Part II: 10 Best Practices in Kubernetes Security & Risk Management

Dear Readers, I am continuing our Kubernetes Security series. I would like to share some best practices for Kubernetes risk management and security that will help us reduce vulnerabilities and security compromises within the Kubernetes environment.
Here is an Introduction to Kubernetes security with digital incident response (DFIR) – PART I.
“Understanding Kubernetes security feels like diving into an ocean.”
Kubernetes is a distributed, dynamic open-source service that requires extensive configuration and a robust security approach. When building a defense in depth strategy for our workloads, especially in a production environment we must focus on critical architectural vulnerabilities and platform dependencies by enforcing safety best practice. Protecting Kubernetes cluster environments requires a lot of attention. K8s protection is complex due to its immutable and dynamic nature, as well as open-source usage. This requires extensive monitoring and management to ensure it is secure and immune from attacks. Kubernetes protection should be taken seriously by organizations that use containers and Kubernetes within their production environments.
Kubernetes Security & Risk Management best practices
Kubernetes Version 5.0
Always use the latest Kubernetes version. The new release contains many security patches, bug fixes and vulnerabilities from previous versions. It is a good idea to check for updates and to arrange to upgrade Kubernetes once the new release becomes available. This is because it has been found that upgrading to the latest version is more difficult and more time-consuming.
Separate Namespaces are created for different Services. This provides an initial level of isolation. It makes it easier to use security and access control features supported by the namespace. Therefore, all information systems should be separated into separate namespaces. It helps to avoid situations where the same maintainer team is responsible for multiple namespaces.
RBAC (Role Based Access Control) Controls who and how someone can access Kubernetes API. It is crucial when it comes to Kubernetes cluster security. RBAC must be configured so that access is supported by the principle if least privilege and separation. It is recommended that admin privileges are not granted to anyone within the cluster. This is even if it is necessary for critical troubleshooting. It is recommended to prohibit the use of admin privileges by other teams, such as developers and QA, in the assembly environment. Also, avoid impersonating yourself within the production environment using multiple accounts.
Secure etcd
etcd is the source of truth for Kubernetes. You will be able read and write data into it pro re Nata. Confirm that client connections are only served over TLS. Administrators should verify that client connections are only served over TLS using strong credentials between the API server and the etcd server. It is a good idea in many cases to put the etcd server behind a firewall that can only be accessed by API servers.
Control Kubelet Access
Kubelet agent that runs on every cluster node. It manages the pods on each node and interacts directly with the user via a set of APIs that perform specific operations. An attacker could gain unauthorized access through the kubelet and compromise the cluster or node’s security.
Log Auditing
Audit logs are used to monitor and examine access to the cluster environment. Make sure audit logging is enabled in order to monitor for unusual or unwelcome API calls