A Jump To The Left Not A Step To The Right

Join Jesse as he explores the ins and outs of shifting left and what it means for software development, why you should begin writing code with security top of mind, why you need to check your basic permissions on things like storage and services, how things are changing and security needs to get with the times, how we all struggle to secure all the things and also to secure any of the things, how virtual keyboards can protect you against ransomware attacks, why you should make security training funny, and more.
Jesse Trucks is the Minister of Magic at Splunk, where he consults on security and compliance program designs and develops Splunk architectures for security use cases, among other things. He brings more than 20 years of experience in tech to this role, having previously worked as director of security and compliance at Peak Hosting, a staff member at freenode, a cybersecurity engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and a systems engineer at D.E. Shaw Research, among several other positions. Of course, Jesse is also the host of Meanwhile in Security, the podcast about better cloud security you’re about to listen to.

Show Notes:



Jesse: Welcome to Meanwhile in Security where I, your host Jesse Trucks, guides you to better security in the cloud.

Announcer: If your mean time to WTF for a security alert is more than a minute, it’s time to look at Lacework. Lacework will help you get your security act together for everything from compliance service configurations to container app relationships, all without the need for PhDs in AWS to write the rules. If you’re building a secure business on AWS with compliance requirements, you don’t really have time to choose between antivirus or firewall companies to help you secure your stack. That’s why Lacework is built from the ground up for the cloud: low effort, high visibility, and detection. To learn more, visit lacework.com. That’s lacework.com.

Jesse: All the rage is DevOps, for good reasons: it works. You can’t do good cloud work without a flexible and functional DevOps operation. Similarly, you can’t do good security in the cloud without DevSecOps. However, [laugh] security people love their cryptic and geeky terms, so you hear, “You should shift left.” This is derived from the left shift bitwise operators that do binary math that moves values to the left. I told you it’s geeky.

This moving left translates to moving security integration into a project farther left in the development process when you start on the left and move to production on the right. Ultimately, this means you bring security into the very beginning of your conceptual designs, and write your first lines of code with security processes and methods in mind from the very start. Use more security tools, authentication and authorization hooks, and more granular encryption methods in your underlying services structures through your more complex processing. More work on literally coding security in at the start could save you several orders of magnitude of direct and indirect costs in the future. Don’t get owned, don’t get ransomed.

Meanwhile, in the news, Report finds old misconfiguration woes continue to hammer corporate clouds. If you haven’t heard me and countless others rant about going back to basics of cloud security, you haven’t been listening. This article should scare you into finally checking your basic permissions on things like storage and services so you don’t get pwned by being stupid.

Pentagon Weighs Ending JEDI Cloud Project Amid Amazon Court Fight. When a nearly $2 trillion company drags anyone into court, things will change. The largest move to cloud services by the US Department of Defense might not happen because Amazon got pissed and sent lawyers. Watch how this unfolds to learn both how Amazon the company operates and how the market moves toward or away from cloud in general and either Azure or AWS specifically as a result of this legal challenge.

Netflix Exec Explains Where Infosec Pros are Going Wrong. Most of us who work in cybersecurity will read this piece and have one of two strong reactions. People like me and everyone who isn’t a security professional will nod and smile and agree that times are changing and security needs to get with the times. Everyone else in security will scowl, and pout, and 
get mad.

Firms Struggle to Secure Multicloud Misconfigurations. We all struggle to secure all the things, but this report shows that most of us struggle to secure any of the things. Back to basics; I keep hammering on this because things like shutting down or securing ports and services and locking up cloud storage objects get you the biggest improvement in security posture out of almost anything else you do.

Announcer: This episode is sponsored by ExtraHop. Extrahop provides threat detection and response for the Enterprise (not the starship). On-prem security doesn’t translate well to cloud or multi-cloud environments, and that’s not even counting IoT. Extrahop automatically discovers everything inside the perimeter, including your cloud workloads and IoT devices, detects these threats up to 35 percent faster, and helps you act immediately. Ask for a free trial of detection and response for AWS today at extrahop.com/trial. That’s extrahop.com/trial.

Jesse: Researchers Create Covert Channel Over Apple AirTag Network. As this article says at the end, most people won’t care about this obscure and difficult security thing to do. This is interesting reading, but the most important takeaway for you is to know that this type of technical wizardry is so far outside the realm of feasibility for most anyone on the planet that it should not scare you. For most of us, when we see big news about weird things like this, geek out on it and ignore it.

Ransomware is Getting Ugly. The only way to not be a victim of ransomware is to not let it into your network. If you don’t protect access to your systems, you won’t protect access to your data, and eventually, you’ll be paying to keep your information private. Even then, it may end up online for the world to peruse after you’ve paid.

Try this One Weird Trick Russian Hackers Hate. Wow, install the right virtual keyboard and reduce your risk of getting hit with ransomware? If I ran Windows anywhere, I’d already have installed it before talking about it.

Attorneys share worst practices for data breach response. I cannot stress enough that every single thing you do or say or type into any device or service could be subject to legal discovery and disclosure. Don’t make bad jokes; don’t make sarcastic comments that aren’t sarcastic out of context, and well just don’t be stupid. Any or all of it could land in a global headline.

CISA Ransomware Guidance and Resources. You need to understand ransomware. It’s a terrifying problem and it’s not going away. Go skim this guide, which is quite short, then follow links to the trainings and webinars, and the guides and services. Be prepared to face ransomware because it’s looking like we’ll see it in action ourselves as time marches on.

How to Get Employees to Care About Security. Fresh from the annual RSA security conference, the largest of its kind in the world. For us followers of Corey Quinn, QuinnyPig on Twitter, and chief cloud economist at The Duckbill Group, we already know humor teaches us faster than pain and suffering. Well, maybe. Make security training funny.

And now for the tip of the week. Aws CloudTrail is your security friend. It’s your best Robo-pet, fetching the morning paper. By default, it should be enabled, but you need to do something to make it useful. Go to your AWS Management Console, show all services, and find CloudTrail under the management and governance section.

Create a trail, name it’s something—anything at all that makes sense to you—and then read the notice there that you do not get charged for the creation of the logs but you will pay for the S3 bucket storage. Of course, right? Please monitor the size of this thing so you don’t get shocking charges. The best thing to do is open the full create trail workflow as the fine print under trail detail says, then choose ‘sane setting’ for what to log and which buckets to use. Next, ensure you have something reading those logs like using CloudWatch to pop alerts for you. Better yet, shove them into your Log Analyzer or your SEM.

And that’s it for the week. Securely yours Jesse Trucks.

Jesse: Thanks for listening. Please subscribe and rate us on Apple and Google Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.

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Meanwhile in Security is a production of The Duckbill Group. Check out our other publications, Last Week in AWS, Screaming in the Cloud, and AWS Morning Brief.

© The Duckbill Group, 2021