How to Delegate?

Note

This section helps you implement ISO 27001, specifically:

  • A.9 Access control

Now that you are almost ready to go live, you will certainly want to delegate some permissions to other team members or IT systems in your organization. This page shows you how to do that.

Authentication vs. Access Control

Authentication is the act of proving your identity. Compliant Kubernetes is usually configured to use your organization's Identity Provider (IdP). Examples of supported IdPs includes Google, Active Directory, Okta or Jump Cloud. The email and group provided by your IdP are used for access control in various components.

Next sections will explain how to handle access control in each user-facing Compliant Kubernetes component.

Container registry (Harbor)

Compliant Kubernetes uses Harbor as container registry. For access control, Harbor defines the concepts of:

  • user and group -- for human access;
  • robot account -- for IT system access.

You don't need to create Harbor users or groups. Compliant Kubernetes configures Harbor in "OIDC authentication mode", which means that Harbor will automatically onboard users logging in via your IdP and will automatically get the group from your IdP. In contrast, you need to create robot accounts, as these only exist within Harbor.

Your administrator will have configured one of your IdP groups as the "Harbor system administrator" group. Please read the upstream documentation linked below to learn how a Harbor admin can:

Note

You can either add users or groups to a project with various roles. To simplify access control, consider only using groups and assigning users to groups from your IdP.

Kubernetes API

Kubernetes uses the following concepts for access control:

For delegating permissions to ServiceAccounts, follow the example on the CI/CD page.

The next section present delegation to users and groups.

Pre-verification

First, make sure you are in the right namespace on the right cluster:

kubectl get nodes
kubectl config view --minify --output 'jsonpath={..namespace}'; echo

You can only delegate as much permission as you have (see Privilege escalation prevention). Therefore, check what permissions you have:

kubectl auth can-i --list

Create a Role

Next, create a Role capturing the set of permissions you want to delegate. If unsure, start from the example Role that the user demo's CI/CD pipeline needs.

kubectl apply -f ci-cd-role.yaml

Delegate to a Group

Prefer delegating to a group, so that access control is centralized in your IdP.

ROLE=my-role     # Role created above
GROUP=my-group   # As set in your IdP

kubectl create rolebinding $ROLE --role $ROLE --group=$GROUP --dry-run=client -o yaml > my-role-binding.yaml
# review my-role-binding.yaml
kubectl apply -f my-role-binding.yaml

Add a User admin

In Compliant Kubernetes v0.21.0 User admins can now add more User admins themselves.

Edit the clusterrolebinding user-admin-cluster-wide-delegation and add the desired users or groups under subjects. If unsure, look at an example subject from the official kubernetes documentation.

kubectl edit clusterrolebinding user-admin-cluster-wide-delegation

Application Metrics (Grafana)

Your administrator will have mapped your IdP groups to the Grafana viewer, editor and admin roles. Please read the upstream documentation to learn more.

Application Logs (OpenSearch Dashboards)

Note

Compliant Kubernetes is currently migrating from OpenDistro for Elasticsearch to OpenSearch. As a result, Kibana will be replaced with OpenSearch Dashboards. You can track progress here. This section of the documentation will be updated once the migration is completed.

TBD