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RBAC in Kong Manager
In addition to authenticating admins and segmenting workspaces, Kong Gateway has the ability to enforce Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) for all resources with the use of roles assigned to admins.
As the super admin (or any role with read and write
access to the
/rbac endpoints), it is possible to
create new roles and customize permissions.
In Kong Manager, RBAC affects how admins are able to navigate through the application.
Kong includes Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). Every admin using Kong Manager needs an assigned role based on the resources they have permission to access.
When a super admin starts Kong for the first time, the
includes three default roles:
super-admin. The three
roles have permissions related to every workspace in the cluster.
Similarly, if a role is confined to certain workspaces, the admin assigned to it will not be able to see either the overview or links to other workspaces.
If a role does not have permission to access entire endpoints, the admin assigned to the role will not be able to see the related navigation links.
Important: Although a default admin has full permissions to every endpoint in Kong, only a super admin has the ability to assign and modify RBAC permissions. An admin is not able to modify their own permissions or delimit a super admin’s permissions.
RBAC in workspaces
If RBAC roles and permissions are assigned from within a workspace, they are specific to that workspace. For example, if there are two workspaces, Payments and Deliveries, an admin created in Payments doesn’t have access to any endpoints in Deliveries.
When a super admin creates a new workspace, there are three default roles that
mirror the cluster-level roles, and a fourth unique to each workspace:
These roles can be viewed in the Teams > Roles tab in Kong Manager.
Important: Any role assigned in the
defaultworkspace has permissions to all subsequently created workspaces unless roles in specific workspaces are explicitly assigned. When roles across multiple workspaces are assigned, roles in workspaces other than
defaulttake precedent. For example, a super admin assigned to the
super-adminrole in the
defaultworkspace as well as the
workspace-read-onlyrole in the
wsworkspace has RBAC permissions across all workspaces and full permissions to endpoints in workspaces except the
wsworkspace. The admin only has read-only permissions to endpoints in the
How RBAC rules work in Kong Gateway
Although there are concepts like groups and roles in Kong Gateway, when determining if a user has sufficient permissions to access the endpoint, combinations of workspace and endpoint are collected from roles and groups assigned to a user, being the minimal unit for Kong Gateway to check for permissions. These combinations will be referred to as “rules” in the following paragraphs.
Kong Gateway uses a precedence model, from most specificity to least specificity, to determine if a user has access to an endpoint. For each request Kong Gateway checks for an RBAC rule assigned to the requesting user in the following order:
An allow or deny rule against the current endpoint in the current workspace
An allow or deny rule against the current endpoint in any workspace (
An allow or deny rule against any endpoint (
*) in the current workspace
An allow or deny rule against any endpoint (
*) in any workspace (
If Kong Gateway finds a matching rule for the current user, endpoint, and workspace it allows or denies the request according to that rule. Once Kong Gateway finds an applicable rule, it stops, and does not continue checking for less specific rules. If no rules are found, the request is denied.
The default admin roles define permissions for any workspace is (
Kong Gateway stops at the first role, which means any role assigned in the default workspace has permissions to all subsequently created workspaces unless roles
in specific workspaces are explicitly assigned. When roles across multiple workspaces are assigned, roles in workspaces
other than default take precedent. For example, a user assigned to the
super-admin role in the default workspace as well
workspace-read-only role in the
ws workspace has full permissions to endpoints in all workspaces except the
ws workspace. The user only has read-only permissions to endpoints in the
Kong Gateway allows you to add negative rules to a role. A negative rule denies actions associated with the endpoint. Meanwhile, a negative rule precedes other non-negative rules while following the above rules.