Threat Stack Blog and Cloud Security News

Continuous security monitoring for your cloud.

How to Talk to Your Prospects About Cloud Security

by Jim McDonough, VP Inside Sales, Threat Stack, posted in Cloud Security, Compliance, High Velocity Sales

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Security can be a huge sales and business enabler, as I've mentioned before. If your company and its prospective customers are in a regulated industry — and even if they’re not — you can bet they’re going to ask about your security posture during the sales process. For a number of reasons (including the many high-profile security breaches over the last few years), sales prospects are more aware of risks to their data than ever before. Naturally, they are upping the security requirements for doing business with vendors and partners alike.

This means it’s more important than ever that your sales team understands how to talk to prospects about security. In this post, we’ll outline a number of ways that businesses can do this and do it well.

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Feb 23, 2017 1:22:53 PM

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Packaging a Python Flask Web Service Using Chef Habitat

by Tom McLaughlin, posted in Cloud Security, Web Services, Python, Chef, Habitat

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One of the challenges of building open source tools is figuring out how to package and distribute them. This is particularly true with web services. To make building, deploying, and running web services easier, Chef created Habitat.

When building open source web services for Threat Stack, one of our concerns is how to package these Python Flask applications so they run in the widest array of environments with low adoption friction. Using Habitat, the process is quick and easy.

For this post, we’re going to focus on the specifics of packaging a Python Flask application and the particular needs of that stack.

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Feb 22, 2017 1:02:18 PM

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How to Use Ops Tools for Security and Security Tools for Ops

by Tim Armstrong, posted in Cloud Security, SecOps, DevSecOps, SecOps Playbook, SecOps Tools, Security Tools, DevOps Tools

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Investing in SecOps doesn’t just mean hiring folks who know how to blend together software development, IT operations, and security skillsets. It also doesn’t just mean telling your DevOps team to run secure or scolding your security team into moving fast enough to keep up with continuous deployment.

Truly committing to SecOps means investing in tools that can do double (or triple) duty — helping you not only release code continuously but ensure that everything from your back-end infrastructure to your customer-facing applications is 100% secure. It means investing in tools that make meeting both DevOps and security best practices simple and straightforward.

As DevOps expands to include more security functions and security evolves to be more agile, it’s never been more important (or economical) to be able to use operational tools for security and security tools for operations. DevOps teams want software that can integrate critical functions of security, like alerting, directly into their current processes. Security teams want tools that let them seamlessly interact with DevOps.

Here’s what that should look like.

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Feb 17, 2017 3:17:23 PM

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How Securely Configured is Your AWS Environment?

by Tim Armstrong, posted in Cloud Security, Threat Stack Audit, Cloud Security Baseline, Threat Stack Audit Trial, CloudTrail Alerting, Cloud Security Maturity, Configuration Auditing

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With the launch of the new Threat Stack free cloud security Audit trial, we wanted to provide some tips on how to easily assess how well your AWS environment is configured. So, let's get started...

What is a Cloud Security Baseline?

The phrase is bandied about a lot, so let’s get to it: what is a security baseline?

One of the problems that many organizations run into, especially when they are starting out in cloud security, is not knowing where to start and not having specific data to help them define and improve the status of their cloud security.

That’s where a baseline proves critical. CERN Computer Security defines a security baseline as “a set of basic security objectives which must be met by any given service or system.”

If you put this in the context of cloud security, a baseline will show you how closely a snapshot of your current cloud environment conforms to industry best practices and benchmarks.

This sounds a bit academic, so let’s get down to specifics by taking a look at the new product and free trial we are offering to help you establish and maintain a baseline — Threat Stack Audit.

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Feb 15, 2017 9:27:35 AM

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FFIEC Guidance — A Cloud Security Perspective

by David M. Weinstein, posted in Cloud Security, Information Security Requirements, FFIEC, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council

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As reported in a recent post on our blog, banks are rapidly moving to the cloud. Another recent post discussed how banks can make this move securely. If you are a financial institution looking to make the move to the cloud, this post can help you meet the information security program management requirements of the FFIEC Information Technology Examination Handbook published in September 2016 (“the Handbook”).

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Feb 13, 2017 2:40:45 PM

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W-2 Phishing Scams: What You Need to Know to Stay Secure

by Kevin Durkin, posted in Cloud Security, Phishing Scams, W-2 Phishing Scams, Cloud Security Awareness and Training

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The IRS recently issued a warning that W-2 phishing scams are on the rise. In fact, 29,000 victims have already been claimed in 2017 to date! The attacks this year have started earlier than in previous years and are targeting a broader range of businesses. It’s time we learned how to better protect ourselves against this rampant form of fraud.

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Feb 10, 2017 1:52:32 PM

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Python Flask Exception Handling In A Secure Manner

by Tom McLaughlin, posted in Cloud Security, Exception Handling, Python, Flask, Python Flask Exception Handling

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In our last Python Flask blog post, we walked through building a simple application to take in a Threat Stack webhook and archive the alert to AWS S3. In this post, we’ll dive into Python exception handling and how to do it in a secure manner.

The code in the last post was written to be as simple and readable as possible. However, what happens if something goes wrong in our application? There’s no error or exception handling. If something goes wrong — for example, we hit a bug or receive bad data — there’s nothing we can do about it in the application. Instead of returning a parseable JSON response, the app will just spit a backtrace embedded in an HTML document back. The entity sending the request to our service is then left trying to figure out what may have gone wrong.

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Feb 9, 2017 2:02:31 PM

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Ignore the Splashy Headlines: Why Security Should Look Inward, Not Out

by Tim Armstrong, posted in Cloud Security, Cloud Security Priorities, Threat Stack Audit

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It’s easy to get distracted by splashy headlines about breaches at corporations with household names. And of course state-sponsored, targeted cyberattacks are sexier than your average phishing scam. But just because a particular threat is newsworthy doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to spend your organization’s valuable resources protecting against.

The reasons for this may not be completely obvious, so let’s take a moment to understand why looking outward at newsworthy security attacks can actually hurt your company’s security posture. Then we’ll explain why an inward-facing approach is more effective.

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Feb 6, 2017 10:59:02 AM

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Threat Stack Blog Series: Starting Your Cloud Security Journey

by Tom McLaughlin, posted in Cloud Security, Cloud Security Maturity Strategy, Blog Post Series, Cloud Security Maturity

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More and more companies are migrating to the cloud — and for good reason considering the many benefits such as speed, flexibility, and reduced costs.

One of the key questions that always comes up in this transition centers on cloud security. Not so much in the form of “Is the cloud secure?” but more in terms of “What is your company doing to make sure its infrastructure is secure?”

In the best scenario, companies include cloud security in their business plan on day one. In the worst case, they limp along for years without a strategically planned, comprehensive security roadmap that will provide real protection for their IP, data, systems, customers, and reputation.

In both cases, these organizations have one thing in common: Regardless of how long they’ve been in business, they are at an early stage of cloud security maturity. They are just starting out on their cloud security journey.

And that’s where we can help.

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Feb 3, 2017 1:04:22 PM

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Threat Stack’s New Packaging for Your Cloud Security Journey

by Tim Armstrong, posted in Cloud Security, Threat Stack Cloud Security Platform, Threat Stack Audit, Threat Stack Investigate, Cloud Security Maturity, Threat Stack Monitor

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Security maturity in the cloud is an important topic lately, from evolving security with existing DevOps practices, to automating security across your infrastructure, to getting the information you need to piece together what occurred when there is a security incident.

And at the same time, many organizations just don’t know where to start.

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Feb 2, 2017 5:19:37 PM

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