24 DevOps Pros Reveal the Most Important Characteristic of a Successful DevOps Engineer

There’s no precisely defined career track for DevOps engineers because they’re typically developers or sysadmins who develop an interest in other aspects of operations — such as network operations, deployment, or coding and scripting. Yet with more companies turning to DevOps to deliver products and updates more rapidly, there’s a growing demand for these multi-faceted professionals, and they’re playing an ever-more prominent role in modern companies.

Without a clear-cut career track to lead to a role as a DevOps engineer, companies hire and promote these professionals based on past experience and skillsets. But what characteristics are most important to ensure success as a DevOps engineer? To gain some insight into the skills, talents, and traits that today’s top DevOps engineers need in order to succeed, we reached out to a panel of DevOps pros and engineers and asked them to answer this question:

“What is the most important characteristic of a successful DevOps engineer?”

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How to Transform Alert Fatigue Into Proactive Security Management — 4 Must-Read Blog Posts

The cybersecurity talent shortage is real, with an estimated 1.8 million unfilled roles expected by 2020. And with 72% of CISOs claiming that their teams are facing alert fatigue, there’s not a lot of margin for error when it comes to getting accurate, context-rich alerts in front of under-resourced teams.

Traditional approaches to managing security alerts have often driven teams into a reactive mode where they’re overwhelmed by huge volumes of alerts or spend way too much critical time gathering information and digging around in log files. If this proliferation of data can be transformed into actionable intelligence, however, teams can become significantly more proactive and reduce risk over time.

Today, we’ll take a look at four must-read Threat Stack blog posts that provide great advice on how you can more away from reactive, ad hoc tactics and adopt a more structured, proactive approach by making alerts a key element of your overall information security strategy. Read more “How to Transform Alert Fatigue Into Proactive Security Management — 4 Must-Read Blog Posts”

21 InfoSec and AWS Experts Reveal the #1 Mistake Companies Make When It Comes to AWS Security (and How to Avoid It)

More companies are moving to the cloud than ever before. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the most popular cloud platforms, and for good reason: AWS provides a robust set of features and services that give it broad appeal among businesses of all sizes. But when it comes to security, many companies continue to fall short, putting their sensitive data at risk. In a recent Threat Stack study, for example, we discovered that 73% of companies have at least one critical AWS security misconfiguration that enables an attacker to gain access directly to private services or the AWS console, or that could be used to mask criminal activity from monitoring technologies.

To gain some insight into the biggest (and potentially most devastating) mistakes companies are making related to AWS security as well as tips and strategies for avoiding them, we reached out to a panel of InfoSec pros and AWS experts and asked them to answer this question:

“What’s the number one mistake companies make when it comes to AWS security (and how can they avoid it)?”

Read more “21 InfoSec and AWS Experts Reveal the #1 Mistake Companies Make When It Comes to AWS Security (and How to Avoid It)”

20 Dev Leaders and Hiring Managers Reveal Their Favorite DevOps Interview Questions

We champion a security-first DevOps culture at Threat Stack, and I’ve had the opportunity of building DevOps best practices into the company since its earliest days. In our experience, this is the best way of simultaneously reducing risk and achieving peak operational efficiency.

Getting the right players on your DevOps team is crucial to this goal, of course. But how do you filter out the star players from the mediocre? Beyond a careful analysis of a candidate’s background and experience, asking the right interview questions can reveal valuable insights that make it possible to find the ideal candidate to complement your existing team’s skill sets and personalities.

To find out what questions today’s dev leaders turn to during interviews for these all-important insights, we reached out to a panel of hiring managers and dev team leaders and asked them to answer this question:

“What’s your favorite DevOps interview question (and why)?”

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Profile of an Ideal Security Hire in 2018

It seems that organizations are finally understanding the importance of bridging the gap between security and operations. In a survey we conducted recently, 85% of respondents said that employing SecOps best practices is an important goal for their organizations. Nevertheless, only 35% reported that SecOps is currently an established practice.

When it comes to the ideal of marrying security and operations, many are held back by a lack of expertise. The cybersecurity skills gap has created a severe talent drought in the industry, which is expected to leave 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs open by 2021.

It’s worth looking at what the qualities of an ideal security hire are in today’s business climate, and why it’s so difficult to find these types of professionals. In this post, we’ll outline the skill sets that cybersecurity professionals need to cultivate in the age of the cloud, explain why that ideal is so hard to find, and offer practical advice for moving your SecOps program forward, regardless of who you’re able to bring on your team full-time. Read more “Profile of an Ideal Security Hire in 2018”

What Happens When You Sacrifice Security for Speed (And Common Ways Security Gets Sacrificed)

No matter where you sit in your organization, you should know what happens when you sacrifice security for speed. Threat Stack recently surveyed DevOps and security pros and found that more than half (52%) of companies make this very sacrifice, cutting back on security measures to meet a business deadline or objective. Additionally, 62% of security professionals surveyed stated that their Operations teams push back when asked to deploy secure technology — often because Ops fears it will slow things down.

This might not seem like a large problem until you consider what actually happens when you sacrifice security for speed. By putting speed above security best practices, you open your organization up to breaches and attacks. But ironically, contrary to the belief of some operations professionals, applying security best practices doesn’t necessarily require you to slow down forever.

In this post, the fourth in our SecOps survey series, we’re sharing what happens when you sacrifice security for speed, as well as some best practices your organization should apply in all circumstances. Read more “What Happens When You Sacrifice Security for Speed (And Common Ways Security Gets Sacrificed)”

5 Tips for Managing Security for APIs

Creating APIs for your SaaS products provides invaluable benefits to your customers, allowing developers to plug into your resources and bring their products to market more quickly and efficiently than ever before. An API also allows you to integrate easily with other SaaS organizations, expanding your range of functionality to offer customers new features, increase your inherent value as a provider, and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

As with most beneficial technology, however, APIs are not without their risks. Exposing your APIs can leave you vulnerable to theft of API keys, a fairly easy way for cybercriminals to carry out denial of service attacks if you haven’t implemented the right security measures. These attacks overwhelm your server with data requests, crippling the availability of your product, and even costing you money, should the attackers demand a ransom.

At Threat Stack, we recently released Version 2 of our REST API, which serves as a way for customers to connect to our organization and extract critical information around security concerns in their environments. With Version 2, we have incorporated updates to meet industry best practices and to better protect ourselves and our customers’ data. Drawing on this experience, we have outlined below the ways in which you as a SaaS company can better manage security for your own APIs. Read more “5 Tips for Managing Security for APIs”

3 Security Best Practices We Used to Build a Strong Foundation at Threat Stack

As a security company, Threat Stack prioritized the implementation of security best practices from day one. To share our experience, this post focuses on three basic best practices our engineering team implemented when we first started out. They’re quick to set up and can produce measurable improvements right out of the gate — and for that reason, we believe they’re table stakes for anyone building a technology business in the cloud. Read more “3 Security Best Practices We Used to Build a Strong Foundation at Threat Stack”

How Sigstr Built Customer Trust with Threat Stack and AWS Security — Webinar Recap

On April 24, I had a great conversation with Sam Smith, the Chief Architect for Sigstr, a fast-growing SaaS platform for email signature marketing. Sigstr’s infrastructure is hosted and managed on AWS and secured by Threat Stack. Every day, Sigstr consumes and processes employee contact information from HRIS systems, customer information from marketing automation platforms, and email behavior data — which makes cloud security and data privacy key concerns for both Sigstr and its customers.

Sam’s team is a great model of how to make security a top business differentiator and sales driver. Since many of Sigstr’s customers are enterprise companies with significant risk concerns, the team has consistently been responsive to questions such as:

  • How does Sigstr access, store, and protect data?
  • How is the application’s infrastructure monitored and secured?
  • Had Sigstr undergone SOC 2 compliance or ISO 27001 compliance audits?
  • How could Sigstr help them meet GDPR requirements?

During the webinar, he shared information on how the startup managed to be so responsive to its customers’ security needs, while still maintaining a rapid pace of growth. Read more “How Sigstr Built Customer Trust with Threat Stack and AWS Security — Webinar Recap”

How to Use Alerts to Become More Proactive About Security

We all understand the importance of being proactive about our health. Rather than waiting for symptoms of disease to land us in the ER, we eat healthy, exercise, and see our doctors annually (or at least we know we should!). So why do so many organizations fail to understand the importance of taking a proactive approach to security?

While many companies today are stuck in a mode where they’re continually reacting to alerts, true security maturity means using actionable alerts to proactively become more effective and to reduce risk over time. In this post, we’ll discuss how you can take a more proactive approach to alerting in order to strengthen your overall cloud security posture.

Read more “How to Use Alerts to Become More Proactive About Security”