The Top 8 Kubernetes Security Solutions

Discover the top Kubernetes Security Solutions that are designed to ensure the security of Kubernetes containerized environments. Explore features such as real-time visibility, traffic monitoring, vulnerability management, and access controls.

The Top 8 Kubernetes Security Solutions include:
  • 1. Anchore Enterprise
  • 2. Aqua Cloud Security Platform
  • 3. ARMO Platform
  • 4. Open Policy Agent (OPA)
  • 5. Palo Alto Prisma Cloud
  • 6. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security for Kubernetes
  • 7. Sysdig Secure
  • 8. Tenable Cloud Security

Adopting the Kubernetes platform for container orchestration can bring a wealth of benefits, but it also introduces new security challenges. Kubernetes security solutions aim to combat these, helping organizations to ensure their environments are safe and compliant. To achieve this, these solutions provide features like real-time visibility into deployment environments, container network traffic monitoring, vulnerability scanning, admission control, and attack detection and response.

Kubernetes security solutions can vary in their approach and features. Some are focused more on anticipating and preventing potential threats, while others concentrate on detecting attacks and responding to them swiftly and effectively. Many also use machine learning and artificial intelligence to increase their abilities to detect anomalous behaviors within the Kubernetes environment that could indicate a potential security threat.

In this article, we’ll explore the top Kubernetes security solutions designed to help you protect your container orchestration environments. We’ll highlight the key use cases and features of each solution, including traffic monitoring, vulnerability scanning, access controls, and threat detection and response. Note that a lot of the commercial products in this space are built on—or provide support for—open-source projects, most of which are developed under the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). We’ve made a note of these projects where that’s the case.

Anchore Logo

Anchore Enterprise is a security solution tailored to the needs of enterprises and government agencies. Drawing on the open-source capabilities of Syft and Grype, Anchore specializes in continuous compliance and security—particularly Kubernetes security. To that end, the platform offers continuous vulnerability scanning, malware identification, image scanning capabilities, and granular policy configuration.

An essential function of Anchore Enterprise lies in its capacity for container scanning and visibility. It can generate and store Software Bill of Materials (SBOMs) throughout development, offer an exhaustive software component inventory, and integrate with Kubernetes to ensure running container images have been scanned. The platform can detect discrepancies with the SBOM to identify potential vulnerabilities and prevent the deployment of non-compliant images. It can also automatically scan images across various environments, ensuring that organizations only deploy secure images.

Admins can define and enforce granular policies from scratch or with the platform’s pre-built policy packs to ensure compliance with various standards. They can also access dynamic reports into the security of their Kubernetes environment.

In summary, Anchore Enterprise combines automated container scanning with policy enforcement and continuity visibility to create a secure, compliant, and efficient environment. Its ability to reduce false positives and integrate across various toolchains makes it relatively straightforward to deploy and manage. Overall, we recommend Anchore Enterprise as a robust Kubernetes security solution.

Anchore Logo
Aqua Logo

Aqua offers Kubernetes Security Posture Management (KSPM) and Kubernetes runtime protection through their CNAPP, the Aqua Cloud Security Platform. Built to expand on Kubernetes-native capabilities, the platform offers policy-driven, comprehensive protection and compliance for K8s applications throughout their entire lifecycle. The Aqua Cloud Security Platform utilizes three open-source tools—Trivy, Kube-bench, and Kube-hunter—alongside Aqua’s commercial technology. The open-source tools are designed to be used independently, though users may wish to use Aqua’s commercial tools for projects of a large scale or complexity.

The Aqua Cloud Security Platform offers real-time, interactive overviews and dynamic visual representations of your running K8s clusters, emphasizing and rating potential security threats. The solution maintains security based on image contents, configuration, and Pod attributes, and carries out automatic security assessments and compliance checks to help teams quickly identify and remediate risks.

Additional strengths of the platform include the implementation of CIS Kubernetes Benchmark checks and Kubernetes Cluster Penetration Testing, control of workload admission, and assurance of compliance and least privilege access in Kubernetes. Aqua’s Cloud Security Platform also offers visibility into Kubernetes security events and allows for the enforcement of container-level network rules through its identity-based firewall, facilitating compliance and incident response.

Overall, the Aqua Cloud Security Platform provides advanced protection while assisting policy enforcement and governance. As such, we recommend this platform as a comprehensive solution for application security across the complete operational lifecycle.

Aqua Logo

The ARMO Platform is a comprehensive Kubernetes security platform that detects and automatically remediates misconfigurations and vulnerabilities. The platform is powered by Kubescape, a rapidly expanding, open-source project for Kubernetes security and compliance, which is oriented towards DevSecOps practitioners and platform engineers.

The ARMO Platform focuses on blocking potential attack paths into Kubernetes clusters by addressing crucial security problems. The platform presents useful visualizations and built-in queries for analyzing Kubernetes, as well as role-based access controls to secure access to sensitive data. The solution also offers vulnerability prioritization, which reduces alert noise and allows teams to concentrate on actionable security alerts, as well as offering remediation advice for configuration missteps and drifts.

To further boost operational efficiency, the ARMO Platform conducts more than 90% of required compliance checks automatically, helping maintain compliance with critical guidelines such as CIS, NSA, Mitre, SOC2, and PCI, whilst freeing up developers’ time and resources. It also provides application-specific network policies and context-based Seccomp profiles to increase system reliability.

The ARMO Platform is highly flexible. It’s equipped with multi-user and multi-tenancy readiness and a variety of hosting options: it can be hosted by ARMO following your chosen plan, installed in your cloud for private tenancy, or installed on your on-premises machines. Overall, we recommend the ARMO Platform as a user-friendly, and efficient Kubernetes security solution.

Open Policy Agent Logo

Open Policy Agent (OPA) is a policy-based control system optimized for cloud-native environments. The solution enables administrators to create robust, detailed controls across their network, allowing policy decoupling from code services. This enables teams to improve service availability and performance, without compromising security and compliance protocols.

One of the key functionalities of OPA is its declarative policy, which ensures that all images come from a trusted registry and prevents ingresses from using the same host name. Users can create policies using high-level, declarative language explicitly designed for JSON-dominated environments. They can also leverage the platform’s 150+ built-ins—such as string manipulation and JWT decoding—to create policies.

OPA offers great architectural flexibility; the system can be deployed as an independent process on the same host as your service, integrated into your service’s code, or used via a network proxy. Alternatively, it can be embedded within services as a policy-evaluating Go library or integrated with a WebAssembly runtime and used to compile policy to WebAssembly instructions.

In summary, OPA brings in a holistic approach to policy authoring. It pioneers a policy-as-code implementation, complete with developer-friendly tools that make it easy for users to define and enforce clear policies. Overall, OPA is a comprehensive solution for streamlining policy management and enhancing security compliance within Kubernetes environments.

Open Policy Agent Logo
Palo Alto Logo

Palo Alto Prisma Cloud is a CNAPP that ensures security and compliance throughout the entire application lifecycle. A Kubernetes Certified Service Provider (KCSP), Prisma Cloud utilizes its open-source project, Checkov, for Kubernetes security. This project employs a common command line interface to manage and inspect Infrastructure as Code (IaC) scan results on platforms such as Terraform, CloudFormation, Kubernetes, Helm, ARM Templates, and Serverless frameworks.

Prisma Cloud utilizes application runtime insights to help identify risks and prevent threats such as anomalous behavior, malware, and zero-day attacks. The system promotes a “shift-left” approach, securing applications by design and inspecting for risks and configuration errors before they reach production. The platform also utilizes application context to manage risks, which enables teams to identify the root cause of any incidents and implement effective remediation measures more quickly.

In summary, Prisma Cloud is a comprehensive application security system that enables security at every stage, from code development to runtime. Its main strengths lie in risk prevention, protection against runtime threats, and the efficient identification and resolution of issues.

Palo Alto Logo
Red Hat Logo

Available within Red Hat’s OpenShift Platform Plus, Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security for Kubernetes is a robust security solution that enhances the safety of cloud-native applications on Kubernetes. The system effectively shields containerized Kubernetes workloads across multiple platforms like Red Hat OpenShift, Amazon EKS, Microsoft AKS, and Google GKE. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security for Kubernetes can leverage “Clair”, an open-source tool for container security, to vigilantly monitor potential vulnerabilities.

Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security secures the software supply chain through CI/CD pipeline and image registry integration, providing continuous scanning and assurance. The platform addresses vulnerable and misconfigured images within the developer environment with real-time feedback and alerts. It also offers security posture management capabilities for Kubernetes, hardening and protecting the underlying infrastructure from misconfigurations and potential threats.

Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security also prevents risky workloads from being deployed or run with system-level event monitoring. By combining this with behavioral baselining and ‘allowlisting’, it can detect anomalous activity that might indicate malicious intent.

Overall, Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security for Kubernetes helps fortify cloud-native applications by securing workloads and the underlying infrastructure, while providing efficient vulnerability management and compliance. As a fully managed SaaS solution, it offers quick deployment and reduces the load of maintenance and management activity, letting security operators focus on risk reduction and incident response.

Red Hat Logo
Sysdig Logo

Sysdig Secure is a CNAPP designed to secure cloud environments. It helps teams to detect threats, manage vulnerabilities, and secure Kubernetes networks via automated microsegmentation. Built upon the open-source Falco project, Sysdig Secure provides actionable insights on threats and runtime operations across hosts, containers, and the cloud.

Sysdig Secure provides comprehensive Kubernetes network monitoring, giving users visibility into all network activity associated with a particular pod, service, or application. With dynamic topology maps, users can visualize all communication within the Kubernetes network. Sysdig Secure also includes a network behavior anomaly detection feature that allows for easy identification and investigation of unusual container network behavior.

Sysdig Secure also offers Kubernetes-native micro-segmentation, which enables users to implement stringent network security policies without disrupting application performance. The platform’s network policy automation helps reduce manual effort and risk of error. Its intuitive user interface enables users to manage network policies without the need for manually editing YAML files.

Overall, Sysdig Secure is a powerful CNAPP that not only enhances security, but also makes it easier for teams to monitor and manage their cloud environments. The solution’s ability to efficiently respond to threats, enforce robust security policies, and maintain control over network communication makes it a strong tool for securing Kubernetes networks.

Sysdig Logo
Tenable Logo

Tenable Cloud Security is a CNAPP that offers a comprehensive approach to cloud security management. It helps teams to navigate the complexities of the cloud, identify security gaps, and rectify any misconfigurations. Tenable Cloud Security unifies visibility into Kubernetes container configurations, utilizing their open-source project, Terrascan, to detect compliance and security violations for Infrastructure as Code.

Tenable Cloud Security provides support for any Kubernetes environment, from cloud-managed services to on-premises and privately networked clusters. The platform provides a flexible strategy to protect Kubernetes clusters, whether they are in the cloud with restricted internet access or are managed on-premises.

One of the product’s significant features is its custom admission controller based on Gatekeeper. This function offers a simple and intuitive user interface for managing and creating a custom admission controller, which makes it much easier for users to create and enforce security policies. Another noticeable feature is the just-in-time access mechanism, which reduces standing permissions and allows only temporary access to sensitive data, on a time-limited basis, in line with admin-defined policies. Finally, Tenable Cloud Security can scan Helm charts for misconfigurations before deployment and provide UI-driven workload protection for containerized environments.

Overall, we recommend Tenable Cloud Security as a robust Kubernetes security posture management tool.

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The Top 8 Kubernetes Security Solutions