Cast AI Introduces Cloud Security Insights for Kubernetes

Cloud cost management platform provider Cast AI released Cloud Security Insights, a free security analysis tool that integrates into an organization’s AI-driven cloud optimization platform.

The platform, which is free for all users, aims to help DevOps and DevSecOps teams to manage cloud resources, cloud optimization, and Kubernetes security.

It represents the second pillar of Cast AI’s autonomous Kubernetes management platform, adding to the suite of tools for automating Kubernetes cost reduction, cloud resource provisioning, and security monitoring across Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft Azure.

The vendor-independent platform provides users with fully automated reports containing Kubernetes configuration checks, which help ensure clusters are configured according to best practices for pods and workloads. The UI provided details on individual checks and resources.

The platform also offers vulnerability scans for an overview of potential issues that might appear due to container images downloaded from public registries, as well as giving 24/7 visibility into Kubernetes cluster configurations.

In addition, container image vulnerability detection and security recommendations can be arranged and presented in order of priority.

Other features help users to achieve security and regulatory compliance and provide a common platform for security and development team integration and collaboration.

“In addition to comprehensive cost monitoring, you’re now provided with individually tailored security recommendations to mitigate cloud native workload security issues,” explains Cast AI co-founder and CPO Laurent Gil. “You just need to create an account and connect your AWS, Google, or Azure Kubernetes apps.”

Gil adds that Security Insights can be used for multicloud or single cloud environments, and it provides the same security alerts and insights regardless of which cloud providers the organization uses, with a common and simple control plane.

There are native tools that handle these tasks, of course. Microsoft offers Microsoft Defender for Containers, for example, which covers more but costs $7 per CPU per VM. It also requires customers to install an agent on their resources.

Google Cloud runs a vulnerability assessment service for images at a price of $0.26 per scanned container image, while security for Kubernetes includes this service and vulnerability assessment in pre-general release.

“However, we already see that we are able to detect many more best practices violations,” Gil asserts. “The value is in the platform — Security Insights and cloud optimization makes your applications secure and autonomous at the same time, with an instant position ROI.”

In short, Gil says users get a “powerful and complete” insight on Kubernetes security monitoring plus an instant ROI where the cost of Cast AI is always a fraction of the savings benefits.

“Applications now run securely and autonomously, with instant rightsizing and one of the fastest autoscalers on the planet,” he adds.

Kubernetes Environments Pose Multiple Challenge

Mike Parkin, senior technical engineer at Vulcan Cyber, a provider of SaaS for enterprise cyber risk remediation, points out that Kubernetes (aka k8s) environments have several specific challenges.

“These include compromised images, visibility into the environment, establishing and maintaining secure configurations, and a range of other problems related to securing containerized images in the cloud,” he explains.

He adds anything that can help a security operations team consolidate their tools and give them more context and clarity.

“That’s the case whether it’s in the form of a single focused tool that covers multiple aspects of a deployment, or a risk management tool that brings other tools together,” Parkin says.

John Steven, CTO at automated threat modeling provider ThreatModeler, says that as a deployment orchestrator, Kubernetes will dominate an organization’s alignment challenges, whether hybrid/multicloud or data center-based.

“Indeed, the point of Kubernetes is to abstract away the underlying infrastructure management, replacing it with its own scheme,” he says. He explains that managed Kubernetes solutions simplify scale-out because the cloud service provider’s (CSP) control of the underlying infrastructure makes it appear infinite.

Managed solutions also make incorporating key CSP-specific services, such as Directory Services, Persistence Solutions, or Learning APIs, into a Kubernetes application easier and more secure, he says.

“However, organizations can also feel like managed k8s is shackling — tying them to a particular provider through configuration, service, and administration idiosyncrasies,” Steven says.

He notes that organizations with exceptionally high uptime requirements may struggle to provide multicloud resilience against failure of a single CSP availability zone or region.

“In practice, managed k8s trades the complexity of multicloud k8s for the idiosyncrasy and lock-in of managing a single cloud,” he says. “Given the above, it’s strategic for security solutions to target k8s. Providing visibility into clusters meets a crucial need.”

Steven adds that more than one startup has suffered a multi-day outage because k8s misconfiguration knocked a critical business function offline, or because storage, memory, or compute allotment claims defined too low a ceiling for peak usage during heavy use.

“If businesses start to view k8s as an unreliable platform — even if because they don’t have the expertise to wield it — they will move to simpler solutions,” he says.