Container Network Security

Container Network Security in GitLab provides basic firewall functionality by leveraging Cilium NetworkPolicies to filter traffic going in and out of the cluster as well as traffic between pods inside the cluster. Container Network Security can be used to enforce L3, L4, and L7 policies and can prevent an attacker with control over one pod from spreading laterally to access other pods in the same cluster. Both Ingress and Egress rules are supported.

By default, Cilium is deployed in Detection-only mode and only logs attack attempts. GitLab provides a set of out-of-the-box policies as examples and to help users get started. These policies are disabled by default, as they must usually be customized to match application-specific needs.


See the installation guide for the recommended steps to install GitLab Container Network Security. This guide shows the recommended way of installing Container Network Security through GMAv2. However, it’s also possible to install Cilium manually through our Helm chart.


  • GitLab managed installation of Cilium.
  • Support for L3, L4, and L7 policies.
  • Ability to export logs to a SIEM.
  • Statistics page showing volume of packets processed and dropped over time (Ultimate users only).
  • Management of NetworkPolicies through code in a project (Available for auto DevOps users only).
  • Management of CiliumNetworkPolicies through a UI policy manager (Ultimate users only).

Supported container orchestrators

Kubernetes v1.14+ is the only supported container orchestrator. OpenShift and other container orchestrators aren’t supported.

Supported Kubernetes providers

The following cloud providers are supported:

  • Amazon EKS
  • Google GKE

Although Container Network Security may function on Azure or self-managed Kubernetes instances, it isn’t officially tested and supported on those providers.

Supported NetworkPolicies

GitLab only supports the use of CiliumNetworkPolicies. Although generic Kubernetes NetworkPolicies or other kinds of NetworkPolicies may work, GitLab doesn’t test or support them.

Managing NetworkPolicies through GitLab vs your cloud provider

Some cloud providers offer integrations with Cilium or offer other ways to manage NetworkPolicies in Kubernetes. GitLab Container Network Security doesn’t support deployments that have NetworkPolicies managed by an external provider. By choosing to manage NetworkPolicies through GitLab, you can take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Support for handling NetworkPolicy infrastructure as code.
  • Full revision history and audit log of all changes made.
  • Ability to revert back to a previous version at any time.


See the Category Direction page for more information on the product direction of Container Network Security.