Best Practices, Unintended Consequences, and Negative Outcomes

By Rich
Information Security is a profession. We have job titles, recognized positions in nearly every workplace, professional organizations, training, and even some fairly new degree programs. I mean none of that sarcastically, but I wouldn’t necessarily say we are a mature profession. We still have a lot to learn about ourselves. This isn’t unique to infosec – it’s part of any maturing profession, and we can learn the same lessons the others already have. As I went through the paramedic re-entry process I realized, much to my surprise, that I have been a current or expired paramedic for over

Firestarter: Best Practices for Root Account Security and… SQRRL!!!!

By Rich
Just because we are focusing on cloud fundamentals doesn’t mean we are forgetting the rest of the world. This week we start with a discussion over the latest surprise acquisition of Sqrrl by Amazon Web Services and what it might indicate. Then we jump into our ongoing series of posts on cloud security by focusing on the best practices for root account security. From how to name the email accounts, to handling MFA, to your break glass procedures. Watch or listen:

Evolving to Security Decision Support: Visibility is Job #1

By Mike Rothman
To demonstrate our mastery of the obvious, it’s not getting easier to detect attacks. Not that it was ever really easy, but at least you used to know what tactics adversaries used, and you had a general idea of where they would end up, because you knew where your important data was, and which (single) type of device normally accessed it: the PC. It’s hard to believe we now long for the days of early PCs and centralized data repositories. But that is not today’s world. You face professional adversaries (and possibly nation-states) who use agile methods

Firestarter: Architecting Your Cloud with Accounts

By Rich
We are taking over our own Firestarter and kicking off a new series of discussions on cloud security… from soup to nuts (whatever that means). Each week for the next few months we will cover, in order, how to build out your cloud security program. We are taking our assessment framework and converting it into a series of discussions talking about what we find and how to avoid issues. This week we start with architecting your account structures, after a brief discussion of the impact of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities since they impact cloud (at least for now) more

This Security Shit’s Hard and It Ain’t Gonna Get Any Easier

By Rich
In case you couldn’t tell from the title, this line is your official EXPLICIT tag. We writers sometimes need the full spectrum of language to make a point. Yesterday Microsoft released a patch to roll back a patch that fixed the slightly-unpatchable Intel hardware bug because the patch causes reboots and potential data loss. Specifically, Intel’s Spectre 2 variant microcode patch is buggy. Just when we were getting a decent handle on endpoint security with well secured operating systems and six-figure-plus bug bounties, this shit happened. Plus, we probably can’t ever fully trust our silicone or operating systems

Wrangling Backoffice Security in the Cloud Age: Part 2

By Rich
This is the second part in a two-part series (later paper) on managing increased use and reliance on SaaS for traditional back-office applications. See Part 1. This will also be included in a webcast with Box on March 6, and you can register here. Where to Start Moving back office applications to the cloud is a classic frog-in-a-frying-pan scenario. Sure, a few organizations plan everything out ahead of time, but for most of the companies and agencies we work with, things tend to be far less controlled. Multiple business units run into the cloud on their own – especially since all you need

Wrangling Backoffice Security in the Cloud Age

By Rich
Over a year ago we first published our series on Tidal Forces: The Trends Tearing Apart Security As We Know It. We called out three megatrends in technology with deep and lasting impact on security practice: Endpoints are different, often more secure, and frequently less open. If we look at the hardening of operating systems, exemplified by the less-open-but-more-secure model of Apple’s iOS, the cost of exploiting endpoints is trending much higher. At least it was before Meltdown and Spectre, but fortunately those are (admittedly major) blips, not a permanent direction. Software as a Service (SaaS) is the new

Container Security 2018: Logging and Monitoring

By Adrian Lane
We close out this research paper with two key areas: Monitoring and Auditing. We want to draw attention to them because they are essential to security programs, but have received only sporadic coverage in security blogs and the press. When we go beyond network segregation and network policies for what we allow, the ability to detect misuse is extremely valuable, which is where monitoring and logging come in. Additionally, most Development and Security teams are not aware of the variety of monitoring options available, and we have seen a variety of misconceptions and outright fear of the volume of audit

Container Security 2018: Runtime Security Controls

By Adrian Lane
After the focus on tools and processes in previous sections, we can now focus on containers in production systems. This includes which images are moved into production repositories, selecting and running containers, and the security of underlying host systems. Runtime Security The Control Plane: Our first order of business is ensuring the security of the control plane: tools for managing host operating systems, the scheduler, the container client, engine(s), the repository, and any additional deployment tools. As we advised for container build environment security, we recommend limiting access to specific administrative accounts: one with responsibility for operating and orchestrating

Container Security 2018: Securing Container Contents

By Adrian Lane
Testing the code and supplementary components which will execute within containers, and verifying that everything conforms to security and operational practices, is core to any container security effort. One of the major advances over the last year or so is the introduction of security features for the software supply chain, from container engine providers including Docker, Rocket, OpenShift and so on. We also see a number of third-party vendors helping to validate container content, both before and after deployment. Each solution focuses on slightly different threats to container construction – Docker, for example, offers tools to certify that a container has
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