Today, managing secrets to protect access to sensitive data in Kubernetes is complicated. It adds lots of components which is troublesome for security professionals. As a result, this security layer in Kubernetes is not optimal.
This changes with Trousseau’s open source project software, available today. Secrets management can now be added to Kubernetes along with support for any key management encryption, starting with HashiCorp Vault. The Trousseau open source software is available here on GitHub.
Romuald Vandepoel, principal cloud architect with Ondat and the project lead for Trousseau, says, “There have been previous projects that attempted to solve this problem, but they required adding lots of components. Naturally, security teams didn’t like that approach because it introduced additional complexity making security more difficult. Secrets management has always been one of the most difficult issues in Kubernetes and Trousseau Vault integration provides the long-sought answer to that problem.“
Trousseau uses Kubernetes etcd to store API object definitions and states. The Kubernetes secrets are shipped into the etcd key-value store database using an in-flight envelope encryption scheme with a remote transit key saved in a KMS. Secrets protected and encrypted with Trousseau and its native Kubernetes integration can connect with a key management system to secure database credentials, a configuration file or TLS (Transport Layer Security) certificate that contains critical information and is easily accessible by an application using the standard Kubernetes API primitives.
“We’re realising two big benefits of Trousseau – first, simplicity as a plugin with the existing KMS, HashiCorp Vault, and second, integrating with GitOps workflows using the native Kubernetes API,” says Bill Wong, CEO, SunnyVision Limited. “It’s provided us with the added security we need without disruption.”
With Trousseau, any user/workload can leverage the native Kubernetes way to store and access secrets in a safe way by plugging into any KMS provider, like Hashicorp Vault (Community and Enterprise editions), using the Kubernetes KMS provider framework. No additional changes or new skills are required. It’s also possible to transition among Kubernetes platforms using the consistent Kubernetes API.
Trousseau is currently being rolled out in a production customer implementation on Suse Rancher Kubernetes Engine 2 leveraging Ondat as the data management platform, along with Hashicorp Vault.
“This lack of a standardised approach to secrets management in Kubernetes has been a real detriment to security, and the complexity has been an impediment to adoption in certain cases,” comments Asvin Ramesh, senior director, technology alliance, Hashicorp. “We’re excited to support the Trousseau Vault open-source initiative which tackles this problem by delivering a new level of simplicity for Kubernetes users, along with better security protection.”