KICS, which stands for Keeping Infrastructure as Code Secure, is an essential component of every cloud-native project and is open source. Use KICS by Checkmarx to identify security flaws, legal compliance problems, and infrastructure misconfigurations early in the development cycle of your infrastructure-as-code.

How it Works

KICS’s built-in extensibility is what makes it so strong and well-liked. Achieving this extensibility entails:

Queries are fully flexible and changeable heuristic rules. These are simple to alter, expand upon, and include.

a robust but still straightforward architecture that makes it simple to add support for new Infrastructure as Code solutions quickly.

KICS was developed using Open Policy Agent and is entirely open source (OPA).

Rego was a natural choice as a query language to implement security queries, while Golang’s speed, simplicity, and dependability made it the ideal choice for creating KICS.

For AWS, GCP, Azure, and other cloud providers, we have created more than a thousand ready-to-use queries that cover a wide range of vulnerabilities checks.

High-Level Architecture

KICS’s extendable pipeline of IaC language parsers and pluggable architecture make it simple to incorporate additional IaC languages and queries.

A command-line interface, parser, queries execution engine, IaC providers, security queries, and results writer are the key parts of KICS at a high level.

  • Provides CLI input to KICS using the command line interface.
  • The parser is in charge of processing the input IaC files (terraform and others)
  • Providers of IaC => IaC language is transformed into a normalised JSON \sQueries Execution Engine: uses pre-built REGO queries for each security and misconfiguration against normalised JSON Security Queries.
  • Writer => Outputs data in JSON format.

Execution Flow