AWS re:Inforce 2019 | June 25–26, 2019 | Boston, MA
Attending cloud security conferences is critical for cloud security professionals, and AWS is stepping up to the plate with AWS re:Inforce — its first-ever conference focused exclusively on cloud security.
This event will benefit security professionals who need the latest technical know-how and is a must for anyone who works with security in the cloud, especially those who work with AWS. It’s going to be a worthwhile event for security professionals, developers, systems architects, engineers, decision-makers, and more.
Join Threat Stack at AWS re:Inforce 2019
Amazon AWS re:Inforce 2019 will take place June 25 and 26 at the Boston Convention and Exhibit Center. As a proud Gold Sponsor headquartered just down the road in downtown Boston, Threat Stack is looking forward to seeing you at the show!
As we get closer to re:Inforce 2019, we’ll share more details about what we’ll be up to at the event. For now, make sure to pencil in the Threat Stack After Party at City Tap on June 25 starting at 6 p.m.
In the meantime, it’s never too early to start planning your re:Inforce (and Boston) agenda.
If you’re planning to attend Amazon’s first security-focused conference, here’s what you need to know to get the most out of AWS re:Inforce 2019:
- The Difference Between AWS re:Inforce and AWS re:Invent
- Topics Covered at AWS re:Inforce
- Hands-on Learning Beyond Theory
- Other Activities at AWS re:Inforce
- How to Get the Most out of Your AWS re:Inforce Experience
- More Resources on AWS re:Inforce 2019 (and Boston)
1. The Difference Between AWS re:Inforce and AWS re:Invent
While AWS re:Invent is a massive show that covers all aspects of the cloud, AWS re:Inforce is hyperfocused on security. AWS re:Invent looks at best practices in all areas of cloud computing and also provides learning opportunities for attendees to get up to speed on the latest tools, services, and features of AWS. At re:Invent, you’ll learn about topics such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, security, networking, compute, databases, storage, and analytics.
At re:Inforce, on the other hand, attendees will have a chance to engage in focused sessions on cloud security and hear from some of the leading minds in the cloud security space. With its modules and sessions, you can learn more about best practices in cloud security as well as the risk management strategies you can use with AWS tools, features, and services.
Beginners will be able to learn basic security practices in the cloud, while more advanced attendees can dive into compliance and auditing topics. This means that AWS re:Inforce will be a worthwhile event for everyone who is interested in using AWS.
2. Topics Covered at AWS re:Inforce
While the bulk of the agenda is yet to be announced, buzz is already starting to build around the keynote featuring AWS CISO Steve Schmidt, which will undoubtedly include exciting new solutions, features, and products.
We’ll update you as the agenda becomes available, but AWS re:Inforce promises to be rich with content, and you can expect talks on:
- Infrastructure security
- DDoS mitigation
- Data encryption
- Inventory and configuration
- Monitoring and logging
- Identity and access control
- Penetration testing
- And more
3. Hands-on Learning Beyond Theory
As with most AWS events, there will be plenty of opportunity to get hands-on training at AWS re:Inforce.
The technical bootcamps offer a chance to hone your existing skills and learn new ones. They cost $225 or $450, depending on the topic, and each bootcamp session lasts four hours.
Two sessions that you should consider are:
The AWS Certified Security – Specialty exam will gauge and validate your technical experience and skills when securing architectures and workloads on AWS. If you have at least two years’ of hands-on experience deploying and architecting cloud environments on AWS, you should check out this bootcamp. This session will help you prepare for the certification exam by outlining the domain areas that will be included on it. You can also review sample questions and get tips on how to interpret various concepts that are included in the exam.
Meanwhile, Building Serverless Compliance-as-Code will teach you about automating the evaluation of recorded configurations against desired configurations, from a security and well-architected perspective. This half-day bootcamp is for advanced security professionals who want to learn more about compliance-as-code while using AWS.
AWS re:Inforce has a number of breakout sessions that cover an extensive range of topics (including identity and access management, detective controls, infrastructure security, data protection, incident response, governance, risk, and compliance) and cater to different skill levels.
The Intermediate (200) Level sessions will give attendees an overview of AWS features and services that are relevant to security. These sessions are great for people who are new to AWS security and will delve into basic use cases, functions, benefits, and features.
Advanced (300) Level breakout sessions will focus on specific AWS security areas. These are great for those who are already familiar with the topics being discussed. Hands-on experience, however, is not required.
Finally, the Expert (400) Level sessions are for those who have already implemented solutions using AWS security tools, features, or functionality. You should be comfortable with how these work with multiple implementations, architectures, and services. Most of the presentations will involve code, advanced topics, and future developments.
The Hands-on Labs will allow you to practice what you have learned in a sandbox environment. You can learn at your own pace and choose from a range of topics, from foundational to expert. You should allow up to 60 minutes for each lab in your schedule.
Some of the security-related labs include:
- Programming AWS Security Token Service (STS) with .NET
- Monitoring Security Groups with AWS Config
- Auditing Your Security with AWS Trusted Advisor
- Updating Security Groups Automatically Using AWS Lambda
- Monitoring Security Groups with Amazon CloudWatch Events
- Performing a Basic Audit of your AWS Environment
- EMR File System Client-Side Encryption Using AWS KMS-Managed Keys
- AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell: Getting Started
- Introduction to Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
- Introduction to AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
- Introduction to AWS Key Management Service
- SQL Server in Amazon EC2: Getting Started
The Security Jam is AWS re:Inforce’s version of a hackathon. AWS will give participants incident response scenarios that they’ll need to solve. You can learn new skills and get to use a wide variety of AWS services and features while performing incident investigation and recovery.
If you hit a roadblock, AWS engineers and experts will be on hand to provide guidance and ideas, helping you to create cloud-native solutions.
4. Other Activities at AWS re:Inforce
AWS re:Inforce also has the Security Learning Hub, which is the event’s expo experience. Here, you can get your hands on the latest tools, services, and features offered by AWS. Product engineers and team leaders will be on hand to answer your questions.
If you have always been interested in a particular AWS feature but aren’t sure how to apply it in real-life situations, take advantage of the demo theaters. AWS and their partners will conduct 30-minute demos that will show you real-world applications of AWS security.
If you’re getting saturated with all the cloud security sessions, or you’re waiting for the next session to start, you can take a break at the Jam Lounge. Here, you’ll be able to complete challenges at your own pace, learn new skills, or show off your current know-how by solving simulated security incidents.
AWS re:Inforce invites you to take part in a Capture the Flag event that runs throughout the conference, and simulates real-world incident response and scenarios. Teams work to protect their infrastructure (their flag) against a number of escalating events. They’re provided with an AWS environment that is already running and have to design and implement detective and preventive controls that do not impede their application’s availability.
Wrapping up the show, the Closing Reception on Wednesday, June 26 from 6:00–9:00 p.m. will be an opportunity to connect with fellow attendees, play games, and enjoy live music. It’ll be a great place to unwind before heading home.
5. How to Get the Most out of Your AWS re:Inforce Experience
Here are a few suggestions on how to get the most from your AWS re:Inforce experience.
1. Choose the right Levels.
The talks are grouped according to Level. If you are an intermediate learner, you might want to stick to Level 200 talks. For those who are more advanced, you can join the Level 300 sessions, while the Level 400 sessions are for experts.
2. Choose the right Tracks.
Four tracks are offered:
- The Foundation: Allows you to bridge any gaps you have on any cloud security topic. You get all the basic information on security as well as the tools and services you can use.
- Governance, Risk, & Compliance: Gives you everything you need for a successful audit of your cloud environment, from migration to use. You will also learn how to automate tasks related to compliance by using various frameworks and services. You will further learn about the best practices in this area.
- Security Deep Dive: If you want to explore cloud security topics in a more in-depth manner and learn more about a particular service or tool, this track is for you. You will learn about operational excellence, improvement, and automation.
- Security Pioneers: Gives you a glimpse into what’s in store for AWS security solutions and services. You will hear from expert AWS users on how they used the platform to take their cloud security to the next level.
Tracks are targeted at two audiences: 1) Professionals working in cloud security looking to learn, hone their skills, and explore innovative methods to manage risk for their customers; and 2) Executive-level professionals looking to enable their businesses through AWS cloud security.
Each track includes sessions, chalk talks, workshops, as well as builders sessions that focus on more traditional security topics, including governance, risk & compliance, identity and data protection, detection, response, forensics, infrastructure and edge security, and application security/DevSecOps.
3. Take time to network.
The show is about more than attending scheduled sessions. Take time to connect with other security professionals. The good thing with AWS events is that Amazon provides you with tons of opportunities to build your network. There are lunches, breakfasts, and networking events, and of course, you can also network at the different sessions.
4. Take care of yourself!
Be sure to wear a good pair of comfortable shoes for the re:Inforce sessions. Your feet will definitely thank you. You should also pack snacks in your bag as well a few bottles of water and maybe some lip balm and eye drops. Finally, be sure to get enough rest during the two days.
5. Talk to the presenters.
One good way to get more out of the sessions is to approach the presenters after their talks and discuss what you have learned and clarify any questions you have.
6. Explore the area.
Threat Stack is a Boston-based company, so of course we’re going to suggest that you extend your stay in our home town and check out some of the great sightseeing, history, sports, and food Boston has to offer.
Boston in One Day Sightseeing Tour
If you only have one extra day in Boston, try the Boston in One Day Sightseeing Tour. This will take you around the Greater Boston Area and help you learn more about the history of the city’s most famous attractions and landmarks. An experienced and knowledgeable guide will entertain you with facts and information.
Some of the places you’d visit include the New England Aquarium, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Seaport District, USS Constitution, Old State House, Site of the Boston Massacre, Beacon Hill, Museum of Fine Arts, Symphony Hall, Copley Place, and Rowes Wharf, among many others.
Eat! Eat! Eat!
Boston is well known for its food and you could spend a whole week just trying to hit some of the bigger hot spots.
One of the meccas for food in Boston is the North End which is home to a seemingly endless number of amazing Italian restaurants and one of the longest running debates in the Boston food scene “who has the best pastries, Mike’s Pastry or Modern Pastry? If you’re looking for a pastry fix a little closer to the Boston Convention Center, Flour Bakery + Cafe is another great option.
Seafood is another staple of Boston food, and the exploding Seaport area has plenty of options to choose from just a stone’s throw from the Convention Center, including Yankee Lobster, James Hook, and The Barking Crab.
Some other favorite restaurants from the Threat Stack team that can hit every taste and budget include:
- Island Creek Oyster Bar
- O Ya
- Craigie on Main
- Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks
- Cafe du Pays
- Gaslight Brasserie du Coin
- Boston Chops Neptune Oyster
Get a bit of culture and sports
If you like history, fine arts, and culture, Boston’s museums will definitely interest you. Where to go? First off, there’s the Museum of Fine Arts — the fifth biggest museum in the country. It has at least 450,000 artifacts, and more than a million people visit this museum every year.
Just across the street you’ll find the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum — famously known for its extensive array of important American, Asian, and European art. And infamously known for the
largest unsolved art-heist of all time — 13 works of art valued at a combined total of $500 million
were stolen on March 18, 1990. (If you want to learn more about the Gardner heist, check out the great NPR podcast Last Seen.)
If you’re strapped for time or more into modern art, check out the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston near the Boston Convention Center.
This wouldn’t be a true guide to Boston without a plug for the sports scene. If you’re a baseball fan, a trip to Fenway Park is a can’t miss, and both Sox colors will be in town during re:Inforce with the Red Sox facing the White Sox from June 24–26.
For the history buffs
Boston is loaded with places that let you to take a look back at the city’s colorful history. These are just some of the places you don’t want to miss if you can to stay a few extra days before or after AWS re:Inforce.
One of our favorites is the Freedom Trail which follows the route of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride warning of the impending British attack and covers some of the biggest history spots in the city like:
- The oldest cemetery in the city, the Granary Burying Ground, is where you’ll find the graves of Paul Revere himself, Samuel Adams, Robert Treat Paine, and the victims of the Boston Massacre.
- You can also visit the Old South Church with its Gothic revival architecture. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is also home to one of the oldest religious communities in the country.
- Paul Revere House is where you can learn more about the American patriot. You can also check out the John Hancock Tower, the tallest building in the city since the 1970s.
You can also combine your history and food interests by checking out the country’s oldest continuously operated restaurant, Union Oyster House, and the country’s oldest bar, The Bell in Hand.
The geeky hangouts
If you still want to geek out after re:Inforce, there are two places in the Boston area that will appeal to your nerdy side. Take a short trip on the T to Comicazi out in Somerville for the best comic shop in the area with toys, games, and more. If you can’t decide which ones to buy, you can ask the staff for advice, not just with comic books, but also GI Joe and Magic: The Gathering.
The Warren Anatomical Museum is part of the Harvard Medical Center and presents a macabre collection of human body parts, as well as objects and oddities from medical history. The Boston Science Museum is also well worth an afternoon if you’re spending an extra couple days in town.
6. More Resources on AWS re:Inforce 2019 (and Boston)
- Twitter: @awscloud
- Event Hashtag: #reinforce
- Facebook: Amazon Web Services
- LinkedIn: Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- AWS Security Blog (posts tagged reinforce)
- City of Boston
Other articles, news, and resources on the AWS re:Inforce conference:
- Announcing the First AWS Security Conference: AWS re:Inforce 2019
- Reddit – Re:Inforce Anyone considering going?
- The Top 20 Information Security Conferences of 2019
- AWS re:Inforce Boston
- AWS Ups the Ante for Security on Its Platform at re:Invent
- Tips for Boston Visitors
- Visiting Boston
- Visit Boston
- The 50 best things to do in Boston
- 22 Ultimate Things to Do in Boston
So We Hope to See you at re:Inforce 2019 . . .
If you work in the cloud or security, we recommend attending AWS re:Inforce 2019. The first ever AWS event to focus solely on cloud security, this means that you get a more tailored learning and networking experience, and more opportunities to network with peers in your industry. Attending AWS re:Inforce will bring you up to speed on all the things you need to know, all at one place and at your own pace.