Security overview

This page provides an introduction to establishing good security practices for Google Distributed Cloud. The guidance on this page is not intended to provide you with a comprehensive list of best practices.

Using good practices for security on Google Distributed Cloud involves applying concepts from Kubernetes and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), as well as concepts that are unique to Google Distributed Cloud.

Kubernetes security

We recommend that you follow general Kubernetes guidelines for security when you're using Google Distributed Cloud.

For an introduction to Kubernetes security guidelines, see the Security Checklist and Overview of Cloud Native Security in the Kubernetes documentation.

GKE security

Google Distributed Cloud extends GKE to let you create GKE clusters on your own Linux servers on your own premises. To learn more about GKE security, see the GKE security overview. As you're reading, keep in mind that because your control plane and nodes run on-premises, the suggestions for control plane security and node security don't apply.

Google Distributed Cloud security

The following sections provide guidance for establishing good security practices for Google Distributed Cloud.

Hardware security

  • Secure your on-premises data centers with industry standard physical security and safety features.

  • Ensure that access to your admin workstation is highly restricted. The admin workstation stores sensitive data such as kubeconfig files, SSH keys, and service account keys.

Node security

  • Keep your operating system up-to-date by updating software packages and installing security patches.

  • For added control over workload image pulls and related security benefits, you can configure worker nodes to authenticate to a private registry. Private registry support for nodes is available for Preview for version 1.29 clusters.

  • By default, Google Distributed Cloud adds the Docker apt repository and the needed GPG key to your cluster nodes. As an alternative to adding adding package repositories to each cluster node in your deployment, you can configure your cluster to use a private package repository for container images.

Cluster security

  • Harden the security of your Google Distributed Cloud clusters.

  • Isolate your traffic and data by using an admin and user cluster deployment. This deployment type helps you to achieve the following types of isolation:

    • Workload traffic is isolated from administrative, or management plane traffic.
    • Cluster access is isolated by group or role.
    • Production workloads are isolated from development workloads.
  • Upgrade your clusters to a supported version. Using a supported version provides you with the following security benefits:

    • Fixes for security vulnerabilities.
    • New features and functions that take advantage of latest security posture and technologies.
    • Updates for bundled software and components.
  • For reduced external exposure and other security benefits, you can configure a registry mirror to install Google Distributed Cloud components from a local copy of the public registry.

Workload security

Network security

Authentication security

  • Manage identity with GKE Identity Service. GKE Identity Service is an authentication service that lets you bring your existing identity solutions for authentication to multiple Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) Enterprise edition environments. You can sign in to and use your Google Distributed Cloud clusters from the command line (all providers) or from the Google Cloud console (OIDC only), all using your existing identity provider.

  • Connect to registered clusters with the Connect gateway. The Connect gateway builds on the power of fleets to let GKE Enterprise users connect to and run commands against registered clusters in a consistent and secure way.

Credential security

  • Rotate certificate authorities. Google Distributed Cloud uses certificates and private keys to authenticate and encrypt connections between system components in clusters. To maintain secure cluster communication, rotate your user cluster certificate authorities periodically and whenever there is a possible security breach.

  • Rotate service account keys. To reduce the security risk caused by leaked keys, we recommend that you regularly rotate your service keys.

Monitor your security

  • Use Kubernetes audit logging. Audit logging provides a way for administrators to retain, query, process, and alert on events that occur in your Google Distributed Cloud environments.

For more information about monitoring cluster security, see Monitor fleet security posture.