How Threat Stack Does DevOps (Part IV): Making Engineers Accountable

Early on at Threat Stack, we focused on giving engineers the tools and ownership over their applications that would empower them to deploy and manage their applications in a safe way without causing customer downtime or other issues. As a small, but rapidly growing company, this is necessary for survival. For most of the last four years, Threat Stack has only had a two- to three-person operations team. With a such a small team, we understand that we can’t have our hands on everything that happens in production. It just doesn’t scale, especially given how difficult it can be to hire engineers is this competitive market.

In this post, we’ll take a look at how you can better scale your organization by employing the DevOps best practice of giving engineers fundamental responsibility for their code. Read more “How Threat Stack Does DevOps (Part IV): Making Engineers Accountable”

How to Integrate Security Into a DevOps World


by Pete Cheslock, Senior Director Operations, Threat Stack

Today we’re pleased to have Franklin Mosley, Senior Application Security Engineer at PagerDuty, contribute to our blog.

Drawing on his extensive experience as an information security professional, Franklin takes a detailed look at the how’s and why’s of integrating security into a DevOps environment, and provides great tips on how you can start making the transition to a DevOps culture at your organization.

I have been in security for many years, so I have heard many of my colleagues complain that developers and operations have little regard for security. But my perspective is a little different: I used to be a software engineer, so I understand the challenges faced in getting software developed and deployed. To that end, I want to share some of my experiences in this post, and hopefully pass along some valuable tips on how to effectively integrate security into your DevOps world. Read more “How to Integrate Security Into a DevOps World”

How Threat Stack Does DevOps (Part III): Measuring and Optimizing System Health

One of the most important things that any company can do to benefit from DevOps is define and implement useful, actionable metrics for visibility into business operations.

This is already standard practice in most areas of the average organization. KPIs drive sales and marketing teams, finance groups, and even HR. Yet, at many companies, having metrics for the application that brings in the money is an afterthought — or is not prioritized at all.

In this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at why application and infrastructure metrics should be baked into your engineering organization as early as possible, how to do it, and what tools can enable your success around this key area of DevOps. Read more “How Threat Stack Does DevOps (Part III): Measuring and Optimizing System Health”

How to Achieve Type 2 SOC 2 With Zero Exceptions — Webinar Recap

SOC 2 compliance is one of the most common customer use cases we come across here at Threat Stack. Developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the framework is designed for service providers storing customer data in the cloud, and SaaS companies among others often turn to us as they begin to feel overwhelmed by the requirements.

Having undergone a Type 2 SOC 2 examination ourselves, Threat Stack’s Senior Director of Operations Pete Cheslock, and Senior Infrastructure Security Engineer Pat Cable, gathered for a webinar recently to discuss exactly what we did to achieve SOC 2 compliance with zero exceptions. Read the recap below, or listen to the full webinar here. Read more “How to Achieve Type 2 SOC 2 With Zero Exceptions — Webinar Recap”

How Threat Stack Does DevOps (Part II): Engineering for Rapid Change

Many organizations struggle with how and when to deploy software. I’ve worked at some companies where we had a “deploy week.” This was at least a week (or sometimes even longer) that was completely devoted to deploying huge amounts of software. The changes were so large and complex that deploying them would cause massive amounts of pain and suffering. It took hours every night for a week to deploy them, and it was too difficult to test all the changes one by one. So engineering and operations teams — not to mention customers — had to deal with broken updates until we could fix each one.

Additionally, because of the sheer volume of changes being deployed, the code was difficult to test. Systems would break in unforeseen ways, which led to distractions for engineering teams that would get called in to fix the issues. Imagine losing your entire engineering organization for an entire week every time you push out new software and updates! If this happens once a month, every month, it gets unsustainable fast.

Because I’d experienced this pain firsthand, I wanted Threat Stack to be different when it came to how and when we deploy code. That’s why we worked hard to embed DevOps best practices in our organization from the very beginning, starting with engineering for rapid change. In this post, I’ll walk you through what this means and why it is essential to doing DevOps well. Read more “How Threat Stack Does DevOps (Part II): Engineering for Rapid Change”

Destiny is Defined by the Journey: Acquired by Palo Alto Networks

Congratulations to on having your cloud story acquired by Palo Alto Networks. Your vision, passion, and commitment have been rightly recognized and rewarded.

At Threat Stack we are thrilled by this news — this acquisition further validates the conviction of the IT security market to invest in, and adapt, their approaches to the changing needs of customers driven by broad public cloud adoption. After all, no company is just a software company — they are also quickly becoming a cloud company. Read more “Destiny is Defined by the Journey: Acquired by Palo Alto Networks”

How Threat Stack Does DevOps (Part I): Best Practices in the Wild

As Senior Director of Operations at Threat Stack, I am repeatedly asked one question by our customers: “How does Threat Stack ‘do’ DevOps?”

One of my long-time pet peeves has been the abuse of the term “DevOps.” You can be a DevOps engineer, you can be a Director of DevOps, you can buy DevOps tools. But when people ask me “How does Threat Stack ‘do’ DevOps?”, I imagine them saying “How do you run Technical Operations?” See, it’s my belief that people often struggle at implementing DevOps because they don’t understand the complexity of technical operations. By this I mean managing the complexity of cloud environments, distributed systems, open source and home-built applications — and engineering them all for uptime and availability for customers. This is the crux of what it means to do DevOps well. Read more “How Threat Stack Does DevOps (Part I): Best Practices in the Wild”

52% of Companies Sacrifice Cybersecurity for Speed — Webinar Recap

Our recent survey found that over 50% of companies admit to cutting back on security measures to meet a business deadline or objective. As long as companies are willing to sacrifice security at the altar of speed, the long-held dream of marrying DevOps and security simply won’t become reality.

To speak to the issue, Threat Stack’s Head of Operations, Pete Cheslock, and PagerDuty’s Senior Application Security Engineer, Franklin Mosley, joined the SANS Institute for a recent webinar. You can listen to the full webinar here or read the major takeaways below. Read more “52% of Companies Sacrifice Cybersecurity for Speed — Webinar Recap”

High Visibility Ahead: Building and Using Orchestration to Set Security Priorities

At Threat Stack, we use our own intrusion detection platform to protect Threat Stack. This gives us critical visibility into security events and alerts tied to our AWS infrastructure and instances, an all too popular target. But our infrastructure extends beyond AWS into additional vendor-managed solutions such as Cloudflare, SalesForce, corporate email, and others. So a key question is: How can we not only monitor those platforms, but also use the data from these logs to drive security priorities?

With that in mind, we set out to create a new custom internal app that can receive, store, and perform actions on information from all of these different sources. We opted to build this internal pipeline (some would call this security orchestration) instead of buying an off-the-shelf product because our security team indexes so highly on engineering and programming. We felt we could take an event-driven framework in a language we all knew and easily extend it to meet our needs, incorporating our internal detection and automated response frameworks, a choice we would not have made if our team or organization looked different. Read more “High Visibility Ahead: Building and Using Orchestration to Set Security Priorities”

sockembot: How Threat Stack Added Automation & Visibility to its SOC 2 Change Management Process

At Threat Stack, we often talk about visibility. We have promoted visibility from an operations perspective and have given our customers visibility into their environments through our intrusion detection platform. But when it comes to change management, how do we give ourselves the same level of visibility into our internal process changes at Threat Stack? This became a very real question as we decided to roll out our Type 2 SOC 2 program over the last year, and the answer turned out to be sockembot —  an automated SOC 2 compliance checking bot that we describe in this blog post. Read more “sockembot: How Threat Stack Added Automation & Visibility to its SOC 2 Change Management Process”