101 AWS Security Tips & Quotes, Part 1: Essential Security Practices

With more companies than ever leveraging cloud services like AWS, and with cloud environments becoming more and more complex, it’s imperative that organizations develop comprehensive, proactive security strategies that build security in from Day 1 and evolve as their infrastructures scale to keep systems and data secure.

To help as you create a strong security posture for your organization, we’ve compiled a list of 101 AWS security tips and quotes from cloud experts and security thought leaders (including a few from Threat Stack).

To make the list manageable, we’ve divided it into four separate blog posts, which we’ll publish over the next few weeks:

  • Part 1: Essential Security Practices
  • Part 2: Securing Your AWS Environment
  • Part 3: Best Practices for Using Security Groups in AWS
  • Part 4: AWS Security Best Practices

Read more “101 AWS Security Tips & Quotes, Part 1: Essential Security Practices”

Why an Infrastructure Transition is the Perfect Time to Invest in Security

You’re in the midst of an infrastructure transition, and you have a million and one things on your plate. Whether you are deploying containers for the first time or configuring your orchestration tool, dealing with evolving infrastructure can be overwhelming, so security can surely wait, right? Wrong!

The problem with delaying security until your new infrastructure is up and running is the exposure risk your organization will have in its environments. When you put off security until a crisis occurs, you miss the important strategic advantages gained by integrating a security program into your operations from Day 1. Meanwhile, as security sits on the backburner, your new infrastructure is left perilously exposed.

Remediating an attack is always more troublesome, costly, time consuming, and damaging than getting security right in the first place. Therefore, it’s vital to build a culture of security from the beginning and to continuously reinforce it. Here are three reasons why the perfect time to invest in security is when you’re transforming your infrastructure. Read more “Why an Infrastructure Transition is the Perfect Time to Invest in Security”

5 Statistics That Prove Why Your Security Posture Can’t Be Purely Reactive

While reacting to alerts and incidents after they occur will always be a reality of the security professional’s job, a purely reactive security approach is simply not effective given the way that today’s technical infrastructures and the cyber ecosystem itself have become ever more complex. With organizations adopting new technologies — spreading sensitive data across different cloud servers, service providers, containers, and even various SaaS platforms — it’s essential that they begin to take a more proactive approach to security.

This means putting in place repeatable processes and automating as much of your infrastructure as possible, leaving behind time-consuming, inefficient, and costly ad hoc tactics. It also means integrating Security with Development and Operations from the outset, and prioritizing communication between teams to attain positive business outcomes.

Failing to establish a proactive security posture runs you the risk of becoming a statistic, as you’ll see below. Here are five figures that may provide you with just the motivation you need to get started. Read more “5 Statistics That Prove Why Your Security Posture Can’t Be Purely Reactive”

How to Use Threat Stack to Reduce Mean Time To Know

Mean Time To Detect (MTTD) and Mean Time To Know (MTTK) are two of the most important metrics in security operations. Respectively, they measure the following:

  • MTTD: How quickly you can identify something and generate an alert. It determines how fast you’re notified when something suspicious happens anywhere in your cloud or on-premises environment. Today, most security tools keep MTTD low, so you probably receive alerts pretty quickly.
  • MTTK: How fast you can sort signal from noise when you get an alert. It measures how efficient the security team is at detecting real threats and understanding what those threats are. The shorter MTTK is, the sooner you will catch an attack in progress and be able to put a stop to it, reducing the negative consequences for your organization.

You can probably see why MTTK is a lot harder to make an impact on. It’s like seeing how fast you can find a needle in a haystack. Difficult, to say the least!  

To begin, security teams are barraged with alerts on a daily basis, requiring manual work to sift through the noise to find a signal that indicates a real issue. Add on all the other tasks that need to be done aside from alert investigations, and it’s seemingly impossible to get ahead.

This is where automation comes in. Automation not only eliminates the need to manually handle tedious tasks (like alert response). It also helps you to optimize your existing resources, empowering them to actually focus on MTTK and get it under control.

In this post, therefore, we’ll take a closer look at how the Threat Stack Cloud Security Platform® can help you integrate security into your operations from the start so you can optimize alert handling and significantly reduce your MTTK. Read more “How to Use Threat Stack to Reduce Mean Time To Know”

What is AWS PCI Compliance?

A Definition of AWS PCI Compliance, Benefits, Requirements, and More

If your organization processes credit or debit card payments, PCI compliance is essential. If you are a merchant of any size accepting credit cards, you must be in compliance with PCI Security Standards. In this post, I’m going to walk you through what you need to know about AWS PCI compliance to ensure compliance in the cloud. Read more “What is AWS PCI Compliance?”

How to Develop An Incident Response Checklist for Your SaaS Business

Earlier this week, we published a post that explains how to develop an Incident Response Plan (IRP) to prepare for when an incident inevitably impacts your SaaS business. In addition to having an Incident Response Plan that identifies your critical systems, data, risk profile, stakeholders, and so on, it’s vital to have an Incident Checklist that lays out the main action steps to take when an incident actually occurs — thereby ensuring that you’re able to respond, stay on track, and address priorities in a thorough and logical fashion.

With that in mind, this post tells you what to include in an Incident Response Checklist by outlining the main steps and action items you should take from the time you first become aware that an incident might be occurring, through the subsequent investigation and remediation stages, and on to the post-incident phase where you focus on making improvements that will help you handle future incidents more effectively. Read more “How to Develop An Incident Response Checklist for Your SaaS Business”

Group Fines Under the GDPR

How Multinational Companies May be Affected by Their Subsidiaries’ Noncompliance

Introduction

— by Lindsey Ullian, Threat Stack Compliance Manager

Preparing for GDPR was similar to preparing for Y2K — heads down grinding with anxiety running high, only to find that May 25th came and went without a peep. So what was all that hard work and worry for, anyway? What drove all the privacy emails and data inventorying within companies? In all honesty, it was most likely driven by the high consequences that a company might suffer as a result of noncompliance. But just because your company is now “GDPR ready,” does that mean you’re safe from heavy fines?

Not necessarily. The noncompliance of other companies just might make you vulnerable.

In this post, Kevin Kish, Privacy Technical Lead with Schellman & Company, explains how you may be affected by your subsidiaries’ noncompliance and how you can manage the risk.
Read more “Group Fines Under the GDPR”

How to Develop an Incident Response Plan for Your SaaS Business

According to a 2018 IBM study on cybersecurity resilience, 77 percent of firms surveyed lack proper incident response plans, while 69 percent report insufficient funding for cyber resiliency. Where does your organization stand on this critical issue?

It’s best to accept that it’s not a matter of if your SaaS organization will encounter a security incident at some point in its lifetime but rather when. Operating within today’s security landscape, the time to “when” is shrinking daily. Therefore, it’s critical to develop a strong Incident Response Plan (IRP) before a threat hits, so you’re in a position to respond quickly and effectively.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the basic steps of putting an IRP in place so you can stay in control when an incident inevitably occurs and thereby reduce disruption, damage, recovery time, and costs. Read more “How to Develop an Incident Response Plan for Your SaaS Business”

50 Essential Cloud Security Blogs for IT Professionals and Cloud Enthusiasts

With revenue from the cloud computing sector expected to hit $411 billion by 2020, it’s no wonder that more and more companies are shifting their services to the cloud where flexibility and speed make it attractive for organizations looking to leverage a strong competitive edge. But operating in the cloud also gives rise to a range of security concerns.

We’re doing our part with the Threat Stack Cloud Security Platform® and our newly launched Threat Stack Cloud SecOps Program℠. And since we believe that informed people make better decisions, we’ve made it part of our mission since day one to pass on reliable security information through the Threat Stack blog. Given the rapid pace of change in cybersecurity — along with the growing need to deal with infrastructure in transition as organizations build and manage increasingly sophisticated tech stacks — current, expert content is essential to good security.

Now, as proud as we are of our own blog, there’s a huge amount of excellent information produced by other organizations. So in this post, we’ve compiled details on fifty leading blogs that help professionals stay abreast of the latest news, information, and technologies related to cloud security. Read more “50 Essential Cloud Security Blogs for IT Professionals and Cloud Enthusiasts”

Infrastructure in Transition: Securing Containers

Organizations are migrating from virtual server workloads to containers at a frenzied pace, buying into the increasingly popular technology and taking advantage of containers’ many benefits in terms of agility. The application container market is set to explode, according to 451 Research: Annual revenue is expected to increase by 400% over a period of five years, growing from $749 million in 2016 to more than $3.4 billion by 2021.

It’s not hard to see why. Containers are simple to deploy and provide users with greater operational flexibility and compute density, resulting in an optimized build pipeline. Turning to a container orchestration platform, such as Kubernetes, removes an additional layer of operational complexity for even greater ease of deployment and management.

However, a transition in infrastructure is never simple, and along with the advantages come new security challenges. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the risks you should consider before diving headfirst into a container environment, as well as some solutions for mitigating them. Read more “Infrastructure in Transition: Securing Containers”