Security For Windows Nodes

This page describes security considerations and best practices specific to the Windows operating system.

Protection for Secret data on nodes

On Windows, data from Secrets are written out in clear text onto the node's local storage (as compared to using tmpfs / in-memory filesystems on Linux). As a cluster operator, you should take both of the following additional measures:

  1. Use file ACLs to secure the Secrets' file location.
  2. Apply volume-level encryption using BitLocker.

Container users

RunAsUsername can be specified for Windows Pods or containers to execute the container processes as specific user. This is roughly equivalent to RunAsUser.

Windows containers offer two default user accounts, ContainerUser and ContainerAdministrator. The differences between these two user accounts are covered in When to use ContainerAdmin and ContainerUser user accounts within Microsoft's Secure Windows containers documentation.

Local users can be added to container images during the container build process.

Windows containers can also run as Active Directory identities by utilizing Group Managed Service Accounts

Pod-level security isolation

Linux-specific pod security context mechanisms (such as SELinux, AppArmor, Seccomp, or custom POSIX capabilities) are not supported on Windows nodes.

Privileged containers are not supported on Windows. Instead HostProcess containers can be used on Windows to perform many of the tasks performed by privileged containers on Linux.

Last modified June 18, 2022 at 4:28 PM PST: Batch fix links (3) (d705d9ed1c)