Boosting Kubernetes Security: Exploring KubeSec — A Must-Have Tool for Safeguarding Your Cluster

Alex Vazquez
4 min readNov 18, 2023

KubeSec is another tool to help improve the security of our Kubernetes cluster. And we’re seeing so many agencies focus on security to highlight this topic’s importance in modern architectures and deployments. Security is a key component now, probably the most crucial. We need all to step up our game on that topic, and that’s why it is essential to have tools in our toolset to help us on that task without being fully security experts on each of the technologies, such as Kubernetes in this case.

KubeSec is an open-source tool developed by a cloud-native and open-source security consultancy named ControlPlane that helps us perform a security risk analysis on Kubernetes resources.

How Does KubeSec Work?

KubeSec works based on the Kubernetes Manifest Files you use to deploy the different resources, so you need to provide the YAML file to one of the running ways this tool supports. This is an important topic, “one of the running ways,” because KubeSec supports many different running modes that help us cover other use cases.

You can run KubeSec in the following ones:

  • HTTP Mode: KubeSec will be listening to HTTP requests with the content of the YAML and provide a report based on that. This is useful in cases needing server mode execution, such as CICD pipelines, or just security servers to be used by some teams, such as DevOps or Platform Engineering. Also, another critical use-case of this mode is to be part of a Kubernetes Admission Controller on your Kubernetes Cluster so that you can enforce this when developers are deploying resources into the platform itself.
  • SaaS Mode: Similar to HTTP mode but without needing to host it yourself, all available behind kubesec.io kubesec.io when the SaaS mode is of your preference, and you’re not managing sensitive information on those components.
  • CLI Mode: Just to run it yourself as part of your local tests, you will have available another CLI command here: kubesec scan k8s-deployment.yaml
  • Docker Mode: Similar to CLI mode but as part of a docker image, it can also be compatible with the CICD pipelines based on containerized workloads.

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Alex Vazquez

PSG Senior Architect at TIBCO Software with a focus on Cloud Development, Event Processing and Enterprise Integration