HomeOperationsSecurityProtecting Kubernetes environments with OX Security: A holistic approach to cloud-native security

Protecting Kubernetes environments with OX Security: A holistic approach to cloud-native security

Security has become a major roadblock for enterprises to ship their cloud-native applications. A whopping 67% of the companies reported that they delayed their deployments due to concerns over Kubernetes security, as per a Red Hat survey. With Kubernetes’ adoption soaring in recent years, its security risks have increased proportionately. 

It only takes 22 minutes for a newly formed Kubernetes cluster to get hit by malicious attacks, Wiz reported. However, adopting cloud-native architectures and microservices was necessary when it first emerged more than a decade ago. The agility that the competitive market and changing customer preferences demanded made cloud-native architectures critical for success. Building an enterprise application through small, agile, and independent blocks of services via containers made way for an architecture that was highly scalable and portable.

In such a setup, Kubernetes became a disruptive technology as it allowed organizations to manage containers spread over data centers and cloud platforms efficiently. K8s became the default container management option, enabling companies to leverage cloud-native architectures to deploy and deliver scalable applications quickly on the cloud. It has become such a de-facto platform that every major cloud platform provides a managed Kubernetes service including AWS (Amazon EKS), Google (Google Kubernetes Engine), and Azure (Azure Kubernetes Service). These made managing Kubernetes easy and with just a few clicks. It makes applications highly available while keeping IT costs under control.

However, security is a major concern with Kubernetes since it is not secure by default. Additionally, with increasing companies turning to Kubernetes to build their software, it has become an easy target for hostile actors.

Complexity of Cloud-Native Architectures and Kubernetes

Securing cloud-native architectures involves safeguarding applications built in cloud environments considering the dynamic nature of microservices. Unlike monolithic applications, cloud-native software is an intricate layer of containers, orchestrators, and infrastructure. Although Kubernetes is highly effective in automating containerized applications’ deployment, scaling, and management, it is based on a complex system. It involves nodes, clusters, storage space, and dynamic network policies. Misconfigurations can wreak havoc for Kubernetes as they can trigger security risks like API server breaches, illegal access to underlying nodes, and so on.

Securing Kubernetes requires a holistic approach starting from implementing Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), securing API access, adopting pod security policies, and network segmentation. You will need a specialized Kubernetes security tool like OX Security to automate security checks and remediations to ensure consistency of best practices across the environment.

OX Security to Navigate Kubernetes Complexity

Boaz Barzel, Director of Product Marketing, Enablement and Revenue Operations at OX Security, highlights the complexities in Kubernetes and cloud-native environments, emphasizing the importance of tracing security issues back to their origin and source. He stresses the need to understand vulnerabilities before deployment to prevent the critical problems in production.

Key Points:

  1. Understanding the Environment:

To secure Kubernetes effectively, it is essential to understand the entire development pipeline so that security measures can be prioritized. Analyzing vulnerabilities and potential attacker strategies is essential at this stage. OX Security allows you to understand potential security risks within your Kubernetes environment by identifying and highlighting vulnerabilities within container images and Kubernetes deployments. OX Security solution comes with an intuitive dashboard that provides visualizations that give you a peek into how your cloud-native applications are running. 

It typically acts as a security aid by highlighting security threats and potential attack vectors in your cloud-native architecture so that you can improve your Kubernetes security posture.

  1. Tool-Centric vs. Platform Approach:

A platform approach offers a more holistic security coverage, enabling better operational efficiency and optimizing resource allocation. Since a tool-centric approach only covers the parts of the pipeline that it is compatible with. That is why the OX Security solution follows a platform-centric strategy, giving comprehensive visibility and streamlined workflows provided by a security platform.

Unlike tool-centric solutions, OX Security centralizes data from multiple tools to present a unified view of vulnerabilities across the entire development lifecycle. Additionally, the solution is capable of highlighting specific vulnerabilities in a library and their impact on applications, so that you can prioritize your efforts more effectively. Further, OX enables you to manage diverse security tools, eliminating complexity through automated workflows.

  1. Collaboration and Mitigation:

OX Security enables collaboration between teams and stakeholders by centralizing security management across the software supply chain. It enables proactive risk mitigation through early detection of risks, allowing developers and security teams to build and deploy secure Kubernetes applications.

By providing a unified view, OX Security streamlines communication between teams, as everyone is on the same page concerning security risks in the workflow. Teams assume a proactive stance through integration with DevOps tools and CI/CD pipelines so that code can be scanned for misconfigurations early in the development process. OX Security is interoperable with cloud-native development tools like Bitbucket Cloud, empowering developers to include security best practices within their workflow.

  1. Compliance Management:

OX Security provides invaluable insights into the effect of your security stance on compliance frameworks so that you can take preemptive steps to avoid setbacks. The solution integrates with compliance standards like SOC 2, HIPAA, or PCI DSS, enabling automated mapping of security risks to specific controls. Having an idea of existing vulnerabilities with the help of OX Security can allow you to prioritize risks as per their compliance impact.

Boosting Kubernetes Security with OX

Cloud-native applications are a norm today, which has exponentially increased the significance of cloud security platforms like OX Security. The competitive advantage that Kubernetes and cloud-native architectures offer in terms of dynamic workloads, microservices architecture, and automation has made security a primary concern. 

With developers and platform teams forming the first layer of defense against cyber threats, they will need a solution like OX Security to empower them to include security best practices within their development deployment workflow. It provides a unified view of the security posture across the environment and tools, allowing teams to prioritize collaboration, visibility, and compliance.

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