Security needs vary depending on whether you’re developing locally on your laptop or securing all communications in a production environment. Regardless of where you’re deploying the Elastic Stack ("ELK"), running a secure cluster is incredibly important to protect your data. That’s why security is enabled and configured by default in Elasticsearch 8.0 and later.
If you want to enable security on an existing, unsecured cluster, use your own Certificate Authority (CA), or would rather manually configure security, the following scenarios provide steps for configuring TLS on the transport layer, plus securing HTTPS traffic if you want it.
If you configure security manually before starting your Elasticsearch nodes, the auto-configuration process will respect your security configuration. You can adjust your TLS configuration at any time, such as updating node certificates.
Minimal security (Elasticsearch Development)edit
If you’ve been working with Elasticsearch and want to enable security on your existing, unsecured cluster, start here. You’ll set passwords for the built-in users to prevent unauthorized access to your local cluster, and also configure password authentication for Kibana.
Basic security (Elasticsearch + Kibana)edit
This scenario configures TLS for communication between nodes. This security layer requires that nodes verify security certificates, which prevents unauthorized nodes from joining your Elasticsearch cluster.
Your external HTTP traffic between Elasticsearch and Kibana won’t be encrypted, but internode communication will be secured.
Basic security plus secured HTTPS traffic (Elastic Stack)edit
This scenario builds on the one for basic security and secures all HTTP traffic with TLS. In addition to configuring TLS on the transport interface of your Elasticsearch cluster, you configure TLS on the HTTP interface for both Elasticsearch and Kibana.
If you need mutual (bidirectional) TLS on the HTTP layer, then you’ll need to configure mutual authenticated encryption.
You then configure Kibana and Beats to communicate with Elasticsearch using TLS so that all communications are encrypted. This level of security is strong, and ensures that any communications in and out of your cluster are secure.