This is the second post in our new series of weekly blog posts that dives into the role of SecDevOps. This series looks into why we need it in our lives, how we may go about implementing this methodology, and real life stories of how SecDevOps can save the Cloud.
The only thing hotter than the streets of Manhattan last week was the New York AWS Summit! The event was packed with AWS users and those exploring moving into the cloud. In fact, there were so many users there that they ran out of badges!
This is the first part of a new series of weekly posts that will dive into the role of SecDevOps. This series looks into why we need it in our lives, how we may go about implementing this methodology, and real life stories of how SecDevOps can save the Cloud.
Read more “Why SecDevOps Will Save The Cloud”
Next Thursday, we will be at the AWS Summit 2014 in New York meeting with AWS users from across the country — many of which are our own customers — as well as leading the discussion around the intersection of Security, Development and Operations and what that means for continuous monitoring in EC2.
One of the great things about the cloud is the ability for companies to grow and shrink their infrastructure elastically to meet varying levels of demand. What many people don’t think about is how to secure this sprawl of cloud compute instances. As new systems are deployed, how do you enforce a policy on them? How do you look for anomalous behavior when an instance hasn’t been up long enough to determine a baseline?
Cloud Sight has solved this problem from day 1 with our policy framework. Our policies encompass all attributes of an instance’s security posture: alert rules, file integrity rules, firewall rules, so many rules! But also, each policy has a unique, learned behavioral model associated with it. For example, an Apache web server process doesn’t usually fork /bin/sh. When our agent is activated, the instance’s baseline is already established from its peers which enables us to immediately start monitoring for anomalies.
We’re excited to introduce the initial release of the Cloud Sight API. When we first launched Cloud Sight, we started by solving the problem of heterogeneous cloud security monitoring. At the same time, we baked the API into the core of our product to deliver the most flexible cloud security solution available.
Case Study: Populi Runs a Tight Ship Using Threat Stack’s Complete Cloud Security Monitoring
Populi provides a SaaS-based college management platform, allowing people, academics, admissions, billing, scheduling, and communications to work together seamlessly in the cloud. A customer and security-focused company, Populi cares deeply about what customer data their tools and systems are transmitting. They know what’s at stake and provide to users everything from encrypted logins to PCI-compliant technology and daily backups.
While Populi has many enterprise-grade security practices in place, they were still not confident that every aspect of their environment was being properly monitored. Populi had a network IDS in place but did not have complete visibility into the activity on their growing number of hosted systems. James Hill, CTO of Populi, needed the peace of mind that he could view everything from server logins to logged in activity so he could be alerted as soon as possible about any potential malicious activity.
In addition, it is important that they always meet and exceed PCI requirements since they work with highly confidential information. “Anyone who is responsible should go beyond regulations to protect customer data,” Hill explained. To do this, they needed to move their logs off site to a centralized location. This all led him to Threat Stack’s flagship product, Cloud Sight.
“I selected Cloud Sight because it allows me to centrally monitor the security of our systems and reassures me that no one has been on our servers since the last time my team and I logged in,” said Hill. “Cloud Sight does everything I need; it acts as a ‘burglar alarm’, alerting me when anything suspicious happens.”
In addition, they now have centralized off-server logs available indefinitely on Cloud Sight, exceeding their compliance regulations.
Now, Hill and his team can confidently say that they have a proactive security posture across their entire environment. Especially after the Heartbleed Bug was announced, he was glad to have Cloud Sight in place. “Getting Cloud Sight allowed us to stop maintaining individual packages on individual boxes and aggregate ourselves,” said Hill. While Cloud Sight monitors their systems 24/7, the Populi team is able to focus on the core of their business and sleep easier at night.
Populi is also even better positioned to protect their client data from any incident small or large, as they are now exceedingly compliant to PCI, HIPAA, and FERPA regulations.
Since installing Cloud Sight by Threat Stack, Populi:
- Rests assured that they have the right heterogeneous cloud security monitoring in place
- Exceeds PCI, HIPAA, and FERPA regulations to protect client data
- Can fix potential security issues before anyone else can try to capitalize on a vulnerability
Unlike traditional providers, Cloud Sight is built for heterogeneous cloud environments and instantly provisions new instances, alleviating resources so that Populi can instead focus on the core of their business.
Threat Stack offers Cloud Sight worldwide on subscription and consumption-based cloud appropriate pricing models with an easy self-service account set up. If you are interested in deploying Cloud Sight’s security monitoring solution for your business, visit http://threatstack.com or contact us today at [email protected].
Right on the heels of traveling out to Monitorama in Portland, OR, we will be making a splash at BSides Boston. Having been to several BSides events across the country in the past, we’re excited to immerse ourselves in this one — and right in our own backyard!
Mark Thomas and Bill Young of Threat Stack will be speaking at BSides, expanding the local security community on topics of cloud security monitoring and operations security.
Schedule (full schedule here)
Mark Thomas, our Principal Software Engineer, will be speaking on “Smarter Detection and Faster Incident Response”.
When: Friday, May 9th at 2:20pm
Wrapping things up for us, Bill Young, our Senior Infrastructure Engineer, will be speaking on “Security Monitoring for DevOps”.
When: Saturday, May 10th at 4pm
We look forward to being among many other top-tier security experts in the local Boston area and contributing to the next big innovations in cloud security.
Threat Stack is making its first appearance at Monitorama this year in Portland, OR. One of the largest open source conferences and hackathons for developers and web operations experts, Monitorama invites those who are advancing the state of open source monitoring in a big way.