Five Tips to Take Care of Kubernetes Security for eCommerce Application Development

Kubernetes Security for eCommerce

Last updated - February 10, 2021

For any organization using Kubernetes (K8s) for eCommerce application development containers for the past few years, they would be aware that security is one of the main concerns. When using Kubernetes, security problems can come from any direction, be it images, runtime engines, or network security.

Therefore if you are planning to adopt container technology for eCommerce application development, you will need to be thorough with security protocols for Kubernetes. In this article, we will discuss some of the best practices to handle the security problems surrounding Kubernetes platforms.

Authorization

Most developers fail to recognize authorization protocols as a security problem with Kubernetes. They feel that it is not a very vulnerable area as a hacker will have to gain authorization for multiple layers. But what if they can gain authorization from within the container image, configuration file, or an open-source application?

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That is why you should always have Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) to handle Kubernetes. It will allow you to gain better control over authorization and access to your containers in the eCommerce application. You can use role-based access control to define four levels for APIs, which are:

  • Role 
  • ClusterRole 
  • RoleBinding
  • ClusterRoleBinding

If you want to implement Role-based Access Control authorization for e-commerce application development, every admin should read and understand the official documentation. But be aware that most Kubernetes security solutions that include Role-based Access Control authorization might present a few operational constraints.

Pod Security Policy

A pod can contain one or more than one container within them. Therefore you must take steps to control the configuration of their deployment. You will need to make sure that the Kubernetes Pod Security Policies will securely deploy the pods. 

Developers must be able to utilize the cluster level resources to control the privileges, access to volumes, and other Linux-based security options. You should note that the Pod Security Policy will place controls over various sensitive aspects of the pod. Using the Pod Security Policies, and admin will be able to control several aspects, such as:

  • Running the containers
  • The use of namespaces for hosts
  • Using a volume type
  • The use of a host file system
  • Requirements for using the read-only root file system
  • IDs for users and group containers
  • Restriction of root privileges

All of these are extremely sensitive aspects of the container pods. Therefore you have to pay close attention to set up your Pod Security Policies. You will also have to check who all have access to the security policies.

Securing the Production Environment

Security of any Kubernetes deployment is entirely dependent on the production environment that it is deployed from and on to, so pay close attention to it. As you move more and more deployments into the production environment, the number of vulnerabilities will increase for the resulting workload at runtime.

You can overcome the issue by ensuring that your company follows a healthy DevSecOps culture. You will also need to ensure that the production environment is secure, including the developers’ workstations, servers, and the DevOps culture. If there are security loopholes in the working environment, they can compromise your Kubernetes deployments.

Security of the CI/CD Pipelines

The Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines enable the developers to pre-deploy build-outs, testing, and workload deployment for e-commerce applications. It also allows you to automate the deployment of several tasks with third-party tools. However, if you want to ensure that your Kubernetes deployments are secured, you will have to lock down your entire CI/CD pipelines. 

That means you will have to implement efficient security practices for every software or service that you use in the pipeline. If you fail to do that, hackers can gain access to the vulnerabilities of the Kubernetes environment during deployment. Therefore you need to inspect every code of the images and deployment configurations in the CI/CD pipeline.

Take note that this is a particularly vulnerable area for Kubernetes and faces a lot of security issues. You and your team must be absolutely sure how a tool can use authorization to access your CI/CD pipeline. Even a single point of a security vulnerability in the CI/CD pipeline can prove to be catastrophic for the Kubernetes deployment.

Add a Service Mash to Network Security

Network security is extremely vital for the deployment of Kubernetes. You can use the service mash to strengthen network security. It adds a layer of dedicated infrastructure that facilitates communications between the micro-services. It also helps in balancing the service to service traffic based on the specifications of the security policies.

Even though it can prove to be a bit of a vulnerable area for container security, there are ways to manage Kubernetes Security for eCommerce Application Development. You can use these tips to tackle any weaknesses present in the Kubernetes environment at your organization.

Further reading

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