KICS is 100% open source is written in Golang using Open Policy Agent (OPA).

Golang speed, simplicity, and reliability made it the perfect choice for writing KICS, while Rego as a query language, was a native choice to implement security queries.

So far have written 1000+ ready-to-use queries that cover a wide range of vulnerabilities checks for AWS, GCP, Azure and other cloud providers.

High-Level Architecture

KICS has a pluggable architecture with an extensible pipeline of parsing IaC languages, which allows easy integration of new IaC languages and queries.

At a high very level, KICS is composed of the following main components: a command-line interface, parser, queries execution engine, IaC providers, security queries, and results writer.

  • Command Line Interface => Provides CLI input to KICS.
  • Parser => responsible for parsing input IaC files (terraform and others)
  • IaC Providers => Converts IaC language into normalized JSON
  • Queries Execution Engine => applies REGO queries against normalized JSON
  • Security Queries => pre-built REGO queries for each security and misconfiguration
  • Writer => Writes results into JSON format

Execution Flow

The sequence diagram below depicts the interaction of the main KICS components: