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How The Fair Winds of Better Kubernetes Security Will Blow You Safely Home

By now, most people in the cloud native world know at least a few things about the benefits of successful Kubernetes service ownership. As a way to break down silos and minimize friction among teams, full service ownership in Kubernetes is what enables organizations today to build and ship secure, high-quality software at the speed of business. In this blog series, we will explore the five key benefits associated with better service ownership—and equally as important, how organizations can optimize security, cost, compliance, reliability and scalability by embracing this operational model. 

Download White Paper: A Complete Guide to Kubernetes Service Ownership

Hovering at the top of this list is legitimately one of the biggest concerns in the cloud native landscape today, namely the need for better container security. If your organization has ever delayed application deployment due to Kubernetes security concerns, you already know something about the sensitive nature of cloud native security. For container workloads (especially in production environments) to remain secure, vulnerabilities and platform dependencies have to be continually addressed. To make this possible, Kubernetes best practices, and true service ownership, must be implemented across the organization. 

Download White Paper:5 Benefits of Better Kubernetes Service Ownership

Establishing and Enabling Security

Container security today is about more than just isolating Kubernetes nodes on a separate network. From using third-party authentication for API servers to enabling role-based access control (RBAC) to protecting etcd with TLS, firewall and encryption, facilitating a robust security posture in Kubernetes is about orchestration. Even though nodes should be configured with an ingress controller, and set to only allow connections from the master node through the network access control list, the reality is not all organizations have codified these regular practices.

To preserve agility and prevent delays in container runtime and application deployment, security coverage of cloud native environments needs to happen consistently, not as an afterthought. Much like a DevSecOps approach to application security, developers are empowered by the Kubernetes service ownership model to take responsibility and “ownership” for the software they build—throughout its entire development life cycle. When development teams find better control over how their software runs in production, operations teams can stop worrying about debugging and focus on core Kubernetes infrastructure. This reshifting of accountability helps Dev, Sec and Ops teams collaborate more effectively while also improving and enforcing best security practices. 

Effective Kubernetes security begins in the build phase with securing container images, with full-time attention paid throughout. Cloud native and service ownership in Kubernetes establishes a framework whereby developers gain visibility into security issues, in both configuration and application code. In this way, developers are empowered to innovate while shifting security left to address and remediate problems much earlier in the process. This shift guarantees Kubernetes security is addressed at the earliest possible time, a core theme of the DevSecOps approach. 

Embracing and Modeling Change

In the case of cloud native and container security, ignoring the need for a different security approach often results in organization risk and potential cyberattack. As businesses work to adopt pod security policies, they often struggle without the right tools, processes and benchmarks needed to launch a secure open source system at scale. Yes, containers offer a fresh approach to deploying applications, which greatly improves overall rollout, but operations and security teams don’t always know how moving to microservices will impact their Kubernetes security stance. 

When we adopt new tools and processes, we also open the door to new security blind spots and attack surfaces, making visibility across containers and clusters increasingly difficult to find. As a result, developers are understandably reluctant to take on the accountability piece for these new security challenges, especially without the proper tools, practices and internal support. This shift is made easier through the Kubernetes service ownership model, as it gives Dev teams precisely the insight they need to ensure security happens well and often throughout software development. 

Adopting the service ownership model also brings about change for infrastructure teams by allowing them to focus primarily on security of the core Kubernetes framework. These teams are able to craft policies and compliance dashboards to avoid the common pitfalls of misconfiguration. And fittingly, developers are able to focus on adhering to those pod security standards as they construct their deployment configurations. 

When these different roles and responsibilities are codified through the service ownership model, they become regular practice—less confusing and more attainable. By equipping both infrastructure and development teams with self-service tooling, they are able to collaborate more efficiently while diagnosing and triaging Kubernetes security according to best practices. 

Let the Fair Winds Blow You Safely Home

Fairwinds is your trusted partner for Kubernetes security, policy and governance. Customers are able to ship cloud native applications faster and with less cost and overall risk. We offer a unified view between teams by removing friction and simplifying the complexity of Kubernetes ownership. Our governance software, Fairwinds Insights, is built on hard-earned Kubernetes expertise and integrates our leading open source tools to help your organization save time and money without compromising security. 

Make the Most of These 5 Benefits With Better Kubernetes Service Ownership