Kubernetes is a famous container orchestration platform modern developers use to build and secure software applications. It is essential to ensure its infrastructure as it is prone to many security threats. Vendors neglect design security, meaning Kubernetes containers are not secure by default.
Millions of users face security issues in Kubernetes environments and are at increased risk of expanding attack surfaces. Considering many organizations use clusters, containers, and nodes, DevSecOps engineers are responsible for boosting security by leveraging the top Kubernetes security solutions.
This blog will cover the best Kubernetes Security Tools for enterprises in 2023 and give an overview.
Table of Contents:
- What are Kubernetes Security Tools?
- Top 10 Kubernetes Security Tools in 2023
- How to Choose the Best Kubernetes Tool?
What are Kubernetes Security Tools?
Kubernetes Security Tools are specialized cloud-based software solutions designed for the seamless monitoring, management, and auditing of Kubernetes environments. They protect Kubernetes resources and continuously adapt to the changing regulatory landscape.
Kubernetes Security Tools ensure complete compliance, provide cluster management capabilities, and remediate various threats. They actively identify and detect new threats, prevent data breaches, and implement the principle of least privilege access across all user accounts.
Top 10 Kubernetes Security Tools in 2023
Kubernetes application and container vulnerabilities are unique, and there are times when users want to use the container host’s default IP address. It is generally unsafe to allow containers to use similar IP addresses as the host operating system. Many vulnerabilities happen due to a lack of regular updates, and old configurations can develop bugs in Kubernetes clusters.
Using several Kubernetes security tools to check for obsolete or misconfigured containers is essential. These solutions also ensure that solid password management practices are in place and API calls aren’t answered unauthorized.
Here are the top 10 Kubernetes Security Tools in 2023:
PingSafe is leading among top Kubernetes security tools and offers its clients a comprehensive Cloud-Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP). It provides exhaustive coverage against all possible misconfigurations across cloud environments, including GCP, AWS, Azure, Digital Ocean, and Kubernetes. The platform can detect container configuration defects and check them against known standards like the CIS Benchmark, PCI-DSS, NIST, ISO 27001, etc. It ensures continuous compliance and can generate graph-based visualizations of ECS and Kubernetes clusters.
PingSafe provides CI/CD integration support and IaC script management and supports the use of IaC templates like Kubernetes, Helm, Terraform, and CloudFormation. It enables real-time scanning of hardcoded secrets, provides zero-day vulnerability assessments, and identifies cloud resources and assets with known CVEs. The platform offers agentless VM snapshot scanning for detecting known and unknown vulnerabilities. It can prevent cloud credentials leakages, monitor domain names, and provide event analyzer capabilities for running queries, searches, and filtering events for investigations.
PingSafe offers multi-tenancy support, single-sign-on capabilities, and role-based access control tools.
- Cloud Detection and Response (CDR) and automated threat remediation
- Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP) and 360-degree security for cloud VMs, containers, and serverless functions
- Real-time secret scanning for over 800+ secret types in GitHub, BitBucket, and GitLab
- Continuous cloud compliance monitoring for more than 20+ industry standards and regulations
- Offensive security engine
- Infrastructure as Code (IaC) security management, IaC templates, and shift-left security enforcement
- Ability to write custom security policies and apply them
- Kubernetes Security Posture Management (KSPM) services
Kubeaudit is one of the best Kubernetes security tools for security audits and assessments. It finds uncommon vulnerabilities often exploited by attackers and can be run in 3 modes based on the location of clusters. Kubeaudit can audit manifest files and use configured cluster contexts.
- Detects security misconfigurations in Kubernetes resources and fixes them
- Audits and accesses Kubernetes clusters
- Flawless integrations and can use both CLI and Golang libraries
Neuvector is one of the top cloud-native Kubernetes security tools in the market. It offers complete lifecycle container security, DevOps vulnerability protection, automated runtime security, and comes with a proper Layer 7 container firewall built into it. NeuVector is an excellent choice as it can reduce the risk of security breaches, mitigate incidents, and help organizations secure containerized environments.
- Scans container registries and enforces admission control rules
- CI/CD vulnerability management
- DLP and WAP sensors
- Detects OWASP Top 10 WAF Attacks
- Continuous compliance and auditing
- Automatically adheres to Kubernetes CIS benchmarks
- Runs Docker Bench tests
- Multi-cluster management
- Endpoint and host security
Kube-bench ensures that organizations meet CIS benchmarks and checks Kubernetes nodes and clusters for compliance. It is one of the cutting-edge Kubernetes security tools and encrypts data at rest and in transit. Kube-bench is capable of fixing security vulnerabilities in Kubernetes containers. It ensures authorization and authentication checks and follows the principle of least privilege access for all users.
- Cluster hardening
- Policy enforcement
- Secrets management
- CIS benchmarking
- RBAC configurations
Illuminatio is a top Kubernetes security tool that automatically checks for Kubernetes network policies. It scans Kubernetes clusters, builds test cases, and determines if policy enforcement rules are sufficient. Python 3.6 or higher and Pip 3 are required to install Illuminatio and run it on machines.
- Automated network policy validation
- Network Policy e2e tests
- Supports Docker runtime
- CRI compliant
Fortune 500 companies use Twistlock and a famous Kubernetes security tool. Twistlock secures containers at scale right from pipeline to perimeter. It protects entire cloud-native security stacks and helps organizations manage nodes, plugins, Kubernetes configurations, and cloud secrets. It scans for vulnerabilities continuously in CI/CD pipelines and protects public and private cloud environments.
- Custom rules in Rego policy language
- Kubernetes container image scanning and policy enforcement
- Secures managed and unmanaged runtime environments
- Prioritizes risks across known CVEs and offers remediation guidance
- Per-layer image analysis and total life cycle security management for images, containers, repositories, and registries
Kube-hunter detects security weaknesses in cloud-native environments and is one of the more popular Kubernetes security tools. It was initially developed to enhance visibility into security architectures and instill security awareness. The kube-hunter charter is deployed via helm, and it is capable of performing CIDR scanning. Linux operating systems and open-source currently support kube-hunter.
- Kubernetes cluster scanning
- Pairs well with kube-bench
- Automated penetration testing
#8. Project Calico
Over 8,000,000+ nodes are powered by Project Calico daily, and it is one of the best open-source Kubernetes security tools. Top companies like VMware, IBM, FD.io, Sighup, and others use the platform. Project Calico is prized for its CNI options, provides reliable pod network connectivity, and is optimized for high containerized monitoring and networking performance.
It can integrate with the Managed Elastic Kubernetes Service (mEKS), peer directly with network infrastructures using BGP, and provide advanced security features. It helps organizations achieve GDPR compliance and securely deploys cloud-native applications. Project Calico can fit in Managed Kubernetes Services, hybrid cloud platforms, containers, and data planes. It integrates with Mirantis, Tanzu, Red Hat OpenShift, AKS on Azure Stack, and many others.
- Standard Linux, eBFP, and Windows data planes
- Works with non-Kubernetes workloads
- Granular access controls
- Full Kubernetes network policy support
- Active community
#9. Open Policy Agent (OPA)
Open Policy Agent (OPA) unifies Kubernetes security management across cloud-native environments and enforces consistent authorization policies. With the rise of microservices architectures, organizations face the issue of handling multiple disparate components. It makes development complex, and more room for human errors exists when a company scales up. Open Policy Agent (OPA) simplifies application development and applies authorizations to every level of the cloud-native stack. It solves real-world problems, implements strong access controls, and helps engineers mitigate issues that emerge with new technology requirements.
- Kubernetes policy enforcement
- Authorization management
- API integrations
- Granular access controls, pod security, and RBAC
Istio is known for its network traffic management services and monitors Kubernetes workloads when working with its microservice architecture. It is one of the best Kubernetes security tools and can also monitor data traffic flows. Istio is a service mesh platform that helps developers build highly scalable, flexible, and resilient applications with faster software development lifecycles. It offers several benefits, such as autonomous communications through APIs, API call management, and seamless third-party integrations. Istio can manage service-to-service communications on the network layer level.
- Envoy API, Citadel, and Galley
- Data Plane and Control Plane
- TLS/TCP/gRPC/HTTP traffic encryption
- Dynamic load balancing and great traffic control
How to Choose the Best Kubernetes Tool?
When choosing the best Kubernetes tool, it’s essential to take into account the following considerations:
- Ease of use – Ease of use improves convenience and is critical when investing in Kubernetes solutions. Kubernetes security tools must be intuitive, feature simple interfaces, and not be too complicated for non-technical users.
- Features and pricing – Organizations should aim to strike a decent balance between the number of features offered by these solutions and pricing. Modern Kubernetes security solutions offer flexible pricing options and follow a pay-as-you-use model. There are no vendor lock-in periods, and Kubernetes solutions also accompany seamless upgrades.
- Vendor reputation – Always invest in Kubernetes solutions developed by trusted, verified, and reputed vendors. It’s essential to ascertain developers’ credentials and ensure they have a notable presence in the industry. Kubernetes solutions from unknown or untrustworthy vendors may introduce unknown bugs, vulnerabilities, and other design security flaws.
- Compliance reports – The ability to generate graph-based data visualizations and compliance reports is essential. Kubernetes solutions are integrated into DevSecOps workflows and should enable enterprises to manage workloads effortlessly, migrate from legacy platforms, and enhance infrastructure security.
Kubernetes is a complex environment and features multiple attack surface vectors. Choosing the best Kubernetes Security Tools for effective threat remediation is essential. Good Kubernetes security tools track all code changes and apply vulnerability listings to all dependencies. Many open-source tools are available, but the best offer premium features beyond static scanning and image analysis. It is highly recommended to scan Kubernetes container images for security vulnerabilities before deploying them into runtime environments. It will help users avoid common supply chain attacks, enforce shift-left security, and integrate applications into CI/CD pipelines.