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Red Hat OpenShift Compliance Operator – Overview

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Growth in digital services and faster time to market by various global and government organisations, Security has become one of the important aspect of any platform that runs sensitive or regulatory workloads. IT systems are often vulnerable targets from various attackers to steal confidential and user information. In order to protect their systems, organisations adopt industry standards to baseline security and resilience of their IT infrastructure platforms. Many governments have defined their own standards to protect their IT infrastructure from such attacks.

Red Hat OpenShift container platform provides secure and scalable platform that enterprises can use to deploy their applications to production along with the required compliance and regulatory requirements.

Compliance Operator provides assessment and remediation for various industry and government standards. It performs assessment for OpenShift/Kubernetes API and also the nodes part of the cluster. It uses OpenSCAP under the hood to perform the assessment and remediation. It can be installed on Red Hat OpenShift platform via the Operator Hub.


Red Hat OpenShift Compliance operator comes with various industry and government standard profiles. These profiles have different rules of assessment based on the nature of their compliance. Each profile has a prefix in the name that represents the type of compliance rules it is associated with.

For example, profile ocp4-cis is for centre for internet security and ocp4-pci-dss is for payment card industry data security standard. As of OpenShift 4.12, list of profiles supported by compliance operator are listed here.

After the compliance operator has been installed on the OpenShift cluster, you can run the command oc get profiles -n openshift-compliance to list all the profiles available on the cluster.


In order to trigger and run a compliance scan on the OpenShift cluster, two custom objects scansetting and scansettingbinding has to be created. These object types are installed as part of the compliance operator installation.

Scansetting object role is to define the necessary schedule of the scans, storage required for the scan results and the subsequent scans you wish to store.

Scansettingbinding object role is to bind the schedule created by the scansetting object with that of a compliance profile, example ocp4-cis. Once scansettingbinding object is created, a compliance scan is triggered and pods are scheduled on the cluster nodes, depending upon the compliance profile and the results are saved on the persistent volume.

Results and Remediations

Once the scan is completed, compliance operator creates compliancecheckresults object for every compliance rule executed part of the compliance profile. Check the status of these rules and based on which further action needs to be taken to remediate the failed assessments.

If the compliance rule has an automated remediation, then an complianceremediation object with the same name as compliancecheckresult is created. Administrator can apply the automated remediation, to update the cluster configuration. If not, then administrators have to apply the remediation manually.

Compliance Operator Flow

Simple flow of the compliance operator that we discussed above.


In this post we discussed overview about how the Red Hat OpenShift compliance operator works. In the future posts we will discuss more in detail about the installation methods, scans, compliance checks and results.


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Platform Consultant - OpenShift/Kubernetes


4 Responses

  1. […] For overview of compliance operator check my previous post here: Red Hat OpenShift Compliance Operator – Overview […]

  2. […] my previous posts, I have shared the overview and installation procedure for the compliance operator. Once the installation is completed, we can […]

  3. […] my previous posts, I have shared the overview, installation procedure and how to trigger compliance scans using the Red Hat OpenShift compliance […]

  4. […] my previous posts, I have shared the overview, installation procedure, how to trigger compliance scans and remediations using the Red Hat […]

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