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Kafka Summit San Francisco 2018

October 16-17, 2018 | San Francisco

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Kafka Security 101 and Real-World Tips

Session Level: Intermediate
Video & Slides

Security in Kafka is a cornerstone of true enterprise production-ready deployment: It enables companies to control access to the cluster and limit risks in data corruption and unwanted operations. Understanding how to use security in Kafka and exploiting its capabilities can be complex, especially as the documentation that is available is aimed at people with substantial existing knowledge on the matter.

This talk will be delivered in a “hero journey” fashion, tracing the experience of an engineer with basic understanding of Kafka who is tasked with securing a Kafka cluster. Along the way, I will illustrate the benefits and implications of various mechanisms and provide some real-world tips on how users can simplify security management.

Attendees of this talk will learn about aspects of security in Kafka, including:

  • Encryption: What is SSL, what problems it solves and how Kafka leverages it. We’ll discuss encryption in flight vs. encryption at rest.
  • Authentication: Without authentication, anyone would be able to write to any topic in a Kafka cluster, do anything and remain anonymous. We’ll explore the available authentication mechanisms and their suitability for different types of deployment, including mutual SSL authentication, SASL/GSSAPI, SASL/SCRAM and SASL/PLAIN.
  • Authorization: How ACLs work in Kafka, ZooKeeper security (risks and mitigations) and how to manage ACLs at scale

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