KubeCon EU 2022 – Trends & Highlights
Kubecon EU returned to Spain. This time to Valencia, city of paella and horchata and, of course, a great place for big events. We had a great time meeting you all in person, and attending the talks. Here are our hot takes from the event.
The main event started on Wednesday, but before that different co-located events took place: Ebpf Day, Cloud Native SecurityCon, and PrometheusDay among others. These events gathered a large number of attendees. In total, more than 7,000 people followed the event in person, and more than 11,000 did follow virtually. Events are safely back!
If you want to know more about these co-located events, read our Highlights on Prometheus Day 2022 EU.
In this article, we’ll focus on the main event, the most important for the Kubernetes community in Europe.
Overall takeaways from keynotes & sessions
One of the main takeaways that all the speakers highlighted is the need to facilitate the process for developers in the cloud-native ecosystem and Kubernetes.
On the first day, 7 Years of Running Kubernetes for Mercedes-Benz was a clear example of how to create the “golden paths” and keep improving. This is not the only talk covering this topic, From Kubernetes to PaaS to … Err, What’s Next? also mentions the evolution of development profiles and how it is constantly evolving and learning.
Another strong idea in this KubeCon is the importance of ecosystem and community maintained in a sustainable future.
Finally, scaling security in Kubernetes is a growing concern, and something to keep in mind if we want to avoid future security incidents.
During KubeCon, we observed high demand for beginners, or 101, content. Talks aimed at this demographic were consistently busy, with lots of attendees. This is a sign of Kubernetes being a healthy project with a growing adoption. One of these interesting talks is Seeing is Believing: Debugging with Ephemeral Containers, a deep explanation of containers and a comparison of attaching containers through docker exec, kubectl exec, and patching the pod definition.
A focus on security
As we just mentioned, there was a big interest in the security side of things. Here are some hot takes from the talks we attended:
By: Andrew Martin, ControlPlane
With a focus on supply chain attacks, it provided an overview on how to understand the attacker and their behavior. It was refreshing to see this from a real attacker perspective, instead of the usual security-person perspective.
By: James Cleverley-Prance, ControlPlane
Super interesting talk about discovering details for a Kubernetes cluster using public exposed endpoints. It included a deep understanding of the overlay network rooting, and how to use IP spoofing to communicate with internal pods and services from outside the cluster.
By: Lachlan Evenson, Microsoft
This talk presented the new concept of Pod Security that will replace the deprecated PodSecurityPolicy. The major difference is a simplification, providing 3 levels of security: Restricted, Baseline, and Privileged.
By: Adolfo García Veytia, Chainguard
Another talk about upcoming Kubernetes features. In this case, the talk covers the work that the Kubernetes Release SIG is doing in order to attest, sign, promote and distribute artifacts in Kubernetes. It also discussed some limitations or things they are still not doing correctly but have plans to improve.
By: Robert Ficcaglia, SunStone Secure, LLC
Good explanation of Trusted Execution Environment, where TEE prevents unauthorized access or modification of the data being used. Another example of the importance of a secure supply chain.
By: Peter Kelly, Tigera
Cool and hacky. It explained how WireGuard and Calico work, and how both can be used together to encrypt the connections between nodes. Calico takes care of the WireGuard configuration automatically on the nodes.
By: Ric Featherstone, ControlPlane
Interesting talk about identity management, and how OIDC, JWT tokens, bounded tokens and different identity providers can be used for authentication.
By: Jake Sanders & Charlie Egan, Jetstack
A talk about the SPIFEE protocol that presented an example of the SPIFEE connector, where an application (pod) can automatically obtain credentials to access 2 different cloud providers.
By: David de Torres & Miguel Hernández, Sysdig
Through a few examples, they showed us that it is possible to do a lot of damage to the infrastructure and applications if we manage to get access to the Prometheus server. For example, one can retrieve information about the images used by the pods and thus exploit known vulnerabilities to alter its behavior or extract information.
Our takeaways from KubeCon EU
One of the best things at KubeCon EU was the opportunity to talk to attendees IRL, listen to their pains and find the opportunity to improve.
For me personally, it was an eye opener to see that, although the KubeCon audience was IT related, and not very focused on security; everyone was up to speed and invested in the latest security news in the ecosystem. For example:
- Log4shell stop internet .
- Supply chain attacks and abandoned open source projects.
- Spring4Shell attacks again.
This is why we, at Sysdig, think it’s so important to close the gap between DevOps and security teams.
Also, an important key was the huge number of new adopters. This is just the beginning of the cloud native journey for them, and they are all going to face the same challenges: Understand this new paradigm, train their teams, migrate their infrastructure, scale properly, and implement security.
In summary, it’s great to have KubeCon back, and we cannot wait for KubeCon NA in a few months.