New Tool for Kubernetes Shifts Security Left

Alcide, an Israel-based provider of Kubernetes security solutions, today released a new command-line tool designed to allow developers, DevOps pros and Kubernetes app builders to scan their Kubernetes configuration and deployment files as part of their app development process, and to deploy it into their continuous integration (CI) pipelines.

Called sKan, the tool is free, open source and available now from the company Web site.

Effectively, the new tool provides "a software translation of DevSecOps culture" and shifts security left "to the hands of developers building Kubernetes-based applications," the company says. It's powered by the technology underpinning the Alcide Advisor and Open Policy Agent (OPA).

Alcide developed sKan to fill the Kubernetes security skills gaps seen in so many engineering teams these days, said Gadi Naor, Alcide's CTO and co-founder, in a statement. The company wants to put a tool into the hands of developers and DevOps teams that provides immediate feedback on security issues, risk, hardening and best practices of Kubernetes deliverables, before even committing to a single line of code or deploying.

"What we keep hearing from our customers and prospects is that they want to bring the K8s security insights to developers early on," Naor said. "This is why we created sKan, to serve as a checkpoint tool for developers that is available in their comfort zone without interrupting their development workflow."

The company is focused on providing "frictionless security guardrails" for DevOps teams' CI/CD pipelines to continuously secure and protect their growing Kubernetes deployments. Toward that end, Alcide has developed a single K8S-native, AI-driven security platform for cross Kubernetes implementations. It provides security across clusters, runtime security events and a single policy framework to enforce.

Each sKan covers a broad range of potential security risks Kubernetes application builders must care about, the company says, from verifying that deployment files are not configured to run privileged, nor introduce risks to Kubernetes worker nodes, through RBAC sanitation checks, identifying secret leaks and many more. sKan presents actionable insights for each detected risk to help improve the security of first-party software built in-house, as well as third-party software deployment files or Helm charts.

sKan complements Kubernetes application builders' choice of deployment framework tooling, whether this is via Helm charts, customized resources or plain Kubernetes resource files (Yaml/Json). While scanning source code for security vulnerabilities is a common practice, possible configuration errors in Kubernetes environments are often overlooked and vulnerabilities are often unwittingly introduced to production.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].