Protect your Kubernetes workloads
This page describes how to use Azure Security Center's set of security recommendations dedicated to Kubernetes workload protection.
Learn more about these features in Workload protection best-practices using Kubernetes admission control
Security Center offers more container security features if you enable Azure Defender. Specifically:
- Scan your container registries for vulnerabilities with Azure Defender for container registries
- Get real-time threat detection alerts for your K8s clusters Azure Defender for Kubernetes
For a list of all security recommendations that might appear for Kubernetes clusters and nodes, see the compute section of the recommendations reference table.
|Release state:||General availability (GA)|
|Required roles and permissions:||Owner or Security admin to edit an assignment
Reader to view the recommendations
|Environment requirements:||Kubernetes v1.14 (or higher) is required
No PodSecurityPolicy resource (old PSP model) on the clusters
Windows nodes are not supported
National/Sovereign (Azure Government, Azure China 21Vianet)
Set up your workload protection
Azure Security Center includes a bundle of recommendations that are available when you've installed the Azure Policy add-on for Kubernetes.
Step 1: Deploy the add-on
To configure the recommendations, install the Azure Policy add-on for Kubernetes.
You can auto deploy this add-on as explained in Enable auto provisioning of the Log Analytics agent and extensions. When auto provisioning for the add-on is set to "on", the extension is enabled by default in all existing and future clusters (that meet the add-on installation requirements).
To manually deploy the add-on:
From the recommendations page, search for the recommendation "Azure Policy add-on for Kubernetes should be installed and enabled on your clusters".
The recommendation is included in five different security controls and it doesn't matter which one you select in the next step.
From any of the security controls, select the recommendation to see the resources on which you can install the add-on.
Select the relevant cluster, and Remediate.
Step 2: View and configure the bundle of recommendations
Approximately 30 minutes after the add-on installation completes, Security Center shows the clusters’ health status for the following recommendations, each in the relevant security control as shown:
Some recommendations have parameters that must be customized via Azure Policy to use them effectively. For example, to benefit from the recommendation Container images should be deployed only from trusted registries, you'll have to define your trusted registries.
If you don't enter the necessary parameters for the recommendations that require configuration, your workloads will be shown as unhealthy.
Recommendation name Security control Configuration required Containers should listen on allowed ports only Restrict unauthorized network access Yes Services should listen on allowed ports only Restrict unauthorized network access Yes Usage of host networking and ports should be restricted Restrict unauthorized network access Yes Overriding or disabling of containers AppArmor profile should be restricted Remediate security configurations Yes Container images should be deployed only from trusted registries Remediate vulnerabilities Yes Least privileged Linux capabilities should be enforced for containers Manage access and permissions Yes Usage of pod HostPath volume mounts should be restricted to a known list Manage access and permissions Yes Privileged containers should be avoided Manage access and permissions No Container with privilege escalation should be avoided Manage access and permissions No Kubernetes clusters should disable automounting API credentials Manage access and permissions No Immutable (read-only) root filesystem should be enforced for containers Manage access and permissions No Container with privilege escalation should be avoided Manage access and permissions No Running containers as root user should be avoided Manage access and permissions No Containers sharing sensitive host namespaces should be avoided Manage access and permissions No Container CPU and memory limits should be enforced Protect applications against DDoS attack No Kubernetes clusters should be accessible only over HTTPS Encrypt data in transit No Kubernetes clusters should not use the default namespace Implement security best practices No
For the recommendations with parameters that need to be customized, set the parameters:
From Security Center's menu, select Security policy.
Select the relevant subscription.
From the Security Center default policy section, select View effective policy.
Select the default policy for the scope you're updating.
Open the Parameters tab and modify the values as required.
Select Review + save.
To enforce any of the recommendations,
Open the recommendation details page and select Deny:
This will open the pane where you set the scope.
When you've set the scope, select Change to deny.
To see which recommendations apply to your clusters:
Open Security Center's asset inventory page and use the resource type filter to Kubernetes services.
Select a cluster to investigate and review the available recommendations available for it.
When viewing a recommendation from the workload protection set, you'll see the number of affected pods ("Kubernetes components") listed alongside the cluster. For a list of the specific pods, select the cluster and then select Take action.
To test the enforcement, use the two Kubernetes deployments below:
- One is for a healthy deployment, compliant with the bundle of workload protection recommendations.
- The other is for an unhealthy deployment, non-compliant with any of the recommendations.
Deploy the example .yaml files as-is, or use them as a reference to remediate your own workload (step VIII)
Healthy deployment example .yaml file
apiVersion: apps/v1 kind: Deployment metadata: name: redis-healthy-deployment labels: app: redis spec: replicas: 3 selector: matchLabels: app: redis template: metadata: labels: app: redis annotations: container.apparmor.security.beta.kubernetes.io/redis: runtime/default spec: containers: - name: redis image: <customer-registry>.azurecr.io/redis:latest ports: - containerPort: 80 resources: limits: cpu: 100m memory: 250Mi securityContext: privileged: false readOnlyRootFilesystem: true allowPrivilegeEscalation: false runAsNonRoot: true runAsUser: 1000 --- apiVersion: v1 kind: Service metadata: name: redis-healthy-service spec: type: LoadBalancer selector: app: redis ports: - port: 80 targetPort: 80
Unhealthy deployment example .yaml file
apiVersion: apps/v1 kind: Deployment metadata: name: redis-unhealthy-deployment labels: app: redis spec: replicas: 3 selector: matchLabels: app: redis template: metadata: labels: app: redis spec: hostNetwork: true hostPID: true hostIPC: true containers: - name: redis image: redis:latest ports: - containerPort: 9001 hostPort: 9001 securityContext: privileged: true readOnlyRootFilesystem: false allowPrivilegeEscalation: true runAsUser: 0 capabilities: add: - NET_ADMIN volumeMounts: - mountPath: /test-pd name: test-volume readOnly: true volumes: - name: test-volume hostPath: # directory location on host path: /tmp --- apiVersion: v1 kind: Service metadata: name: redis-unhealthy-service spec: type: LoadBalancer selector: app: redis ports: - port: 6001 targetPort: 9001
In this article, you learned how to configure Kubernetes workload protection.
For other related material, see the following pages: