Google Sequrity Practices


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Ksenia’s background is in the IT and healthcare industries. She helps us grow our story in the cloud migration community and execute our inbound marketing strategy

Google Security: Practices in Google Kubernetes Engine

Updated 26 Oct 2023


In the realm of cloud computing, ensuring the robustness and resilience of deployed services is paramount. This is particularly true when using orchestrators such as Kubernetes, where security nuances become pivotal in the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. Ostride Labs delves into the security practices implemented in Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and how it aligns with the globally recognized CIS benchmarks, thereby promising a secure deployment environment.


1. Understanding Google’s Stance on Security

Google, as one of the giants in the tech arena, has continuously emphasized its commitment to security. The company’s vast digital infrastructure necessitates a security-first approach. As part of this commitment, Google Kubernetes Engine, a managed Kubernetes service, incorporates security measures that not only mitigate potential vulnerabilities but also adhere to the recognized best practices.


2. Kubernetes and its Security Implications

Kubernetes, the open-source platform designed to automate containerized applications’ deployment, scaling, and management, inherently presents several configuration and deployment challenges. Misconfigurations can expose clusters to potential threats, underscoring the need for recommended settings and controls.


3. GKE: A Secure Kubernetes Platform

Google Kubernetes Engine harnesses the power of Kubernetes while streamlining its deployment on the Google Cloud platform. To ensure GKE stands as a bastion of security, Google has incorporated the following:


Default Secure Configurations: GKE’s default configuration settings are set to minimize vulnerabilities. These settings adhere to the recommended practices outlined in the CIS benchmarks, ensuring that any deployment on GKE starts on a security-positive note.


Regular Updates: Google continuously updates GKE, ensuring that the platform benefits from the latest security patches and configurations. Regular updates safeguard the clusters from known vulnerabilities and threats.


Automated Security Controls: Google implements controls that automatically monitor and manage the security posture of the Kubernetes deployments. These controls, aligned with the CIS benchmarks, provide an added layer of defense.


4. Adherence to CIS Benchmarks

The Center for Internet Security (CIS) benchmarks serve as a gold standard for cybersecurity. Kubernetes, given its widespread adoption, has its own set of CIS benchmarks that outline the best practices for secure deployments.


Server and Cluster Protections: GKE has implemented controls to secure the Kubernetes API server and other sensitive components. By adhering to the CIS benchmarks related to server protections, Google ensures that the communication and management of clusters remain uncompromised.


Limited Permissions: Over-privileged accounts can pose a significant security risk. The benchmarks recommend restrictive permissions, and GKE, in line with this, ensures that services and deployments operate with the least privilege principle.


Immutable Infrastructure: Modification of certain critical components can jeopardize security. GKE follows the CIS recommendation of limiting modifications to ensure the infrastructure’s integrity.


5. Tools and Services for Enhanced GKE Security

Google, recognizing the ever-evolving nature of cybersecurity threats, offers tools that augment the security of Kubernetes deployments on GKE.


Binary Authorization: This tool ensures that only verified and secure images are deployed on the clusters. By integrating this with the deployment pipeline, Google reinforces the integrity of applications running on GKE.


Shielded Nodes: These are virtual machines hardened using recommended Google security settings. They provide a secure platform for Kubernetes deployments, ensuring that the underlying infrastructure remains resilient to threats.


6. Towards a Cybersecure Future with GKE

In an era where cybersecurity threats are burgeoning, the onus is on organizations to prioritize security, especially in complex deployments involving technologies like Kubernetes. Google, through its Kubernetes Engine, has showcased its commitment to this ethos. By aligning its services with the globally recognized CIS benchmarks and continuously iterating on its security practices, GKE promises a platform that not only facilitates seamless deployments but also stands as a vanguard against cyber threats.



Ostride Labs, always at the cutting edge of technology, recognizes the unparalleled potential of Kubernetes. However, the platform’s complexity necessitates rigorous security measures. Google Kubernetes Engine, with its adherence to best practices, robust configurations, and a suite of tools, serves as an exemplar in this domain. By understanding and leveraging the security provisions of GKE, businesses can confidently march towards a future of scalable and secure containerized applications.



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