization if not reconfigured.

Setting up proper configuration will lay the foundation for compliance and security automation with orchestration and containers.

Automating detection and policy enforcement

The best way to take up digital transformation and automation is by a declarative approach to operating infrastructure. Kubernetes environments are developed to be implemented with declarative APIs that let infrastructure be securely configured, as it is designed to secure configuration for apps as they get built and deployed. Thus the “managing X as code” strategy extended to include compliance and security. In fact, it is a smart strategy to make the first step of  automating compliance and security is about ensuring that vulnerability scanning is done not only for containers but also for Kubernetes and host.

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Benchmarks for continuous testing and automation of testing as well

CIOs point out that even after the proper configuration, containerized infrastructure and workloads aren’t static. They are deployed on dynamic environments, and organizations need to consider security as a continuous measure. Enterprise leaders suggest using CIS Kubernetes Benchmark to analyze the settings. This standard benchmark has a free checklist for more than 200 settings and best practices for protected configuration.

Some tools to automate these checks are Kube-bench, Neuvector, etc. The Neuvector provides open-source and free scripts set for automatic checking of the installations against best practices standards.


Megana Natarajan

Megana Natarajan is a Global News Correspondent with OnDOt Media. She has experience in content creation and has previously created content for agriculture, travel, fashion, energy and markets. She has 3.9 years’ experience as a SAP consultant and is an Engineering graduate.

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