Training > Clouds & Containers > CKS + CKA Exam Bundle
CERTIFICATION BUNDLE

Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)+ Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) Exam Bundle

Who Is It For

The CKA certification is for Kubernetes administrators, cloud administrators and other IT professionals who manage Kubernetes instances. A Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) is an accomplished Kubernetes practitioner (must be CKA certified) 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 These Certifications

CKA was created by The Linux Foundation and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as a part of their ongoing effort to help develop the Kubernetes ecosystem. The exam is an online, proctored, performance-based test that requires solving multiple tasks from a command line running Kubernetes. 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.
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What It Demonstrates

A certified K8s administrator has demonstrated the ability to do basic installation as well as configuring and managing production-grade Kubernetes clusters. They will have an understanding of key concepts such as Kubernetes networking, storage, security, maintenance, logging and monitoring, application lifecycle, troubleshooting, API object primitives and the ability to establish basic use-cases for end users. 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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CKA Exam Domains & Competencies
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Storage 10%
Understand storage classes, persistent volumes
Understand volume mode, access modes and reclaim policies for volumes
Understand persistent volume claims primitive
Know how to configure applications with persistent storage
Troubleshooting30%
Evaluate cluster and node logging
Understand how to monitor applications
Manage container stdout & stderr logs
Troubleshoot application failure
Troubleshoot cluster component failure
Troubleshoot networking
Workloads & Scheduling15%
Understand deployments and how to perform rolling update and rollbacks
Use ConfigMaps and Secrets to configure applications
Know how to scale applications
Understand the primitives used to create robust, self-healing, application deployments
Understand how resource limits can affect Pod scheduling
Awareness of manifest management and common templating tools
Cluster Architecture, Installation & Configuration25%
Manage role based access control (RBAC)
Use Kubeadm to install a basic cluster
Manage a highly-available Kubernetes cluster
Provision underlying infrastructure to deploy a Kubernetes cluster
Perform a version upgrade on a Kubernetes cluster using Kubeadm
Implement etcd backup and restore
Services & Networking20%
Understand host networking configuration on the cluster nodes
Understand connectivity between Pods
Understand ClusterIP, NodePort, LoadBalancer service types and endpoints
Know how to use Ingress controllers and Ingress resources
Know how to configure and use CoreDNS
Choose an appropriate container network interface plugin

The Linux Foundation worked with industry experts and the Linux kernel community to identify the core domains and the critical skills, knowledge and competencies applicable to each certification. Performance-based exams were then developed based on the competencies that were identified.
CKS Exam Domains & Competencies
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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

The Linux Foundation worked with industry experts and the Linux kernel community to identify the core domains and the critical skills, knowledge and competencies applicable to each certification. Performance-based exams were then developed based on the competencies that were identified.
Exam Details & Resources
Both the CKA and CKS exams are online, proctored, performance-based tests that requires solving multiple tasks from a command line running Kubernetes. For each exam, candidates have 2 hours to complete the tasks.

The CKA exam is based on Kubernetes v1.21
The CKS exam is based on Kubernetes v1.20

The CKS exam environment will be aligned with the most recent K8s minor version within approximately 4 to 8 weeks of the K8s release date

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.

Prerequisites
There are no pre-requisites for the CKA exam.

Active (non-expired) CKA certification is a prerequisite for the CKS exam.