The Economic Impact of Threat Stack – A Forrester Research Study

Cost Savings and Business Benefits Enabled by Threat Stack

When investing in cloud security platforms and services, businesses naturally want to measure ROI beyond number of deterred attacks. After all, effective cloud security also protects customer data, intellectual property, organizational resources, organizational efficiency, and team productivity — all of which impact your bottom line.

Recently, we asked Forrester Research group to do a total economic impact study of Threat Stack. Their findings? Businesses that use the Threat Stack platform and services are saving more than $900,000 over three years due to reduced risk, improved productivity, and lowered hiring costs. The Threat Stack Cloud Security Platform® offers complete security observability across your infrastructure. So not only can you identify intrusions or threats, but you can also identify and change risky behavior to improve your baseline security posture, which leads to a greater ROI over time. In fact, Forrester found that Threat Stack customers had an average ROI of 178% over three years. Read more “The Economic Impact of Threat Stack – A Forrester Research Study”

Scala Regex String Extraction

Introduction

— Joe Baker, Manager Software Engineering

From time to time the Engineering, Operations, and Security groups at Threat Stack contribute blog posts that share information on techniques and tools we’ve developed so we can do things faster, more accurately, and with fewer resources. These range from tips for using Scala in the real world, to improving our SOC 2 management process using a home-grown tool called sockembot, to insights into how we manage our on-call rotation using another home-built tool called Deputize (which we’ve since made available as open source).

Today’s post is by Alfredo Perez, one of our software engineers, and focuses on Scala Regex String Extraction.

If there’s anything you’d like to hear about, please Tweet us at @threatstack or contact us directly.

One of my favorite Scala patterns that I’ve learned and used here at Threat Stack is Regex String Extraction with pattern matching. It’s a simple pattern but very powerful for extracting parts of a string and very readable. The power comes from the use of regular expression groups combined with the pattern matching of Scala. Read more “Scala Regex String Extraction”

The Promise of Machine Learning vs. The Reality of Human Assisted Learning

Machine Learning (ML) has been around in one form or another for a long time. Arthur Samuel, started working in the field in 1949 and coined the term in 1959 while working at IBM. Over the years, ML applications have been developed in practically every industry sector.

Recently, we’ve been hearing a lot about “silver bullet” ML-based cybersecurity solutions that can single handedly and automatically enable short-staffed security teams to identify and mitigate every kind of security threat imaginable. Of course, silver bullet solutions are as old as security itself, and by definition, they’re almost always too good to be true. So is the current crop of ML-driven cybersecurity solutions real or hype?

Given that a lot of hype has a few grains of truth in it, let’s use this post to look at the promise, the marketing hype, and the reality — at what ML can do and cannot do in its current state (with a peek at what it might be able to do sometime down the road). (Spoiler Alert: The operative word in this blog’s title is “promise.”) Read more “The Promise of Machine Learning vs. The Reality of Human Assisted Learning”

The Difference Between Security Trick Plays and Security Fundamentals

I like watching great football plays on YouTube, but I especially like watching trick plays where players sell some sort of deception so their opponents take their eyes off the ball. Trick plays make great video clips and can win a football game if deployed at the right moment, but there’s a reason “blocking and tackling” are the fundamental skills, tasks, and roles necessary to function. Trick plays might be able to help a team win a football game, but if you show up without “blocking and tackling,” you’re definitely going to have a bad day. I bring this up because sometimes we confuse the trick plays with the fundamentals, and we do so at our own peril. That does not mean trick plays are bad or not helpful; it just means we can’t forget about the “blocking and tackling.”

These days we hear a lot of hullabaloo about machine learning (ML), and with good reason. However, it’s quickly becoming the “trick play” of security, the flashy new toy that leads people to overlook the “blocking and tackling” fundamentals. Read more “The Difference Between Security Trick Plays and Security Fundamentals”

Transforming Alert Fatigue Into Proactive Security Management

In a recent study, 72% of CISOs stated that their teams are facing alert fatigue, while 82% of respondents to a Threat Stack survey indicated that alert fatigue is having a negative impact on their organization’s well-being and productivity.

Traditional approaches to managing security alerts have often driven teams into a reactive mode where they’re overwhelmed by huge volumes of noisy alerts or spend far too much time gathering information and digging around in log files. If this proliferation of data is transformed into relevant and actionable intelligence, however, teams can overcome alert fatigue, identify and respond to critical issues in real time, and reduce risk continuously over time.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some best practices on how you can move away from reactive, ad hoc tactics and adopt a structured, proactive approach by making alerts a key element of your overall information security strategy. Read more “Transforming Alert Fatigue Into Proactive Security Management”

Machine Learning, Signatures, Rules, & Behaviors — Tips on Navigating Modern Cloud Security Solutions

Cloud security is one of the most rapidly changing technology landscapes out there. And naturally, the market for security tools is also constantly evolving as stakeholders continue to develop an understanding of how important a mature security posture is to the entire organization — from innovation to sales to ongoing brand and customer success.

Throughout the industry, different security solutions solve different problems for different types of businesses: There is no “one-size-fits-all-cloud-security-silver-bullet.” Being able to cut through the hype, promises, and buzz to figure out which solutions are actually suited to your specific use cases can be a challenge.

So in this post, we’re offering guidance on what some of the broader categories of cloud security solutions do and do not offer, and how they deliver security information and alerts to their end users. In turn, we’ll take a look at using Network IDS tools, using point solutions to build your own security stack, jumping into the emerging world of machine learning (ML), and deploying a comprehensive cloud security platform that not only provides a wide range of security functionality but also integrates security into your existing DevOps workflows and provides a foundation for constantly improving your security maturity. Read more “Machine Learning, Signatures, Rules, & Behaviors — Tips on Navigating Modern Cloud Security Solutions”

Leveraging Threat Stack’s Out-of-the-Box Rulesets and Single View for Managing Multiple AWS Accounts

Increasingly, AWS users are leveraging multiple accounts to manage their infrastructure. While doing so is a recommended best practice that enables users to achieve the highest levels of resource and security isolation and to optimize operational costs, it can also increase the amount of time and effort required for effective administration and remediation.

As a remedy to this problem (and “account sprawl” in general), and as a means of providing more granular alerting and actionable data, Threat Stack has built two key functionalities into its Cloud Security Platform®:

  • The ability to view multiple AWS accounts from one central location: Our unified view reduces admin time and provides significant convenience because end users no longer need to gather information and alerts from multiple accounts. This means you can focus on business issues and not administration!
  • Rulesets that are focused on giving more granular alerting and context to your interactions with the AWS control plane: Our extensive out-of-the-box rulesets give customers increased control plane visibility and more granular tracking of AWS API actions within their accounts, and you still have the flexibility of creating new rules and modifying existing rules (as we have previously documented.)

Read on for more details. Read more “Leveraging Threat Stack’s Out-of-the-Box Rulesets and Single View for Managing Multiple AWS Accounts”

Kubernetes Security Tips & Best Practices

Recently, there has been a significant upswing in the adoption of containerized environments. In light of this, we’ve written a number of posts that focus on the advantages that containers afford and ways to ensure that you’re following security best practices when deploying and operating them. Most recently, we published Docker Security Tips & Best Practices, which identifies common container security issues together with best practices for reducing risk and increasing operational efficiency in containerized environments.

Along with the spike in container adoption, there has been a corresponding uptake in the use of container orchestration platforms, so in this post, we’re providing tips on how to address security issues when using Kubernetes, the most widely adopted container orchestration platform. Read more “Kubernetes Security Tips & Best Practices”

Docker Security Tips & Best Practices

Docker is a software platform that makes it easier to create, deploy, and run applications. Recently there has been a major surge in the adoption of this technology — and while it offers significant benefits, it also presents security challenges. Some of the advantages center on the fact that your applications are loaded into a private namespace and the required dependencies are codified, and when using Docker, developers can package all the parts needed to run an application stack and ship it out as one unit. But if container ecosystems aren’t properly designed, deployed, and managed, they can create problems that offset or undermine the benefits.

To put you on the path to effective and secure usage, this post identifies common security issues and outlines best practices for reducing risk and increasing operational efficiency in containerized environments. (If you want additional resources to brush up on your Docker skills, take a look at our list of 50 useful Docker Tutorials for IT professionals.) Read more “Docker Security Tips & Best Practices”

20 Developers and Kubernetes Experts Reveal the Biggest Mistakes People Make During the Transition to Kubernetes

Making the transition from virtual machines to containers is a complex process that can take some time, particularly for larger, more complex environments. Users are drawn to Kubernetes’ container-centric environment, as well as its ability to enable portability across infrastructure providers. Kubernetes also offers broad applicability; for the most part, an application that runs well in a container will run well on Kubernetes. These, along with myriad other benefits, are what make the transition to Kubernetes worthwhile for many applications. Not up-to-date on the ins and outs of Kubernetes? Check out our list of 50 Useful Kubernetes Tutorials for IT Professionals to get started.

Because the process can be both lengthy and complex, mistakes are common during a transition. First, it’s important to understand that Kubernetes is not a silver bullet. Organizations that adopt container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes before they really understand the technology are more vulnerable to configuration errors. There are also some important Kubernetes security considerations, such as blast radius (how far a malicious party can gain access beyond the initial point of compromise), that leave certain components of a cluster more vulnerable. That’s why it’s important to build security into your deployment as early as possible. To find out where your security maturity level stands, take our Cloud SecOps Maturity Assessment, and learn more about how Threat Stack can secure your containerized environments.

If you’re ready to get started with your infrastructure transformation, there are other pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. To help you get off on the right foot and avoid common mistakes, we reached out to a panel of developers and Kubernetes experts and asked them to answer this question:

“What’s the biggest mistake people make during the transition to Kubernetes?”

Read more “20 Developers and Kubernetes Experts Reveal the Biggest Mistakes People Make During the Transition to Kubernetes”