Certification > Cloud & Containers > Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)
CERTIFICATION

Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist

The Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) program provides assurance that a CKS has the skills, knowledge, and competence on a broad range of best practices for securing container-based applications and Kubernetes platforms during build, deployment and runtime.

Who Is It For

A Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) is an accomplished Kubernetes practitioner (as evidenced by holding the CKA credential) who has demonstrated competence on a broad range of best practices for securing container-based applications and Kubernetes platforms during build, deployment and runtime.
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About This Certification

CKS is a performance-based certification exam that tests candidates' knowledge of Kubernetes and cloud security in a simulated, real world environment. Candidates must have taken and passed the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam prior to attempting the CKS exam. CKS may be purchased but not scheduled until CKA certification has been achieved.
CKA Certification must be active (non-expired) on the date the CKS exam (including Retakes) is scheduled.
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What It Demonstrates

Obtaining a CKS demonstrates a candidate possesses the requisite abilities to secure container-based applications and Kubernetes platforms during build, deployment and runtime, and is qualified to perform these tasks in a professional setting.
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Domains & Competencies
Cluster Setup10%
Use Network security policies to restrict cluster level access
Use CIS benchmark to review the security configuration of Kubernetes components (etcd, kubelet, kubedns, kubeapi)
Properly set up Ingress objects with security control
Protect node metadata and endpoints
Minimize use of, and access to, GUI elements
Verify platform binaries before deploying
Cluster Hardening15%
Restrict access to Kubernetes API
Use Role Based Access Controls to minimize exposure
Exercise caution in using service accounts e.g. disable defaults, minimize permissions on newly created ones
Update Kubernetes frequently
System Hardening15%
Minimize host OS footprint (reduce attack surface)
Minimize IAM roles
Minimize external access to the network
Appropriately use kernel hardening tools such as AppArmor, seccomp
Minimize Microservice Vulnerabilities20%
Setup appropriate OS level security domains e.g. using PSP, OPA, security contexts
Manage Kubernetes secrets
Use container runtime sandboxes in multi-tenant environments (e.g. gvisor, kata containers)
Implement pod to pod encryption by use of mTLS
Supply Chain Security20%
Minimize base image footprint
Secure your supply chain: whitelist allowed registries, sign and validate images
Use static analysis of user workloads (e.g.Kubernetes resources, Docker files)
Scan images for known vulnerabilities
Monitoring, Logging and Runtime Security20%
Perform behavioral analytics of syscall process and file activities at the host and container level to detect malicious activities
Detect threats within physical infrastructure, apps, networks, data, users and workloads
Detect all phases of attack regardless where it occurs and how it spreads
Perform deep analytical investigation and identification of bad actors within environment
Ensure immutability of containers at runtime
Use Audit Logs to monitor access

Exam Details & Resources
This exam is an online, proctored, performance-based test that requires solving multiple tasks from a command line running Kubernetes. Candidates have 2 hours to complete the tasks.

The exam is based on Kubernetes v1.19

Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) candidates must have taken and passed the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam prior to attempting the CKS exam.

CKS may be purchased but not scheduled until CKA certification has been achieved.
CKA Certification must be active (non-expired) on the date the CKS exam (including Retakes) is scheduled.

Please review the Candidate Handbook, Curriculum Overview and Exam Tips along with other recommended resources below.