AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Streamlining Kubernetes Certificate Management with Amazon EKS and AppViewX KUBE+

By Karthik Kannan, VP Product Management – AppViewX
By Vignesh Kumar, Product Manager – AppViewX
By S. Jayasundar, Sr. Partner Solution Architect – AWS


Kubernetes simplifies application deployment, streamlines operations, and establishes a resilient infrastructure, enabling organizations to rapidly meet business objectives.

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) is a managed Kubernetes service that runs Kubernetes in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud and on-premises data centers. It simplifies deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications with automated updates and seamless integration into the AWS ecosystem.

While Amazon EKS helps ensure a more secure Kubernetes environment for its customers by automating security patches, there are other areas of security that are practiced in a shared responsibility model. One of these is ensuring proper certificate lifecycle management to provide strong authentication and encryption throughout the EKS environment.

This is where AppViewX can help AWS customers strengthen their Kubernetes security posture with its KUBE+ product, a comprehensive certificate lifecycle management solution for Kubernetes environments. AppViewX KUBE+ automates the complete certificate lifecycle management process, including discovery, inventory, issuance, auto-renewal, policy creation, and governance across the entire Kubernetes environment.

With Amazon EKS efficiently managing Kubernetes, AppViewX KUBE+ enables automated transport layer security (TLS) and mutual TLS (mTLS) certificates to further harden security. This synergy between the two solutions streamlines processes to more secure, trusted, and efficient cloud-native operations

AppViewX is an AWS Partner and AWS Marketplace Seller that is a pioneer in certificate and key lifecycle automation, machine identity management, and Internet of Things (IoT) and DevOps security solutions.

Need for Certificate Management on Kubernetes

Certificate management is a growing challenge as Kubernetes is rapidly adopted. ISSL/TLS certificates are essential to securing web applications and services–providing secure access, authentication, and encryption.

In Kubernetes environments, the absence of built-in public key infrastructure (PKI) mechanisms, policies, and processes for automatic certificate management, rotation, and renewal poses significant challenges for organizations.

TLS termination points vary in Kubernetes deployment, driven by unique use cases, security needs, and compliance requirements. Here are the TLS termination points in Kubernetes where TLS certificates must be managed:

  • Load balancer termination: Use publicly-trusted TLS certificates to terminate TLS at the load balancer. TLS certificates are bound to the load balancer with AWS Certificate Manager issuing certificates and associating them with Network Load Balancer.
  • Ingress termination: When end-to-end encryption is not a requirement, offload processing to the ingress controller, or Network Load Balancer can enhance workload performance to simplify configuration and management.
  • Pod-level termination: For stronger security, enabling end-to-end encryption from the client to a Kubernetes pod is critical. Here, TLS terminates within the pod, securing communication within the Kubernetes cluster.
  • Mutual TLS within pods: mTLS encrypts internal data flows and provides secure authentication, focusing on in-transit security within the Kubernetes cluster.


Figure 1 – Kubernetes application access flow.

Challenges with TLS Security on Kubernetes

Managing certificates in Kubernetes for DevOps can present several challenges. First, there’s the complexity of generating, distributing, and renewing certificates across a dynamic and scalable environment.

With numerous pods, services, and nodes, it also becomes daunting to maintain proper certificate management practices. Certificate rotation and renewal can be problematic, as manual processes may lead to oversight or downtime if certificates expire.

  • Complexity of Kubernetes environments: In dynamic and agile application setups, manual certificate management is error-prone, time-consuming, and creates risk. Poor certificate management undermines security and increases vulnerabilities.
  • Disconnected processes and team silos: Managing many clusters with various methods leads to inconsistency. DevOps and CloudOps want speed, while InfoSec needs security. This gap can slow releases and create security blind spots.
  • Manual certificate provisioning: Obtaining certificates from unapproved Certificate Authorities (CAs) or using self-signed certificates leads to InfoSec losing control. Rapid acquisition of certificates that violate enterprise-wide PKI policies for the sake of speed creates security weakness and compliance issues.
  • Monitoring certificate expiry: Every certificate has an expiration date that must be renewed. In Kubernetes, constant certificate renewal is essential. Manually tracking thousands of certificates and expirations is not practical, which causes outages, vulnerabilities, and service disruptions.
  • Lack of PKI standards and compliance: Ad-hoc PKI approaches lead to weak crypto standards, expired certificates, and security and compliance risks.
  • Absence of central PKI governance: Strict control and governance of PKI process is required to ensure multiple teams have the proper roles and rights. Manual management hampers audit and security oversight.

Simplify and Secure Certificate Lifecycle Management

The integration of AppViewX KUBE+ within Amazon EKS delivers certificate lifecycle automation that simplifies processes and addresses complexities in Kubernetes environments.

Here’s how organizations can effectively and efficiently manage certificates across Kubernetes and container workloads:

  • Robust automation: AppViewX KUBE+ leverages the automation and orchestration capabilities of the AppViewX platform to provide a complete certificate lifecycle management automation solution for Kubernetes. AppViewX KUBE+ automates the entire certificate lifecycle including discovery, inventory, issuance, auto-renewal, policy creation, and governance for all certificates across the entire Kubernetes environment.
  • Aligning DevOps and InfoSec: AppViewX KUBE+ helps to eliminate the divide between the DevOps and CloudOps need for speed and agility and InfoSec’s emphasis on security by offering a centralized console for self-service certificate management according to enterprise-wide PKI policies. With built-in integration with all major enterprise CAs and AWS Certificate Manager, including AWS Private CA, AppViewX KUBE+ ensures compliance and security without hindering development velocity.
  • Operational efficiency: For CIOs and CISOs, the collaboration between EKS and AppViewX KUBE+ offers an effective and quantifiable solution to a complex challenge. AppViewX KUBE+ enhances security while enabling operational efficiency by eliminating error-prone and non-compliant certificate management methods to support streamlined DevOps processes and more secure cloud-native application environments.

Figure 2 – TLS security flow for Kubernetes with AppViewX KUBE+.

Together with Amazon EKS, AppViewX KUBE+ offers significant value to organizations that are using AWS to transform their operations and grow their businesses.

This value is recognized with a stronger enterprise-wide security and risk posture achieved through the following AppViewX KUBE+ capabilities:

  • Control over AWS certificate ecosystem: Seamlessly manage certificates across diverse cloud workloads and EKS environments, regardless of complexity.
  • Visibility without blind spots: Gain a holistic view of cloud-native certificates across AWS accounts and services, including EKS to enable proactive monitoring, remediation of non-compliant certificates, and timely renewals of expiring certificates.
  • Zero application outages: Ensure uninterrupted availability through automated certificate renewals and specialized features designed for AWS environments.
  • Continuous compliance: Create and enforce enterprise-wide PKI policies to maintain compliance with security, industry, and regulatory standards, enhancing AWS-specific policy enforcement and audit capabilities.
  • Highly scalable: Instantly scale automated certificate lifecycle management in dynamic AWS environments, without the need for additional resources.
  • DevOps-InfoSec alignment: Bridge collaboration gaps between DevOps and InfoSec teams within the AWS context by simplifying certificate lifecycle management and enabling policy-driven self-service capabilities to remove friction.
  • Speed and agility: Enhance the performance and security of Kubernetes environments with improved certificate visibility, automated lifecycle management, and optimized security practices.


In this post, we highlighted the synergy of Amazon EKS and AppViewX KUBE+ working together, and how this collaboration makes Kubernetes certificate management easier with a simplified and automated process.

This delivers a vital blend of security and efficiency that enables organizations to address the significant challenges of managing certificates in Kubernetes and enables DevOps, CloudOps, and InfoSec teams to make intelligent decisions aligned with security and operational objectives.


AppViewX – AWS Partner Spotlight

AppViewX is an AWS Partner that’s a pioneer in certificate and key lifecycle automation, machine identity management, and Internet of Things (IoT) and DevOps security solutions.

Contact AppViewX | Partner Overview | AWS Marketplace